Greening The Deserts Of Jordan: Permaculture Food Forests Develop

First Posted: Jul 13, 2016 05:43 AM EDT

Have you ever seen successful permaculture programs in areas that have droughts, famine, conflict or food insecurity? Some permaculture practitioners have a goal to develop permaculture projects for drylands such as deserts.

Australian permaculture practitioner Geoff Lawton aims to develop a permaculture food forest in Jawfa, in the Dead Sea Valley of Jordan. His latest project is entitled Treehugger. The site has a one acre plot. Geoff and his team are creating a food forest and experimental permaculture plot. They also put up an education center.

They build up fertile soil and create cooling micro-climates to protect the crops from the desert heat. They have used everything from chicken tractors to recycled gray water and from worm composting to foraging ducks. The researchers also disseminate composting worms to other farms across Jordan.

A permaculture forest garden mirrors a natural plant and animal community that occurs in that climate. It is a low maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system. It cultivates fruit trees, herbs, nut trees, vines, perennial vegetables and shrubs. It is not natural. On the other hand, it is a designed and managed ecosystem that is very rich in biodiversity and productivity.

The main goals of permaculture forest garden include creating beauty and sense of well-being, to create shade and heighten the humidity in hot dry climate of arid deserts, to create wildlife habitat and to produce food for the communities. It will also serve as habitat for birds, insects, chickens, pollinators and goats.


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