My husband has tasked me with getting as much info as I can on sustainable farming, permaculture in semi arid, high plains area. We get little rainfall in our area and have a short growing season. We'd like to do more with our 4 acres, but much of the literature that I have talks of building ponds, or grazing.... I know a pond here would dry up pretty quickly, and our soil isn't good enough (yet) to sustain livestock. Can anyone point me in the right direction as far as gathering information on this? Does anyone know of any permie groups in my area?
Thank you so much!
Be sure you take some time to read a bunch at permies too !
In perhaps a shameless plug, Columbia Basin Permaculture has been working on just such an environment for the past six years.
For a basic synopsis of what we in dry/hot summer/cold winter/windy environs are up against, check out www.growritzville.com.
The initial condition is evapo-transpiration exceeds precipitation. This means that anything and everything we do to capture and preserve moisture (whether in storage ponds/tanks or in the soil) is essential. The goal is to "effectively" reverse the inequality such that we end up with an abundance of water with which to live and grow our forests/gardens.
Mulch, compost, obtaining just about any organic debris, windbreaks, shade techinques, hoop houses, earth sheltered greenhouses, hugelkultur ... all contribute to rebalancing the initial inequality in our favor.
Bill Kearns - Ritzville
Columbia Basin Permaculture
If nobody pokes their heads in, I'll share what I've tried so far to answer my own question.
Bonnie Eveland wrote:Hello, fellow Helena-area permies! I am interested in meeting/communicating with any of you for the purposes of learning and support. I am minutes outside Helena on nearly 13 acres, which are begging to be utilized in a sustainable fashion. I would love to have the place running to a point of being able to help train and sustain lower income folks to help them become more self-sufficient and healthy. Long term, would like to host training for gardening, food preservation, nutrition and maybe even cob-house building. I am new to permaculture, but quite committed to the concept.
Hi Bonnie, I'm in the Helena area just North of Lincoln Rd. on 11 acres and am also looking for some like minded permies in the area to talk to and swap ideas. I'm also fairly new to permaculture hearing about it first from Jack Spirko's survival podcast. This year I just started a food forest/windbreak at my place but I'm particularly interested in proving to people that "Flathead" cherries CAN be grown this side of the divide! Let me know if you would like to chat and swap ideas. And that's an open invite for anyone in the Helena area!