kenyan desert

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Pom, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Pom

    Pom Junior Member

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    Hello, my name is Pom, im originaly from canada but i decided to
    devote my life to healing my self and the earth, in Kenya.

    I found out recently about greening deserts, and i now want to do the exact same
    here where i am. You see, me and the community i am creating are 100%
    fruitarian, wich mean we only eat fruits, beleive or not! So my goal when i came here was to do my best to re-create the natural habitat of human kind, a garden of eden. I
    recently watched the full video of establishing a food forest by Geoff Lawton, with the extras. It gave me a lot of precious information but not the details that i
    need.

    My problem here is that we have no electricity, and ordering a book would cost a lot, and by the time it will get here, around 2-3 month, the rain season will already be here. So i really would like to have someone that could answer a few questions.

    First i must tell you about the land i live on, it is clay/sandy soil,
    very dry, with 2 rain season per year, wich gives about 8 to 12 inch (250 to 400mm)
    of rain. the downside of the hill we will use has a permenant river.

    So my first question is about that river, will the water we will be
    harvesting just drift into the river instead of seeping down into the
    soil?

    and how deep and how large should the swalles be?

    can we only plant on the mount created by the swalle? if so, what if i
    plow the land? (laber here is cheap, 1 worker cost 3$ a day with
    food).

    About the timing of planting the different species, i know about the
    ground cover and the short term legume bush, but what about the fruit
    and legume trees? should i wait until the soil is fertile enough? or
    how many months? the rain season is of only 2 months, if we are lucky!

    how long should it take until the soil is fertile? i mean from
    clay/sandy to at least loamy, and how deep will it be fertile in how
    much time? if we aply every advise on the video i mean, and more.

    So that should be it for now. I have a good idea of where the swalles
    will be, and im just waiting for some more informations to start the
    digging. I have started the nursary, about 120 fruit trees. Anyone can
    read more about us on our website, fruitariancommunity.tk, pictures
    will come soon.

    Im just a begginer, but i am seriously devoted to this project, its been gowing on for about 1 year, and the work i have done is nothing compared to what it could be if had that knowledge!! it took so much from! so many failures! so much money!

    We really hope to find the help we need!
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I hope you find what you need too.
    To be honest, I dont understand how you can live on just fruit but if you can thats great.

    Cant answer your question on swales unfortunately but there is alot of inof on the subject both here and elsewhere.

    What trees are you growing so far?
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    It is not clear to me what your land looks like. I imagine the the land slopes to the river and you want to swale on contour between some high ground and the river. Your swales need to have the capacity to store all the water that falls in your rainy season try here then you need to find the range of pioneer trees that persist in the area (acacias?) and you need to plant the whole area according to the needs of the trees you are planting.
    You have taken on a large task but i guess it can be done.
    My advice would be to do a PDC (nip over to Jordan now) or get someone who has to come and do a consultation.
     
  4. Pom

    Pom Junior Member

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    thanks, so i think ive got the idea about the swalles. Now for what to plant, i have about 9 different species of fruit trees, all in the nursary. But the NEEDS of those trees is just like any other fruit trees i think, WATER!! they just need to find the underground wter on time, yes? for nutrients of the soil i figure its not so important. So if i want them to make it so deep, there must be some ground cover i figured, yes? can we only plant on the mount created by the swalle? if so, what if i
    plow the land? (laber here is cheap, 1 worker cost 3$ a day with
    food). And what about the legume trees? are they so important?
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Unless the land is heavily compacted I would not plow. The legumes will fix nitrogen and protect the other trees as well as dropping leaves that will contribute to fertility.
    I am getting an understanding that your knowledge is fairly basic and really suggest you get some help. Atleast be careful with advice from here as we can not know the full picture.

    Dig the swales on contor (cheap labour) and mulch as heavily as possible and plant as diversty as possible. Good luck.
     
  6. Kyle

    Kyle Junior Member

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    what are you growing right now (the 9 species)? how long is the dry season, and how cold does it get? i am guessing the dry season is very dry and the sun is very intense?

    without knowing your region well, papaya and tamarind come to mind instantly, as do some cactus species especially int eh Cereus and Opuntia genera.
     

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