I used to work at Sunseed Desert Technology in Spain and we tried various agricultural techniques to grow edible tree species. Originally we planted things like Acacia, in an attempt to reforest a desert area. The trees grew well but became invasive and were not a particularly useful crop. Also the fake pepper tree, pistacio and eucalyptus did well. When I arrived I decided to try and reforest only with native tree species and attempted to create a microclimate using other scrub species interplanted with the crop trees and an attempt to reduce drought problems. In this place we used carob, olives, rosemary and the other drought tolerant scrubs such as lemon verbena, cistus etc. Also pistachio would grow, with peanuts grown between. I would strongly recommend a forest garden approach.
Hope this helps a bit. Gardening in such a place is equally down to effective water management. This is crucial and can make the difference between a drought tolerant tree surving or perishing. Mulching etc....
michael lasky <megamalito@...
altho your project sounds both interesting and worthy, i am afraid i cannot
help you. My experiences for thirty years in the andes mountains of south
america mainly included tropical climes 500 to 2000 meters above sea level.
although iit was dry during the dry seasons, when it rained (generally from
december to march) it really rained! in drier areas however, such as the
coast of peru, there wsas considerable production of carob, olies and
i hope your project , excuse the pun, blooms.
peace and good luck!
>From: Pat Meadows
>Subject: Re: [pfaf] Edible plants for model 20 acre organic farm in Mzuzu,
>Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 11:14:29 -0400
>On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 12:10:01 -0000, you wrote:
> >We are a small development group called Wells for Zoe
> >(www.wellsforzoe.org) working in Mzuzu, Northern Malawi. We are
> >interested in finding out about and sourcing seeds to grow edible
> >plants on a model 20 acre organic farm on land which receives little
> >water. The land is given by the chief of a village in return for the
> >provision of water pumps, and dams and other irrigation schemes to the
> >village. This land is then used to grow food for sale to make money to
> >help fund such schemes on a micro-credit basis. The ethos is 'a hand
> >up, not a hand out'. The irrigation schemes then feed water to the
> >farms when there is no rainfall but water is limited
> >Would anyone out there have any ideas on the most suitable plants and
> >the best place to get them for delivery to Malawi for planting in
>I think e-mailing Native Seeds/SEARCH might be a good idea. They
>specialize in seeds for the American Southwest. The conditions there are
>very hot and dry (such places as New Mexico and Arizona).
>They have tepary beans, for example. These are good for hot and dry
>conditions - as a Native American plant, maybe they're not known in Africa.
>They have other somewhat unusual Native American seeds.
>You could certainly ask their advice. Maybe they'd give you some seeds,
>even. See their 'About Us' page.
>Echonet is another outfit that I think you should definitely email. They
>give seeds and information to projects in the Third World.
>Last, NewCrop is a good resource for information on specific crops.
>Good luck with your project!
>-- Northern Pennsylvania
>'Every one of us can do something to protect and care for our planet.
>We should live in a way that makes a future possible.'
> - Thich Nhat Hanh
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