Prepper Book Festival 8: The Garden Pool

Next up in the Prepper Book Festival #8 is a book that will teach you how to transform your backyard into a food producing mecca.  The book title is The Garden Pool but honestly?  No pool is required.  All you need is a backyard and room for keeping fish and storing water.

But wait, I am getting ahead of my self.  Today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  Dennis McClung, co-author (with his Danielle) of The Garden Pool – Feed Your Family From Your Backyard Ecosystem is here for an interview and will be providing one reader with a free copy of his book.

Prepper Book Festival - The Garden Pool - Backdoor Survival

Back to the book.  When I first of learned of The Garden Pool, I thought it might be of limited interest to those of you with in-ground pools.  After all, swimming pools are a luxury to many and a rarity here in Washington State.

The first eight pages of the book tell a very different story. No pool?  No problem and the book tells you why.  But beyond that, The Garden Pool also explains how to overcome other gardening challenges such as lack of space, too much shade, extreme heat or cold, nosy neighbors, and more.  This is a DIY book of the highest order with colored photos of everything and help you self-sufficiency seeker with solar, harvesting water, growing crops and raising animals.

According to Dennis, once the garden pool system is in place, it takes an hour a day to maintain, and that includes milking the goat!  This is a fantastic book and I know you will want to learn more.

Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Dennis McClung, Author of The Garden Pool

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

The Second Edition of the Garden Pool book has been revised and expanded to include the most up to date original Garden Pool research and is also now a smart-book embedded with QR codes and links for reference to hours of videos.

This paperback book works well with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Included are two full material lists and step by step instructions so you can design, build, and operate your own Garden Pool.

A Garden Pool started as one family’s blog to document converting an old backyard swimming pool in to a closed-loop food-producing urban greenhouse and has evolved in to a non-profit organization.  The GP (short for Garden Pool) was a one of a kind creation invented by my family and created in October of 2009. It is truly a miniature self-sufficient ecosystem.

Rather than keeping our creation to ourselves, we have decided to share it with others. GPs are being built all over the world offering an easy and sustainable solution to current food production challenges.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

We only wrote about what we know works using simple methods, but spent years perfecting the research.  We have consulted with universities and others who have helped us create our Garden Pool.

How long did it take to write?

We Spent 4 years developing the research and with the help of many others, we are now able to share this knowledge with others.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?

That there is better ways to grow food.  Depending on your climate, you too can build a Garden Pool, and feel the satisfaction of eating food from your own backyard.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am the founder, a designer, and a teacher at Garden Pool. I invented the Garden Pool, developed and manages our web presence, and designed several other Garden Pool innovations.  I am the project manager of volunteer builds, and the course instructor for the GP Certified Designers.

I believe that sustainable food production helps improve entire communities.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

We feel that our method of food production can help those who are preparing and folks in all walks of life.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

Learn the basics of gardening, no matter what, you will always have the skill of what you have learned.  Don’t give up even if things are hard, growing your own food is a learning process, but its worth the effort.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes, we want to continue to publish as we learn more exciting information.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

We started out as a family trying to grow our own food and have evolved in to a non-profit organization with over 1,200 volunteers.  We have around 15 Garden Pools in the United States, and also one in Haiti.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

When it comes to being totally self-sufficient, growing 100% of your food is everyone’s dream.  That said, even growing 30% of your own food is an admirable goal.

Using the concepts in The Garden Pool coupled with the videos and website resources, you will have the inspiration if not the know-how, to dig a pond and build your own Garden Pool. Couple that with some chickens and a goat and you will be way ahead of the game when it comes to survival.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  The Garden Pool – Feed Your Family From Your Backyard Ecosystem

Garden Pool started as one family’s blog to document converting an old backyard swimming pool in to a closed-loop food-producing urban greenhouse and has evolved in to a non-profit organization.

The GP (short for Garden Pool) was a one of a kind creation invented by Dennis his creation to himself, he decided to share it with others. GPs are being built all over the world offering an easy and sustainable solution to current food production challenges.

This book is a must have owners guide for anyone interested in aquaponics, raising chickens, raising goats and more in a self-sustainable manner.


Bargain Bin:  For your convenience, here is a list of all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival as well as a link to the books mentioned by today’s author.

Prepper Book Festival 8 – Non-Fiction

Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own
The Organic Canner
The NEW 2000-Hour Flashlight
The Garden Pool – Feed Your Family From Your Backyard Ecosystem
Survival Savvy Family: How to Be Your Best During the Absolute Worst
Doctor Prepper’s Making the Best of Basics Family Preparedness Handbook – Version 12.5
The Prepper’s Financial Guide
Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake
The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present
Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required: An Everyday Approach to Disaster Preparedness

Prepper Book Festival 8 – Fiction

After the Crumble (Volume 1)
A Time to Endure (Strengthen What Remains)
Aftermath: A Story of Survival
Resurrecting Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Game Changer

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook is only 99 cent plus the print version is available for less than $6.00.


