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Others from the SW United States?

 
Chris Miller
Posts: 11
Location: Off-grid in Terlingua, TX
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Heya!

I am looking to connect with others who are dedicated to regreening the deserts of the Southwest US. If you have a blog we could check out please share that as well.

We're down here in the Chihuahuan Desert in SW Texas on the border of Mexico. 85 acres right now, completely off-grid. We catch all of our water from a pretty good sized roof we put up. We've built at the first small hill coming out of a giant draw at around 3200 feet and the rest of our property is up behind us and continues to increase in elevation before dead ending at the base of a big mesa at roughly 3700 feet. We've begun putting in a series of trincheras to slow the flow of water in the arroyos and have begun putting ponds in as well to keep the water as high up on the property as possible.

We're only into our first year at our homestead but we've come a long way in a short time. We're hoping to learn more and get even more done in 2014.

If you're interested in checking out our blog, it's in the signature below.

Thanks and i'm looking forward to connecting with you!
 
Tony de Veyra
Posts: 18
Location: Pomona, CA
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Hey Chris, I'm in the SW desert as well though I'm quite a ways off from you and my project is a LOT smaller. I'm in the victor valley area of CA. I'm just finishing up my ag degree in Pomona, but I'm going to be back to my house and 1.25 acre lot to work full-time on improving the property by June.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3766
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Chris and welcome to permies!

Sounds like quite a nice place you have.

Yep - there are several of us in the drylands on this site. I'm an urban permie - VERY different from where you're at - but I'm doing my part to help regreen the desert. I do a lot of work with Watershed Management Group out of Tucson. WMG is VERY dedicated to rehydrating drylands and restoring abundance.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures of your homestead!

Jen in Phoenix.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
gardener
Posts: 318
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Hello Chris, welcome to Permies!

I've been trying to find everyone doing Permaculture in NM. I'll share my list:

Santa Fe Permaculture - Santa Fe
Permaculture Institute - Santa Fe
San Isidro Permaculture - Santa Fe
Soilutions - Albuquerque
High Desert Resiliency (this is me!) - Albuquerque
Transition UNM - Albuquerque
Albuquerque old Skool - Albuquerque
La Abeja Herbs - Albuquerque
La Abeja Farms - Albuquerque
Dry Land Solutions - Craig Sponholtz – Greater Albuquerque
Joel Glanzberg – Northern NM
Flowering Tree Permaculture – Santa Clara Pueblo
Mick Gorospe - Albuquerque (He's on Permies)
Mark Andrews – Roswell (He's on Permies)
Paul Gutches – Taos (He's on Permies)
Youtube User moviedoo - Silver City (deleted his Youtube account)

These are the individuals I've found so far. Some I've been in contact with others not. I've discovered that there are a lot of Permaculture people in the desert, yet not a lot post on Permies.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Brett Andrzejewski wrote:I've discovered that there are a lot of Permaculture people in the desert, yet not a lot post on Permies.


So true!

There is a fairly large permaculture community in Phoenix - the largest group is the Valley Permaculture Alliance (whose Ning network I designed back in 2008 - they are now over 5000 members). There's also a LOT of permaculturists in Tucson and quite a few in Flagstaff.
 
Enrique Garcia
Posts: 86
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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I'm Enrique in Las Vegas, NV. We have a Permaculture group here (Great Basin Permaculture) plus a friend bought 40 acres in AZ we are planning to create a Permie Learning & Spiritual Center with ... we have already begun ... I am turning my home into an example as well .. & I'm taking LArry Santoyo's Permie course in LA where toby hemenway & John Valenzuela have spoken ... our lil group design is to do a similar thing in LA with vacant lots which our team met with the Mayor's office there ... based on this thread the Desert should be green in no time !!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Enrique Garcia wrote:I'm Enrique in Las Vegas, NV. ... based on this thread the Desert should be green in no time !!


First of all - welcome to Permies, Enrique! AND I have to agree with you on that last statement.

Have you contacted Tree People out of LA? (Santoyo is part of them I believe). Good folks. Wish they had a way of cloning themselves in other areas. I actually proposed this to them at one time not long ago. Right now, they just aren't there yet.
 
Travis Krause
Posts: 26
Location: D'Hanis, Texas
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Welcome Chris! We live near Uvalde, TX a little over one hour west of San Antonio on Hwy 90. We have about 500 acres to work with and the desert seems to be getting closer every year. In fact, we haven't received over 18 inches of rainfall in the past 6 years due to severe drought.

Would love to come visit you guys while we are in the Big Bend region! Good luck!

