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So. I'm originally from New England. We get 30-40+ inches of rain per year, so the only constraint I consistently pay attention to is how cold-hardy something is.

I'm down with all of the water capturing and retention tecniques, e.g. hugelkulture, berms and swales on contour, rain barrels, mulch, MORE organic matter, nitrogen-fixing trees etc. Beyond this, I want to expand my list of useful plants that specifically don't need a TON of water *and* are cold-hardy (Zone 5a). I just bought "Drought Tolerant Plants" at a used book store, but it's aimed at people that like ornamentals and lawns.

Honey Locust
Sage
Jerusalem Artichoke
http://swidahopermaculture.wordpress.com/category/planning/drought-tolerant/
Siberian Sea Berries

Thoughts?
 
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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You might start with your local Ag Extension office - they usually have lots of useful info for your particular area. Where are you located in the Rockies?

And....you might, like me, lust for this book: Legumes of the World. (pricey!)
 
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Apricot, Filberts, Oregon Myrtle, Almond, Jujube, Autumn Olive family, Mulberry, Beautyberry, Gooseberries, Grapes, Walnut, everything in the mint family (mint, thyme, oregano, etc).


With the amount of rain that you get you really dont have to worry about rainfall, just planting at least 25% of your garden at Nitrogen fixers, an mulching to feed the fungi an cut down on soil evaporation
 
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