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Water-wise greening in dry subtropical Canary  RSS feed

 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1318
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
24
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My signature includes a link to my photo album, with a lot of sub-albums with plants and also some sceneries.

My place is great for gardening.
I already have 100 trees on 1 acre, and more room but dry and rocky with pines. It is said we live here in an ever-spring, and also that we have 5000 micro-climates! The climate is good but special here. Zone 11 or I should say 12 if it exists, and not so hot in summer, except when the wind comes from the Sahara desert!

As an island, no native mammals but bats... and now only hunters as predators of the introduced rabbits! No fox, no deer... But rats of course! The Canaries are special for plants too, there was no other fruit tree than the fig-tree! The guanches people, the aborigines from here, had goats, as it was not possible to rely only on plants. By the way, here there were blond people (berbere) killed by darker ones!

There are no rivers but yet water there (springs upward, I have little rain and no well), and so the Spanish people cultivated tropicals that can't be found in peninsular Spain, mainly bananas, and other plants that are mostly found in Europe as veggies, and some other tropicals, mostly needing a lot of water.

So my project is to look for water-wise plants from all other the world. I care about what can be invasive, sure, but not so much when I see the prickly pears that we like and are no more natives than the many wild almond trees! So I will introduce fruits and veggies that are other than papaya, guava and sweet potatoes. I am over a 100... and still find new ones I like!

I will for sure have hens, worms, and I care about having a compost toilet, solar water, solar cooking, rocket stove and biochar catalysis cooker... Sure these kind of ideas sound "normal" for you here!

In this post, appart from pics, I think it can be interesting if I list my plants and wishes.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1318
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
24
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I can already say a little more...

Starting in 2011 with an existing orchard of oranges, avocados and mangos, on about 1 acre (3 more are dry slopes). Other fruits exist or have been recently planted. The total is about 100 trees, some being between 18 and 60 years old.

I think about self-feeding more than selling, as agriculture here is totally non competitive!
Californian almonds are even cheaper than local ones you find at the market directly from the producer.

Gardening here is very exciting, because the place is very varied considering sun and wind, and needs to think a lot before planting. It is nevessary to gather a lot of information about a plant before selecting what might be the best place.

As I am in a deep little valley, a ravine called "barranco", I am quite protected from the wind. We can have occasional storms. The earth is a good loam with stones, and so with air trapped when they filled the terraces behind the walls. So the terraces with stones walls prevent from keeping a lot of water in the soil. Then, other parts are rubble and also some natural slopes with an unknown underground depth, and cliffs.

It is quite isolated and so it is beautiful and silent, though I have the bus 1/4hour by foot from the house.
 
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