Permaculture enthusiasts are quick to make bold claims about food forests feeding the world. But how often do we see successful permaculture programs in the regions that suffer most from drought, famine, conflict or food insecurity? As we've reported before, Australian permaculture practitioner Geoff Lawton has been aiming to fix that, developing demonstration permaculture projects specifically designed for dry land desert environments.
Greening the Desert II is Geoff's latest project. Set in Jawfa, in the Dead Sea Valley of Jordan, the site consists of a one acre plot where Geoff and his crew of interns and volunteers are creating a food forest, education center and experimental permaculture plot. Using everything from chicken tractors to recycled gray water, and from worm composting to foraging ducks, the central effort seems to be around conserving scarce water and nutrients, building up fertile soil, and creating cooling micro-climates to protect tender crops from the desert heat.
Below is an update from Geoff on the project so far. According to the project's Facebook page, Greening the Desert II has also been responsible for disseminating composting worms to other farms across Jordan.