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Re: Desert advice wanted! (fwd)

http://sunSITE.unc.edu/london   InterGarden   
london@sunSITE.unc.edu   llondon@bellsouth.net

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 23:50:45 -0600 (CST)
From: Bruce Brummitt <lilacmn@eot.com>
Reply-To: permaculture@listserv.oit.unc.edu
To: permaculture@listserv.oit.unc.edu
Subject: Re: Desert advice wanted!

Geez...He should get a copy of "Goat Walking" by Jim Corbett...The goats
subsist without water, getting their moisture needs met by plants they eat,
then Jim drinks their milk and makes yoghurt...

I've seen Mollison's work down near Tucson where they used some heavy
equipment (steamroller type thing) to lay down footprints shaped like the
star of David.  Turned the desert back into grassland/mesquite scrub. 
(Moisture, seeds and debris all gravitated toward the prints).

Mesquite, ironwood, acacias are leguminous and their seeds make great
tasting flour.  They may grow along swales.

Adobe sounds much more appropriate than strawbale there.  Check Cal-Earth. 
Perhaps he can dig a mine shaft and hollow out the earth to live in...it'd
have to be cooler in there.  Might hit a spring.  

He should do some research into the indigenous peoples of the Mojave, if
indeed there were any.

I lived in the desert from birth 'til 1973...I moved to Minnesota for the
water and woods.


  Cheryl Valois and Bruce Brummitt
              46N56' 95W20
   Visit the Natural Building Gallery

From: Lee Flier <lflier@mindspring.com>

OK, I know how much Permies enjoy a challenge, so here's one:

I have a friend in Nevada who will shortly be getting some acreage in the
middle of the Mojave Desert.  I know, he's nuts.  Don't ask me why.
Anyhow, they want to build a strawbale house although they will consider
other alternatives (adobe brick comes to mind).  They want passive "air
conditioning" and want the house to be as energy and water independent as

Anyhow, my friend claims they get 2-4" of annual rainfall there!  I wonder,
1) is there a chance in hell they can supply their water without having to
dig a well? And what the heck can they grow there?  I know having some
trees around the house would cool it and keep moisture from evaporating,
but what kinda trees could even deal with that climate, if any?  Any
suggestions for edibles that could be grown in that area.

Well, the water is the big question, but any input from some of you desert
rats out there on independent living in the dryest of the drylands, would
be appreciated.