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forest gardening in Arizona?

 
Chris Trammell
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Hi Dave my name is Chris. I have been following your your site for some time trying to find as much as possible about all forums set in my climate. Which happens to be Phx Az I've seen very little and everything here is backwards ! I just finished sepps book desert or paradise. What are some other book suggestions or people to look into?? I'm currently moving to a 2 acre parcel in town with irrigation and a 7 stall barn. I understand irrigation hurts the earth and will damage land over time but with the lack of rain heat and dryness it's tough to grow anything but cactus lol. I've been pondering ponds and such but implementation can be disasterous if not thought out so I need some permie super hero books to guide me hope you have some suggestions that are more focused on my issues? thank you Duke!
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Brad Lancaster is a Tucson native, and has written a series of 2 books about rainwater harvesting.

Vol. 1 is primarily principles - should read 1st (@ the library?)
Vol. 2 is the nuts-and-bolts of implementing it - you need this volume at home.

Here is his site (tons of good info):
http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/
 
Dave Jacke
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Chris definitely check out Brad Lancaster's work. Also Gary Paul Nabhan has some great stuff for your region. Art LUdwig has some great stuff on greywater use that will probably be helpful in your region too--you'll want to use water extremely well, both coming and going.

Generally, though, if forest is not the natural vegetation of your region, then forests are not what you should mimic. Not that it's impossible: Irrigation can make the difference, as can careful microclimate design, but I'd be cautious--don't want to make your soils salty, or become dependent on unsustainable resources! Mimic the natural vegetation of the region, mostly, and modify a small area if you can. Or move! Hate to say that . . . but my sense is that Phoenix is living on ancient and/or very distant water, and ancient sunlight (oil) is all that makes it possible for the tens of thousands there to survive. But I don't know the whole scene, so don't take my word for it--others know the situation better than I. I'm sure there are local examples you can bounce off of.

Best wishes!

d
 
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