Beautiful Details of the Greening the Desert Project

Geoff takes us on an informal tour around the Greening The Desert Project, Jordan to see where it stands in May 2022. He begins with a shot of the environment outside, a barren and rocky terrain similar to that from which the project took root. Now, walking through the gate, the desert has grown into lush green.

Succulent groundcovers are thriving, even growing out over the pavement. These have lots of gel in the leaves, and the gel resists evaporation, one of the desert strategies. The groundcover helps to insulate against the heat and protects the soil to stay moist enough to develop lots of fungal networks.

Aloe vera plants are flowering. There are lots of little flowers blooming: Daisies, roses, geranium, and hibiscus. Nitrogen-fixers are still around, coppiced, and pollarded to provide room for the food-producing trees. Papaya is emerging from the chaotic groundcover. Mulberries are coming on. Moringa is a big part of the site now, mixed through the whole system. Olives and moringa flower and produce huge amounts of seed to extend into the community.

The marshmallow plant is a volunteer edible growing everywhere. Tomatoes have volunteered in the food forest. The nursery manager is soon to plant dragon fruit, a vining cactus, near the pollarded Leucaena to grow up them as a trellis, and as the dragon fruit begins to hang down, it will start to produce.

The season is moving out of winter and into summer, which is the lushest time. Without a doubt, the tour demonstrates this.

Key Takeaways

– The Greening the Desert Project has taken a barren desert landscape and, through careful design, made it abundant with life.
– Groundcovers have taken over the floor of the GTD food forest, helping to keep the soil cooler and seal in the moisture.
– The nitrogen-fixing plants that once dominated the site have been coppiced and pollarded to make room for emerging food trees like papaya, mulberry, moringa, and olive.
– The new landscape has invited lots of volunteer growth from edible plants like tomatoes and marshmallow plants.

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About Geoff:

Geoff is a world-renowned permaculture consultant, designer, and teacher that has established demonstration sites that function as education centers in all the world’s major climates. Geoff has dedicated his life to spreading permaculture design across the globe and inspiring people to take care of the earth, each other, and to return the surplus.

About Permaculture:

Permaculture integrates land, resources, people, and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed-loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts and at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics, and community development.

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