The Queen Creek Botanical Gardens were founded in 2020 by two Arizona-raised entrepreneurs: Land developer Lonnie McCleve and Justin Rohner, founder of the Agriscaping movement.
The idea of the Gardens came in early 2016
As a cancer survivor, Lonnie credits his recovery to a change in his diet to eating clean, plant-based foods that were as close to their natural state as possible. He ate fewer processed and refined foods without chemicals, and found it not only improved his health and well-being, but also increased energy and starved the cancer he had. He discovered that the longer food traveled to the consumer, the less nutrients it has, which is why the Center for Health and the Global Environment recommends consuming the freshest food possible. Realizing how essential this is, Lonnie began to look for ways to increase hyper-local food production.
As the founder of the Agriscaping movement, Justin spent the last two decades helping thousands of people around the world grow their own healthy, fresh foods at home within their own landscapes. Agriscaping uses sustainable and regenerative principles to integrate edible plants into landscaping in a way that even in the strictest homeowners association will approve. In fact, several subdivisions throughout the country use Agriscaping principles to build and maintain edible landscaping that homeowners can pick and enjoy. This hyper-local food production takes the same effort as other landscaping, but with the added benefit of supplying food in an elegant, beautiful way.
Lonnie was inspired by his wife, Debbie, to attend a tour of one such yard where he met Justin and realized the potential of Agriscaping on this parcel of land in Queen Creek. With Lonnie’s vision and experience creating sustainable, community- and earth-friendly developments, the idea of creating the world’s first all-edible botanical garden came to light.