I would appreciate any resource information regarding perennial and forest gardens for the desert Southwest, Sonoran desert.
I have an urban farm in Scottsdale, a suburb of Phoenix, AZ. I am currently a PDC student. I have canopy Aleppo pine, Willow acacia, elm, african sumac, palo verde, tamarisk, over & beside deciduous stone fruit, pom fruit, almonds & fig trees....perennial grapes, blackberries, asparagus, artichokes, herbs, peppers, eggplant. Those are in "N40" (approx. 40'x40'), my first section installed at the farm. As I have nurtured the deciduous trees the canopy has almost overcome my incoming sunshine, yet provides protection from the cruel summer temperatures.
I am installing the greywater fed section next and searching for any/all additional information of forest garden successes (& failures) here in my immediate region.
I'd also very much appreciate more information about your involvement with Organic Valley Co-op, how the co-op model works for a farmer, how it might work for an urban (small) farmer, any thoughts along those lines. I am part of a group trying to create something similar here in our area.
Thanks Tyler! Both of those sources are great resources, but both are based in Tucson, AZ, 1000 ft. higher than I am here in the Phoenix Metro area. I've attended talks by Brad Lancaster and he will be one of the presenters at my PDC course (as well as Toby Hemenway/gaia's garden author). We get extreme heat here in the 'Valley of the Sun'...and low chill hours for fruit (150-250 hrs on average), odd rainfall pattern of calm rain in the winter months (not much in the way of inches), and wild crazy monsoon storms in late summer (dropping up to 3+ inches in a matter of hours). My goal is to produce a balanced nutrient, edible harvest/production year round using what water we have here as wisely as possible. Might be I'm one of the ones developing 'best practices' for my location.....was hoping Mark Shepard would have some good ideas. We are similar in climate to the Middle East and some other areas, haven't done all of my research as of yet.