top of page
Desert Haven Wellness Garden

Grant Project Announcement


Permaculture & Ethics of Care

New ways to improve well-being

A unique grant to explore the intersection between permaculture and care theory may lead to the introduction of new and meaningful hands-on activities for Desert Haven Home Care and Apollo Assisted Living residents.

Stay tuned for more information about this unique opportunity as it develops from idea to reality.

Click here for more!

Permaculture, care theory to mix in proposed study at Desert Haven Care Home, Apollo Assisted Living

A grant to develop a program mixing permaculture and the ethics of care could inspire new, more meaningful and more interactive activities at Desert Haven Assisted Living Care Home in Phoenix and Apollo Residential Assisted Living in Glendale.

One of the hypotheses of the grant, says investigator Estève Giraud, a Ph.D. student in Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, is that the combination of permaculture projects with thoughtful design has a positive effect on the development of a culture of care. Permaculture is an eco-cognizant practice that combines land, resources, people and the environment to form maximum positive environmental results.

“We also hope to demonstrate that the designs and practices we create will be greatly beneficial in a number of senior-living areas,” says Giraud. “In addition to increasing fresh food access, the grant offers the chance to learn more about agricultural, culinary and food preparation processes. Enhancing assisted living residents’ well-being is certainly likely to be a welcome product of the study, as can providing additional support for care workers, and strengthening the collective memory of how to grow food.”

Researchers will meet with Desert Haven and Apollo professional and care staff by the end of the calendar year, and a full report of the findings is expected to be submitted in early 2022,

Christopher Zambakari, owner and operator of the two Valley-based residences, is excited about the promise of the study and how it might benefit his residents.

"The grant has been part of a long plan to purposely design an environment that promotes and has the best chance to maximize wellness and well-being,” says Zambakari, who earned bachelor’s degree at ASU before earning his doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University and his master’s in international studies (peace and conflict resolution). “I learned from my early experience in hospice years ago that by simply allowing residents with dementia to participate in hands-on activities in the garden you can improve their wellness; you’re able to engage them in new and meaningful ways. As an undergrad at ASU, I learned about the positive impacts of giving assisted living seniors a plant and having them take care it. That, the simple care of a plant, was enough to give some meaning, reasons for hope and improved well-being.

“We’re looking forward to our participation, and we’re excited to do something like this with our valued residents in mind.”

For more about Desert Haven Assisted Living Care Home and Apollo Residential Assisted Living, visit

Snapshots from the Garden


Contact us or request a tour!

bottom of page