Regreen your piece of the desert

Hi Everyone,

Beautiful-Oasis-in-the-Desert-PhotosDeserts 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

Geoff Lawton |
Saturday, 16th February 2013

“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.


See Masanobu Fukuoka’s Sowing Seeds in the Desert and Sepp Holzer‘s Desert or Paradise for more information on restoring ‘difficult’ landscapes.

Incidentally, or probably not so, I have read both books, Fukuoka’s Sowing Seeds in the Desert and Sepp Holzer’s Desert or Paradise. These books are very inspiring and informative. I wholeheartedly recommend looking into the work of these two agricultural pioneers – they are more like masters of natural living to me. tamera lakes
The good news we can learn from Sepp Holzer is that we can revive/regreen any area, no matter how worn out – although, of course it is always better to start the regeneration project before the area turns into a desert, when the reversal is possible but much more difficult. Sepp Holzer’s method is creating water retention basins which get filled up just from rain water and in a couple of years can revitalise their entire surroundings. To have an idea of what this may look like, make sure to check out the videos about his work. You may like to start with the below, on his project in Tamera, Portugal where Sepp Holzer created water retention basins and now the land is vibrant and healthy once again:
Sepp Holzer says that decentralised water retention basins covering approximately 10% of the land are sufficient to heal any land. Something to take into account if you own any land. Please check out his work and get inspired.
More later!

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