Robert’s book is quite remarkable and offers great information on growing and propagating these species. He doesn’t say which are edible or otherwise useful though. This article is intended as a “key” to help permaculturists and edible landscapers utilize his book to select species for a cold, arid perennial food production system. I’ve already cross-indexed them with other resources for you. High and Dry also has much to say on the subject of gardening in cold, dry climates in general – for example, he reports that most of these plants grow in soils with little or no organic matter in their native habitats, and are more vulnerable to disease in compost-enriched soils.
Subtropical desert (Köppen: BWh)
Elevation: 1090 ft Annual rainfall: 7"
Neil Bertrando recommended this book on permies awhile back (cant remember which thread), and i think it is a must for anyone in the intermountain west.
when the author (from Denver) talks about dryland garden, he refers to NO irrigation after the first year [generally]. any plant that can live on the natural rainfall is a keeper for sure.
i also really like the section on rock gardens, but wish the tree section were larger.
I own the book - though it has been a couple years since I read it...
My memory of it is that he strongly promotes native plants and no irrigation after plants are established. IMO he comes across as a curmudgeon about it. The book has some good information. Although from a permaculture standpoint, I think Eric's article (linked in the original post) summarizes some of the most useful information.
Solar Station Construction Plans by Ben Peterson -- ebook