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What's the definitive book on drylands permaculture??

 
mark anstice
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Hey All

If you were starting a project in a very dry land, which book would you have on your desk before any other?

Here I am in Morocco starting quite a large permaculture project involving several hundred, very dry hectares and the 30+ families living in them and I don't have a single book on permaculture. If I was to buy just one, which would you recommend?

Of course I've devoured every video and lesson that our crappy internet connection allows - I have to travel 200kms to see any of geoff lawton's unfortunately - but it's so easy to be distracted using the net and I think we ought to have some books here. And naturally I would love to have Bill Mollinson's definitive guide but we're a start up charity and money is tight so for the moment €200 on a book is out of the question, especially when a lot of it will have only vague relevance to the problems here. Or am I wrong on that?

Any advice on this will be acted on immediately!

My thanks

Mark
Fertile Roots Foundation
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Hi Mark and welcome to Permies:

As for a definitive book - there's not one....yet. However, there are resources.

I would start with Brad Lancaster's books, "Water Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Vol 1 and 2" (there will be a third volume out next year - that one will be about water storage in various vessels). Volume 1 has been translated into Arabic. Geoff Lawton often references Brad's work and I know the "Greening the Desert" project in Jordan is already in possession of some of the Arabic volumes.

Then I would go to permaculture global and read anything you can about the various dryland projects there and print them out if you can. I need to compile this list for my own purposes, so after I'm done (probably take a few days to find and order all the information) I'll also post that info here. Here are a couple recent posts for starters.

Organic farm at Wadi Rum (Jordan)
Greening the Desert - the Sequel Novemeber 2013 update



 
Brett Andrzejewski
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Hello Mark,

Welcome to Permies!

I would also start with Brad Lancaster's books "Water harvesting for Drylands and Beyond" Vol 1 and 2. Both are a very applicable reference for not only harvesting rainwater, but also passive solar utilization, Permaculture like principles, calculations, references, entertaining and inspiring, and much more. After reading the books I have seen the techniques applied in many locations of my high desert region.

Good luck!
 
Walter McQuie
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Location: Northern New Mexico
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Perhaps 'Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty' by Gary Paul Nabham. I haven't started reading it yet but bought it at the Quivera Coalition Conference in November after hearing him speak there. He's a sharp and experienced guy. Chelsea Green sells it: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/growing_food_in_a_hotter_drier_land:paperback
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Walter - good choice! I haven't purchased it yet but intend to. I've seen Gary speak several times and he knows his stuff. Putting that book on my "list".
 
Julie Gahn
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Location: Northeast Oklahoma
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Holistic Management by Allan Savory with Jody Butterfield. You can search for Allan's posts here on premies.com to get an idea of what he's about. I think understanding his work is important, no matter what your environment, but especially if you're in a brittle environment.
Best wishes!
 
mark anstice
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Thank you all.
Brad Lancaster's first book translated into Arabic goes straight to the top of the list, not because i could make head or tail of it, but there's a few of the younger men here who can read and it ought to be circulating around the houses here. I'll get the English one for me.
Nabham's book sounds ideal too. I've just downloaded a scanned PDF of Mollinson's Designer's Manual but it's slightly out of focus and is hard work to read.

I'll get shopping! Thanks again.

Mark
www.facebook.com/fertileroots (website to follow)

70m asl, no soil, hot and windy, more wind, salt too and 1.1mm since April - I must be a loony
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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