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Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land : Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty - Gary Paul Nabhan

Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, Bill McKibben (Foreword by)
eBook Published: 14th June 2013
ISBN: 9781603584548
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How to harvest water and nutrients, select drought-tolerant plants, and create natural diversity

Because climatic uncertainty has now become "the new normal," many farmers, gardeners and orchard-keepers in North America are desperately seeking ways to adapt their food production to become more resilient in the face of such "global weirding." This book draws upon the wisdom and technical knowledge from desert farming traditions all around the world to offer time-tried strategies for:

  • Building greater moisture-holding capacity and nutrients in soils
  • Protecting fields from damaging winds, drought, and floods
  • Harvesting water from uplands to use in rain gardens and terraces filled with perennial crops
  • Delecting fruits, nuts, succulents, and herbaceous perennials that are best suited to warmer, drier climates

Gary Paul Nabhan is one of the world's experts on the agricultural traditions of arid lands. For this book he has visited indigenous and traditional farmers in the Gobi Desert, the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara Desert, and Andalusia, as well as the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Painted deserts of North America, to learn firsthand their techniques and designs aimed at reducing heat and drought stress on orchards, fields, and dooryard gardens. This practical book also includes colorful "parables from the field" that exemplify how desert farmers think about increasing the carrying capacity and resilience of the lands and waters they steward. It is replete with detailed descriptions and diagrams of how to implement these desert-adapted practices in your own backyard, orchard, or farm.

This unique book is useful not only for farmers and permaculturists in the arid reaches of the Southwest or other desert regions. Its techniques and prophetic vision for achieving food security in the face of climate change may well need to be implemented across most of North America over the next half-century, and are already applicable in most of the semiarid West, Great Plains, and the U.S. Southwest and adjacent regions of Mexico.

Industry Reviews

"We face an unprecedented future. The scale and speed of the changes bearing down on us as a consequence of climate uncertainty has no analog in history. Fortunately, we have guides like Gary Paul Nabhan to lead us through the crazy labyrinth in which we find ourselves. By looking to age-old practices and taking lessons from nature, Dr. Nabhan builds a compelling case for a type of resilience that matters whether you are a food producer or eater - which is everyone!"--Courtney White, founder and creative director, Quivira Coalition

Part One: Seeking Solutions by Building on Time-Tested Knowledge
1. The Wisdom of the Desert
2. The Wisdom of Native Farming Cultures
Part Two: Designing Agro-Habitats That Are Climate-Friendly and Resilient
3. Designing Water Harvesting Systems for Food Production
4. Designing Desert-Adapted Polycultures
5. The Best Perennials to Grow
6. The Best Annuals to Grow
7. Succulents and Geophytes
Part Three: Diversity Reduces Uncertainty in Food Production
8. Integrating Stress-Tolerant Microbes into the Design
9. Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
10. Heat-Tolerant Farm Animals
Part Four: Reducing Post-Harvest Greenhouse Emissions
11. Direct Marketing, Food Hubs, and Green Energy
12. On-Farm Processing and Recycling
Afterword: Visions for the Future (Desert Fruitopias)
A. List of Low Winter Chill Fruits
B. List of Short-Cycle Annuals
C. List of Succulents and Geophytes
D. Other Bio-Resources for Desert Climes

ISBN: 9781603584548
ISBN-10: 1603584544
Audience: General
Format: ePUB
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 14th June 2013
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing