Permaculture forum: Greening the Desert

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Charter ATP Member
Mar 26, 2015 11:57 AM CST
These are a series of videos covering Geoff Lawton's project in Jordan. There are invaluable techniques for recovering land from dust, for finding water where there doesn't seem to be any. Even if your "desert" is only a dry spot on the back 40 there are lessons here for coping with dry situations.
Name: Dave Paul
Puna, HI (Zone 10b)
Live in a rainforest, get wet feet.
Plant Identifier
Mar 26, 2015 1:02 PM CST
In Puna, and other areas of Hawai'i that are dry, barren, and / or covered with lava, a method of farming called puhala was employed.

Hala (Pandanus tectorius) was grown in places where there was nothing. Hala is were tough and resistant. It can be watered with sea water to keep it alive.
Once the hala plants were grown to size, they were chopped down and made into a pile. After the pile had decomposed a bit, holes were made and bananas, taro, and other plants were cultivated in the pile.

Thumb of 2015-03-26/Metrosideros/b438bf

Charter ATP Member
Mar 26, 2015 1:34 PM CST
Pandanus looks sort of like the yuccas that I have. Sounds like an experiment to try. Yuccas can grow in the desert, but they also thrive in the humid south. They stop human traffic because each one of the leaves has a very spiny thorn at the tip. I have a bunch I need to move, one of these days when I feel brave enough to handle them. Ill see if their remains make a good home for some other less dangerous plants!

i was looking at Israels water problem. The high tech solution was to pipe in water from the Mediterranian Sea. The pandanus method sounds like a tropical version of hugelkultur.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Mar 26, 2015 4:47 PM CST
As I understand it, yuccas have a very long root (tap root?) and all of it has to be removed or it will grow back. Some gardeners cut the spiny tips off of each leaf which might help when it's time to move them.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

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