10-Year Timeline of the Greening the Desert Project

Rindfleisch
Published on Feb 22, 2021
Our #10yearchallenge 😀 To learn more about this project and others, check out the Permaculture Masterclass series, here: https://www.discoverpermaculture.com/a/12454/xUvmUanf

This is a timeline slideshow of the Greening The Desert Project, Jordan, a labor of love that began in 2009 and is now in its tenth year. The site, as you’ll see, was carved from barren rock and has been transformed. It began with contour swales and a lot of organic matter. Small mulch pits were set in holes next to the spiky pioneer trees that would help to rejuvenate the soil, and gravity-fed irrigation hoses were run to each pit and tree. Next, permanent buildings were built for energy-efficiency, with straw bale walls on the sun and western sides, to insulate them from the heat, and mudbrick walls constructed on the shade and eastern sides to bank the cool air.

Within a couple of years, the pioneer trees were doing well, and hardy productive trees and more diverse support species started being introduced. Reed beds were installed to filter the greywater for use in the food forest, and worm farms were built from old bathtubs to add fertility. Large mulch pits were dug throughout the site and filled with the chopped up, thorny pioneer plants that helped to reinvigorate the soil. Then came wicking beds, the most water-efficient gardens yet. They built from old bulk liquid containers. With the worms in full flow and compost around, liquid fertilizer production—compost teas—got underway.

Contour sunken bed gardens were introduced, as well as more productive fruit trees. Shade houses were built over the garden builds to mitigate the intense sun and evaporation. The chicken tractor on steroids started its reign as fertility king on site, producing one cubic meter of compost a week. Ten years in and the place looks like an oasis against its surroundings. We’ve been playing with rocket stoves, more wicking beds, more buildings, and more production, as well as volunteers and students from around the world.

And, there are a lot of good years to come still...

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