Jordan Valley Permaculture Project – August 2011 Photo Update

Latifa inspects project development from a unique vantage point

It’s been just over a year since I’ve visited the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) site, and I’m keen to check out progress when I visit next month (September 2011). In the meantime, Geoff, who is in Jordan now to help organise the upcoming Tenth International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (IPC10), has sent through a few pictures I can share today.

As you may or may not be able to imagine, establishing a permaculture agricultural demonstration site on rocks and sand comes with its challenges, particularly when you’re facing 50°C plus (122°F plus) summer temperatures… and no rain. The picture below, showing the view of the neighbourhood from the now comparitively-lush JVPP site makes the point — as the neighbouring land is exactly what the JVPP site looked like just a few years ago.

The site’s life-giving stands of legumes give a clue to how
this site’s biological succession was assured, and the neighbouring moonscape
shows what the site looked like not so long ago.

When I was there last, conditions weren’t yet favourable enough to begin with animals systems yet, as the plant support species were not then tall enough to provide the necessary shade (creature comforts), but now these are underway. The ducks, chickens and rabbits will help hasten development of site fertility through manural nutrients being cycled back into the system. At the moment the animals are at bottom of the site as that’s where all the action has been focussed, but they’ll soon be moved to the top to faciliate the downward flow of nutrients through the site.

Chickens help prepare mulch by getting rid of unwanted seeds and insects, etc.,
and seeding it with nitrogen-rich fertiliser

Muscovy ducks


Nadia stands next to a date palm that’s just dripping in dates. Date palms
are the long term, productive, shading over story for this system.

Guess where the ducks want to hang out.
The nutrient rich duck water is fertigated onto the site.

The environment is now more attractive for the human element in this system,
as indicated by the shaded seats.

The veggie beds

Diversity breeds stability and resiliency – the JVPP site is moving towards both.

If you want to check out the site first-hand, then be sure to book onto the post-IPC Tours. There’s not a lot of time left to do so, so if you’re interested, don’t dally…. For those who can’t make it, after I’m back from the IPC I’ll post some comparitive shots of the site from two years ago, a year ago, and this year, that’ll give you an idea of how this emerging oasis is progressing.