Deserts always had a strange effect on me. Somehow I had this inner urge to go and do something to stop the sand from turning the land and the rocks into more sand, to create oases planting them with trees and under their canopy cover everything with greens. You can imagine how excited I became when I bumped into the video of the “Greening the desert” project in Jordania, one of the driest countries of the world. Using permaculture, an integrated, smart agricultural approach which mimics the complex processes of nature, Geoff Lawton was able to create a garden which was capable of using every last drop of moisture that otherwise would have gone lost when using the current agricultural systems. I was thinking, if it is possible to do there, in Jordan, it should be possible everywhere! Then there is hope for Earth to become the beautiful place it used to be and which it deserves to be. Not just parts of it, but down to the last backyard corner. I am copying here the short blog post from the Permaculture magazine with a video.
Greening the desert using permaculture
“You can fix all of the world’s problems in the garden,” says Lawton.
Take a glimpse into the impossible project that not only succeeded, but thrived. This is the story of how permaculture methods helped green a small portion of hyper-arid desert: a place with near to no rainfall and temperatures reaching 50 degrees C.
Geoff Lawton designed a system that harvested every precious ounce of available water by effectively using and manipulating the natural landscape.
They found over time that they had de-salted the landscape naturally, creating a living soil and proving everybody wrong.
Even now with limited funding and minimal maintenance, the 10 acre site is nearly self-sufficient, and becoming increasingly fertile every day.