,Travis Krause
-parkercreekranch.com

 
Enrique Garcia
Posts: 86
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Have you contacted Tree People out of LA? (Santoyo is part of them I believe). Good folks. Wish they had a way of cloning themselves in other areas. I actually proposed this to them at one time not long ago. Right now, they just aren't there yet.

Yes, Eli in our class is with them I believe .. they just had a fruit tree giveaway a Saturday or 2 ago ... awesome people ... uh, what did you propose to them ?

Nice to meet you Jennifer !!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Enrique Garcia wrote:Yes, Eli in our class is with them I believe .. they just had a fruit tree giveaway a Saturday or 2 ago ... awesome people ... uh, what did you propose to them ?


I asked them if they had a mechanism in place to start a local branch (so to speak) of Tree People in Phoenix. We do have a local tree org - Arizona Community Tree Council - they are great folks but they are not as active as Tree People, or as focused on urban forestry.

They told me they didn't have the resources to do this when I asked (about 6-7 months ago).
 
T Phillips
Posts: 34
Location: Colorado Springs, CO zone 5A / Canon City, CO zone 5B
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Colorado newbie here-

Our 35 acre place is near the Royal Gorge, Canon City, Colorado. It has been grazed for as long as anyone can remember - at least since the 60's. We have lots of dying pinons, lots of surviving juniper, and more Russian thistle than you can shake a stick at. The terrain is quite varied - steep and rocky to gently sloping. Horses stopped grazing 2 years ago, and we are seeing an increase in native grasses. When the horse shed blew down, we got enough from the insurance company to dig a well, and it turned out to be artisan, just like several of our neighbors up the mountain. (We're at the bottom.) So we've got a bit of blue gold to work with. Now to figure out how to use it properly... so the state doesn't stick its nose in. Mums the word.

Since we don't live there full time - the house in town won't sell - we have no cash to swale or even throw down some straw bales to slow summer's monsoons. But it is really neat to see how the water that flows into the existing erosion channel has greened the edges. We have so many more birds than we ever did before. Water IS life. It has been pretty humbling for this city kid to witness these changes.

I'm glad to see other folks from the arid West here - it can get pretty depressing to see all the photos of lushness in other areas!

Tina
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Tina and welcome to Permies!

Jen in Phoenix.
 
Max Miller
Posts: 9
Location: Yuma, Arizona
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
Brett Andrzejewski wrote:I've discovered that there are a lot of Permaculture people in the desert, yet not a lot post on Permies.


So true!

There is a fairly large permaculture community in Phoenix - the largest group is the Valley Permaculture Alliance (whose Ning network I designed back in 2008 - they are now over 5000 members). There's also a LOT of permaculturists in Tucson and quite a few in Flagstaff.


There's at least one of us (me) over in here in Yuma Arizona.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Max and welcome to permies!

I know at LEAST one other person from Yuma who's doing permaculture - he was in geoff lawton's online PDC with me last year. We are EVERYWHERE!
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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Hello. I'm just getting started in S.E. Arizona.
 
ernie ernies
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Phoenix here!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hey Ernie - welcome to Permies!
 
Ichabod Shorthouse
Posts: 48
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Chris is doing awesome stuff and has accomplished much in what many of us here have been discussing in a short period of time. Welcome Chris. I am glad to see you here. Jason S
 
Jeff Rash
Posts: 90
Location: Arizona & North Dakota
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Hello!

Jeff in Arizona AND North Dakota. Happy to say hi.

YLE
 
Nix Calder
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
Brett Andrzejewski wrote:I've discovered that there are a lot of Permaculture people in the desert, yet not a lot post on Permies.


So true!

There is a fairly large permaculture community in Phoenix - the largest group is the Valley Permaculture Alliance (whose Ning network I designed back in 2008 - they are now over 5000 members). There's also a LOT of permaculturists in Tucson and quite a few in Flagstaff.



Haha! This is wonderful, thanks for this connection. Moving to Arizona in March. The Chino Valley area Near the Prescott National Forest to be more exact. Working on building connections in that area.
 
Scott Kopetzky
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Nix,
My wife and I are also moving to the Prescott area in March. We are now looking for a place to rent until we find a suitable property to buy. When we get settled, we will have to get together. It is awesome knowing that there will be other permies in the area. I look forward to meeting you.

Scott
 
Nix Calder
Posts: 4
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Scott Kopetzky wrote:Nix,
My wife and I are also moving to the Prescott area in March. We are now looking for a place to rent until we find a suitable property to buy. When we get settled, we will have to get together. It is awesome knowing that there will be other permies in the area. I look forward to meeting you.

Scott


Nice! Have you been to the area before or are you moving to someplace completely different from where you are now?