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  1. Thank you for the opportunity for others to expand their knowledge! I’d love to win a copy of this book.

  2. We have a pool and I would be very interested to learn what our options are for it when the kids all move on and out.

  3. Have been interested in learning more about this for some time. Thank you for introducing the book and for sharing the information. Wouldn’t this be great to have in the back yard!

  4. My most critical gardening challenge is making the time to get things in the ground on time. Thanks for introducing The Garden Pool to us!

  5. Our biggest challenge is the weather that prevents Hubs from working in the garden. We are working on a green house but if this is anything like a program I saw on TV, This would be great.
    Thank you Gaye

  6. We need all the information we can get our hands on! Thank you for the opportunity to win this informative book.

    Thank you!

  7. I’ve been wanting to look into Aquaponics but maybe this is the book we really need! Sounds very interesting and good to know its out there now. Thanks for such an informative site.

  8. The ever changing weather. Never know what to expect anymore! Second is chipmunks…. Little buggers! Third is squash bugs. In spite of all the work and challenges, love the results.

  9. Our biggest challenge is that our whole yard (and all the yards on our street) is clay, so we cannot plant anything in the ground. We have been trying to container garden, but its a bit more difficult if you want ot plant anything that should come back year after year. Not to mention buying/finding enough containers to use. But we are doing what we can, in the time we can do it 🙂

  10. I would have to say space… I really don’t have anywhere to grow that is not in direct sun… A green house would do but $$$ are not available for such things… …M… (EVIL ZJ)

  11. What is your most critical gardening challenge? At this point moving! I will be moving into a new home so my challenge is finding the right spot!!

  12. Overcoming the shade. The hubs won’t let me put a garden in the front or side yards where we actually get decent sunshine. I’m limited to the backyard and the hit or miss sunny spots between tall, spindly pine trees. Right now, the backyard looks like a flower potters nightmare – containers everywhere.

  13. This is timely. I have recently been reading several articles on aquaponics, and hydroponics. I would love to get this book, and see how they manage their system.

  14. This Garden Pool looks an awful lot like aquaponics. How does he distinguish it to claim he “invented” it? I would like to find out from the book the initial costs, running costs, time commitment and so on.

  15. May biddest gardening challenge is watering the proper amount of water for plants and the short growing season.

  16. I’ve never had a garden but have talked about it with the family several times so I would say the challenge for me is knowing where to start and then actually doing it.

  17. I live in the city- challenge 1) knowing what is under the dirt. 2) just growing anything at all! 3)NOSY neighbors who like to take things 4) did I mention just growing things??? I am doing better after a few years of trying and adding raised beds…but really, this is hard stuff. I have great respect for our ancestors- how did anyone ever feed their entire family all year??

  18. I haven’t gotten my critter fence up yet. It seems all the wild rabbits seem to know where the good eating is.

  19. We have two challenges: developing the soil to grow a productive garden and the relentless heat of Texas.

  20. My biggest challenge with gardening is the weather. I live in Wy and it is so unpredictable here. One day it will be 70 the next it will drop back down. To the 40’s and 50’s. Then dealing with constant winds, lack of moisture and a growing season that lasts only a few short months sure makes for many challenges. But each year I diligently dig through my catalogs order my seeds and turn my home into a dirt filled seed starting crazy place in hopes to have a jump start on the season that will flash by way too fast.

  21. Soil remediation. The land around here has a high acid content and I know many vegies don’t like acid! That in addition to all the rocks that it is almost impossible to clear out.

  22. July 4th is coming. Having a good friend with a blasting license is handy. You will need a permit to ‘open up’ the swale so it can provide some water for wildlife … maybe lots of water. By August there is a new pond. Water for the deer. Water for fish. Water for skinny dipping. Water for the garden. A proper celebration for the fourth!
    It is also helpful to live far enough from your nearest neighbor so that you can’t see his house from your house … and call him first.

  23. Controlling pests and insects with as little poisons as possible. Trying to learn alternative methods that will work instead of commercial products.

  24. This sounds interesting. Maybe I could do this, if I could lock it up to keep the 2 youngest grandkids, and the greats, out of the area.

  25. Gardening has been a tough learning curve for me….I have so many challenges, but just getting things to grow and produce would be a good start. 🙂

  26. My most critical gardening challenge is pests: squirrels, grub worms, and ants. I don’t want to use any chemicals that might get absorbed into the plants.

  27. There are all kinds of critters that eat gardens in our yard.

    Thank you very much for the chance to win this wonderful book!

  28. My garden challenge is weeds. Are property had been vacant a couple of years before we moved in and the weeds took over the place. We don’t like using chemicals near or garden so it has been a bit of a battle between us and the weeds.

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