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Forest Gardens in Utah and Arizona

 
J. Henry Harris
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Location: Ivoryton, CT
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I'll be traveling through southern Utah and all throughout Arizona over the next couple weeks. Is anyone in those areas forest gardening? My friend and I would love the opportunity to visit and learn about what you're doing. We haven't had much luck yet! Thanks
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Check out some of Ann Torrence's threads - such as this one: http://www.permies.com/t/34064/permaculture/Throwing-tree-planting-party She's in Utah. You can visit her blog on her Fermentable Fedge too!

In the hot desert in Southern AZ (Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma) - the best example of a food forest is what's going on in Brad Lancaster's neighborhood in Tucson.

Keep in mind that "food forests" will look VASTLY, HUGELY, IMMENSELY different in hot drylands than they do in humid climates. They major mostly in native legumes like mesquite (edible pods) and other desert food sources like prickly pear, native peppers, herbs, other cactus fruit such as chollas (edible buds), etc. Some people claim to be growing sustainable food forests (common types of fruit like citrus, stone fruit, etc) in the desert, but really they're importing a bunch of water to support exotic species that would die if this water was not available (ask me how I know!) There is a succession pattern in time for developing desert food forests - it takes longer than in humid climates and there is much less information on how to do it. Thus we are inventing it as we go along. And so there are fewer examples. We must first plant the water, then build the soil, then create shade (native trees) then, once we've done all that, we might get away with having some food crops like jujubes and pomegranates survive without supplemental water.
 
J. Henry Harris
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Location: Ivoryton, CT
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Great! Just got in touch with Ann, we'll be planting some trees with her today. Appreciate the info about forest gardens-it'll be interesting to see how a planned desert forest garden looks compared to the natural systems we've seen.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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J - I'm a little envious that you get to help Ann out! Take some pictures will you.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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You might also contact Wayne Mackenzie - he is growing some acreage of jujubes in SE AZ. Interesting project!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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You can find water harvesting demo sites HERE - some of them are food-producing sites. Some are part of urban forest infill, etc.

You can also sign up to participate in water harvesting events in Phoenix and Tucson during your visit if you are interested.

In Tucson, Watershed Management Group is even appearing on the TV show "Fix It Finish It Home Makeover" - for people in need.
Monday, May 5
Fix It Finish It Home Makeover Co-op Workshop
Mon, May 5, 1:30pm – 5:30pm
Near Valencia and I-19 (map)

Description
Join WMG for this exciting workshop as we team up with Fix It, Finish It, a television show which provides home make-overs to families in need. We'll have one day to transform the front yard at this Tucson home, removing an old asphalt driveway and incorporating passive water harvesting features and native plantings. Our workshop and final project will be featured on Fix It, Finish It when the shows airs later this year.
Click here to sign up
 
Ann Torrence
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Was great to meet you Henry and pals. Thanks for the shovel work. Thanks for the recommendation Jen.
Someday Stray Arrow will look like something to be photographed (can do worse than designing ones own photography playground, although I am no Matisse). Trees are the skeleton. It will take years to put flesh on these bones.

Riffing off the line from Godfather "give me five years and I'll have this family farm completely guilded."
Safe travels and come back any time.
 
J. Henry Harris
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Location: Ivoryton, CT
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Our pleasure, Ann. Looking forward to the future stages of your orchard. Thanks for the info, Jennifer--looking forward to meeting you this week! Would've been cool to help out with that project in Tucson, but we're busy here in Phoenix and planning to head down there anyways next week.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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