Have you researched about that area's geology or geography at all? I'm pouring over as much information as I can these days and am curious to know what others know. Just curious, what's driving you to the Prescott area?
 
Scott Kopetzky
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Nix,
We were just down there last week. We have been looking to relocate to a warmer climate and Prescott offers that and much more. The only research I have done on the area has been here on the greening the desert forum and reading Brad Lancasters books on water harvesting. Looking forward to getting to Arizona and doing my part to make it greener.

Scott
 
Jeff Rash
Posts: 90
Location: Arizona & North Dakota
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Prescott. Visited it many times, wish I could live there!

Soil is loose and black, very rich looking and smelling. Should be awesome for growing. Most of the farmers have left, as the land is selling off for building. Their are still plenty of cattle ranchers there.

Climate is MUCH more like a mild mid-western environment. Now before anyone freaks, let me explain.

Winters are cold, as this is a mountain region. There is snow there, but usually its pretty mild. In this respect it is not like some of the Midwest. It can however snow 3 or 4 feet in a major storm! Rain cycle is a lot like the Midwest too. Spring rains give way to long dry spells. Summer thunderstorms can be much like the Midwest, but there are real droughts some years too. All in all, it should do really with earthworks and "hugelkultur" type methods. Just build deep, as you may go sometime without rain. If you can get year round running water on the property- you are set!

You might run into some resistance from those that think modifying your land is "a sin." Make sure you find that out before you buy! Trying to convince folks that see a tractor as an enemy is hard to do. Its the political types that get onto county boards and as mentioned in other posts, want to force their point of view on others. (Read "eco witch hunt" posts.)

All in all, I think its an awesome place and if I could have afforded it, I would have lived there. Hopefully you can afford the land prices out there. If you can't, there is plenty of room out in the deserts of Kingman Arizona. I am working to adapt permie methods to Arizona deserts and you are welcome to my research and advice. Land is cheap, cheap, cheap too. I paid $15,000 for ten acres of totally flat land. Plus the county could care less what you do there.

One other caveat about the Prescott region, there are rattlesnakes there. Coming from someplace else, that might be a bit daunting to you at first. But if you take precautions, you will be fine. They really don't want to bother you and are not aggressive. There are black widow spiders too. But again, the threat is over rated. (I have been bitten by one- not as bad as one might think.)

Make sure you eat at the Prescott Brewery! OMG, awesome food.

YLE


 
Troy Groves
Posts: 2
Location: Desert Hills, AZ
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I am over in Arizona, have about 5 acres to work with. Working on water harvesting and planting trees right now.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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Jeff Rash wrote:All in all, I think its an awesome place and if I could have afforded it, I would have lived there. Hopefully you can afford the land prices out there. If you can't, there is plenty of room out in the deserts of Kingman Arizona. I am working to adapt permie methods to Arizona deserts and you are welcome to my research and advice. Land is cheap, cheap, cheap too. I paid $15,000 for ten acres of totally flat land. Plus the county could care less what you do there.

One other caveat about the Prescott region, there are rattlesnakes there.



YLE



I just want to add to what Jeff said. If you look for real estate elsewhere, Take a look at S.E. AZ. People act as if this area doesn't even exist. My land is in an area full of farms & vineyards. Prices for grassland is still cheap & water tables are great. Also, there are lots of resources because of all the farming.
Don't worry about all the talk you hear on the news about drug cartels and violence. It's safer down there than just about anywhere in the state. Lots of Mojave rattlers though.
 
Jeff Rash
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Wayne is right, the drug cartels are overblown. They are like every other criminal organization, they don't want the limelight. Limelight gets the attention of everyone and that's not a way to run a successful drug cartel. They don't just go stomping on anyone and everything out there either. Everything is planned out, I am sure and its amazing how the authorities are always busy somewhere else when the shipment comes through...

Regardless, it is usually your friends that kill you, not nameless, faceless drug cartels. Don't get chummy with the wrong folks and all will, usually, be well.

Invest in a good firearm if you are really worried and carry concealed if you feel the need. You can do that in AZ now without a permit.

We have a similar reputation in Kingman for meth. In reality, VERY small amounts of the population are involved and they mostly peck on each other. Like I said, its WHO you associate with that gets you killed, not a total stranger met by accident.

Wayne is right about the rattlers though. They are an issue, but I don't know anyone who ever got bit. You "hear" about it, but it is always this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guys brother...

YLE
 
Trish Sanders
Posts: 4
Location: NE AZ USA, 6b
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Hi Chris,

I'm in eastern AZ, south of Sanders, with 40 acres grazing land at 5800 ft. Have not started work yet.

Thanks for the thread & blog link.

