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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Desert Dwellers by sighthound on 31 January 2015 3:25pm
On another thread, I just called for us all to post more here so, following my own advice, this is the first new topic I've started in a long time

I recently moved to the desert, high desert at the south end of the Mojave. It is totally different from anywhere I've ever lived before. It has such extremes of temperature and humidity. There are people on this list who live in many different climates so I'd like to hear from other desert dwellers who might help me to acclimatize.

I've learned to keep a water bottle with me at all times to keep myself hydrated. I'm at an altitude of 4,000 feet so all my baking recipes need adjusting as I've had bread and cakes absolutely fail because I cooked them at temps and for times that worked at sea level but not here.

My biggest concern, since I want to grow a lot of my own food, is how you grow veggies in the desert. The soil here is bad so I bought some "earth boxes" with water reservoirs and will make some raised-bed boxes and bring in good dirt. I really need to learn about drip irrigation.

I've set up a grow-light system to start plants indoors until they are strong enough to deal with the outside atmosphere (and will use the system to grow leafy veggies inside for the rest of the year.)

My three hens who came with me from Sacramento are providing more eggs than I need so my protein needs are taken care of but I just need to learn how to grow veggies here. Any advice would be appreciated.
Re: Desert Dwellers by Lounge Trekker on 1 February 2015 2:27am
Hey sighthound! Try this site for gardening information:


You might need to register and ask questions on the appropriate forum. I've not been using this site regularly of late, but did register and used the forums...with no associated problems. You will likely hear from some knowledgable folks who will suggest where to get more information than they will readily offer you.
Re: Desert Dwellers by ev on 15 February 2015 11:46am
It sounds like a really interesting place to live!

There's an Australian permaculture expert called Geoff Lawton, who had success growing food in the desert in Jordan, near the Dead Sea. Just look up 'Geoff Lawton Greening the Desert', e.g.:

Another permaculture/ natural farming expert, the late Masanobu Fukuoka, used 'seed balls' (a variety of seeds mixed with clay) which germinate when the rains come. The clay ball protects the seeds from insects, etc. until the rains. You can google Masanobu Fukuoka seed balls or something like that. He did a lot of great work in dry places in Africa, India and Greece.
Re: Desert Dwellers by tucsonmike on 17 February 2015 7:52pm
It is a very different place to live. You are higher up than I am in Tucson. You are on the right track about staying hydrated. I will check to see if I have anything on drip irrigation.
Re: Desert Dwellers by Ken Dunn on 17 February 2015 9:35pm
I have no experience of deserts except some quite big sand dunes on the coast of Tenerife (or was it Lanzarote?). I remember walking in those dunes many years ago and when I couldn't see the built up areas or sea it felt like a very real desert.

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