Our Permaculture in Action course is meant to offer a more hands-on (versus theoretical) learning environment to permaculture students, and by late October, teams are spread out through the Greening the Desert site. Students from all over the world are busy with projects on the farm.
- A team of ladies is working on the top terrace, creating a mulch pit with the last of the spiky nitrogen-fixing trees (prosopis regrowth and Jerusalem thorn). The site is now fertile enough to switch to a different stage of legumes, such as leucaena. The hole for the mulch pit is about 1.5-2 meters deep, and they are layering the chopped trees with manure and a bit of biochar. Just below this terrace we can see the same process two years down the line.
- Another group is working in the nursery and kitchen garden. They are planting diverse seedlings, things like cabbage, marigold, Ceylon spinach, pepper, garlic, and more. The nursery is in a shady part of the site and full of diversity. The veggie garden is taking off as the temperature drops into winter, and students are adding compost, worm juice, and plenty of new plants.
- A third group is working in the chicken tractor, installing an overhead irrigation system to water the compost heaps. Their instructor is experimenting with a maggot bucket, lowering it so that chickens eat both the flies and the maggots. The group has built Berkley method compost piles that the chickens will interact with, moving it down the chicken yard over the span of about a month before it goes into the gardens.