Trish
 
Juanita Colucci
Posts: 8
Location: Mohave Desert, AZ
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Bullhead City here .... urban?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Juanita and welcome to Permies!

Jen
 
Brett Andrzejewski
gardener
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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Juanita Colucci wrote:Bullhead City here .... urban?


Hello Juanita, nothing wrong with a Permaculture mentality in a urban environment. You don't need a lot of land to do great things.
 
shauna carr
Posts: 84
Location: Sonoran Desert, USA
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I'm new - just south of Tucson with maybe 1/2 an acre, so more urban than rural premie, here. Looking forward to getting to know you all.

Re: buying land down here in AZ and the potential drug cartels, Coyotes, and such down in Southern AZ, though, I'd say one warning: find out where the most coyote traffic is. Because that CAN be a problem.

Had a friend down further south with 10 acres and it turned out that the area was harder for the border patrol to monitor, so when border security was tightened, the Coyotes started funneling through their land more to avoid the border patrol. They had dead bodies near their property from people killed by the Coyotes who abandoned them, people coming to the house when just the mom and kids were there and they had to call the authorities, and the fifth time they had the border patrol come onto their land - without even speaking to them - and have an honest-to-god shoot-out with the Coyotes, they finally gave up and sold.

This is NOT typical, but as I understand it, the tightening of the border has resulted in some 'corridors' like this where it's easier to avoid detection. So...just good to check on this before buying to make sure you aren't IN one of these corridors, you know?

Drug cartels - they're having some influence here, but it's more in the realm of agents, reporters, and officials, that I know of (for example: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/drug-cartels-mexico-hire-u-s-soldiers-assassins-article-1.1454851 ). Disturbing, but doesn't affect most of us.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
gardener
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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Yes, the wealth gap between the US/Mexico is definitely a driving force for crime, violence and an opportunity for some to take advantage of those in need. I hope with the legalization of pot in more and more states that it greatly reduces the financial influence and power of the drug cartels. I've heard of corruption that allow the drug corridors to exist.
 
shauna carr
Posts: 84
Location: Sonoran Desert, USA
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I hope so too, Brett.

Although the corridors in this case sound like they're more a matter of geography than anything else. The hills and valleys just south of where my friends lived made communication via cell phone or other wireless devices nearly impossible, as I understand it, so agents couldn't get back up quickly enough if they spotted a problem. Sounds like as a result, the agents simply waited until coyote drug runners emerged from these areas to try and engage them, and that just happened to be right around my friend's property.



shauna
 
Deb Fearon
Posts: 5
Location: high prairie, New Mexico
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My son and I bought 5 acres on the high prairie in Central New Mexico. We rebuilt the burnt out house and have planted lots of trees. We sit over a huge aquifer that's quickly becoming depleted with pivot irrigation of alfalfa. I've been able to set up a few large cisterns to collect rain water. Rocks have been collected from the side of the road and used to build one rock dams and berms. It's slow and steady work but I've witnessed great changes, wild flowers, hardy grasses coming back and more shade than when we purchased the land.
my advice, use what you have, start at the top of the hill and don't ask, just do it.
 
Rebecca Treeseed
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Location: New Mexico
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Wonderful!

I am creating a food forest in Santa Fe County, NM. My blog is at treeseeddreaming.com.

I am creating a hugelkultur bed, bermed some runoff spots, and just getting started with it all.

I am excited to see so many others creating permaculture oases in the dry Southwest.
 
Carolyn Redmond
Posts: 11
Location: Northern Nevada zone 5b
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Just found this site the other day and this thread today!

I have 10 acres in arid northern Nevada. I doubt I'd be able to green the whole thing (not enough energy) but I'd like to be able to do what I can around the house and barns. We get, on average, 5" of precipitation per year. That includes any snow fall. It's a pretty sad and bleak situation but we like it here. It's a desert farming community. Lots of cattle (mostly dairy) being raised and decreasing amounts of alfalfa being grown due to the drought. I would love some trees to plant in my chicken yards for shade and hopefully some fruit for them/us. Some trees to shade the house would be really nice too. Some kind of greens growing for a front "yard" would be beneficial. Doesn't have to be grass, in fact, I'd prefer a bunch of broadleaf weeds that I can mow a little bit every day so my birds have some fresh greens.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 105
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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Carolyn Redmond wrote: I would love some trees to plant in my chicken yards for shade and hopefully some fruit for them/us. Some trees to shade the house would be really nice too. Some kind of greens growing for a front "yard" would be beneficial.


I don't know if chickens like the fruit, but I suggest getting some Jujube trees. They are super tough trees built for the desert.
 
Carolyn Redmond
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Location: Northern Nevada zone 5b
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Thank you Wayne. I'll look into them.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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