Hello to all from Southern Arizona.
I have been looking for information on sustainable building and came across Permies. I think this may be the motherlode.
I am hoping to start small and learn so one day I can break ground on a house.
If anyone knows of any info particular to the Arizona desert please let me know
A Kentucky hello to Rae , from a 35 year resident of Sonora. The desert is a lush and vibrant place is it not. JLHudson Seedman sells many native desert seeds - one which I have an interest in is Lycium exsertum - native to Arizona relative of Goji berry - makes "edible and abundant red berries " . Of course citrus , olives , prunus , apple , pistachio will grow great where you are. Will need varying degrees of irrigation. I used to start my tomatos in Febuary and they would be done by June unless you could screen them from the super heat. A freind would sheet mulch with cardboard and black plastic - used drip irrigation below the mulch and had abundant tomatos all summer into fall. Phoenix and Tucson have Permaculture societies. Jojoba , mesquite , prickly pear - nopales , Hopi corn .
There are native corn , squash , beans available . Are you in a riperian zone , plateau , river/ flood zone ? If you want chickens or livestock you will have to think like a coyote. Good luck. Watch out for snakes - they are beautiful and timid .
For unlimited return on all your investments - Make your deposits at 'The Entangled Bank' !
Looks like you did hit the Motherlode! The links I've clicked on in this thread are looking good already! (especially the "Harvesting Rainwater" link!)
I don't know how far South you are, but if you're near Patagonia, you might want to look at what Gabriel Cousens has done at his little Tree of Life ranch/retreat. His focus is natural health/healing, and grows plants for some of his 'remedies.'
I AM a Warrior in whom
the ways of the Olde
enhance the ways of the New
When you decide to buy from him make certain to request a catalog.
His catalog is full of good info. I often use it as a reference.
(The only problem is that you will find $1,000 worth of seeds you need)
His prices are very good, and he is usually quite generous on seed counts.
In case you make it to Tucson now and then, there is a permaculture club here. Go to meetupDOTcom (free!) and search for permaculture. There is also an aquaponics group. I belong to both. There is a permaculture guild here. Brad Lancaster and also Seedsavers.org
A primitive description of a quick and dirty BIG “Earthbox”. Dig a hole, say 4’ x 8’ x 1-1/2’ deep. Line with heavy duty plastic. Using a 4’ wide roll of fiberglass plant blocking cloth line the bottom of the hole, flood with about 3” of water and fill to top of water with volcanic rock (lots of pores). Fold another layer of cloth over and cut from roll. Push cloth down into rocks. A piece of plastic pipe big enough to reach into, as long as the bed is deep. Slice top cloth and insert pipe vertical, down to bottom cloth. Slice drains around the walls just below the level of the top cloth.
Put in your wood & soil. We then "mulched" the top with pieces of old carpet, upside down with holes cut for plants. Do the bulk of the watering via the stand pipe.