What are some sources of information on dryland gardening?

P.M.
Arizona
Answer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA, I am pleased to provide you with information on systems for dryland gardening. This case letter will address information and resources for dryland gardening.Your experience with the three sisters planting is an example of a Permaculture-based system. Permaculture originally developed in the drylands of Australia. One of the main principles is to work with nature rather than against it. The founders of Permaculture developed the Permaculture Dryland Institute as an education and research facility for dryland farming. The Institute is now named the Permaculture Institute of Austrailia and their mission has spread throughout the world, including the Permaculture Institute in New Mexico. This organization is based on promoting and developing Permaculture principles for the Southwest. Their web site contains information, links, and references to growing crops in the desert, including newsletter articles from the Permaculture Institute of Australia. For information on the Permaculture Institute and Permaculture growing techniques, please visit their web site at: http://www.permaculture.org.A 387-page book was published in 1991 on the topic: Food From Dryland Gardens by David A. Cleveland and Daniela Soleri. Unfortunately, it is out of print, and it may be hard to find a copy. You can find articles by the same authors, however, at the website: http://ag.arizona.edu/OALS/ALN/aln29/aln29toc.htmlThe University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture has a program to support the farming communities of Central America and Mexico. Instructor V. Ernesto M?ndez, Ph. D., is a native of El Salvador and has devoted years of research and teaching to supporting the farming communities of Central America and Mexico. For more information on his work and publications visit: http://www.uvm.edu/~emendez/. ECHO is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) Christian organization headquartered in North Fort Myers, Florida. Its mission is “to network with community leaders in developing countries to seek hunger solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions.”ECHO has several publications and fact sheets on dryland farming which are available on their web site: http://www.echonet.org.Below is a list of further resources for water conservation and dryland farming.Further Resources:Water conservation resources:Rainwater Catchment guide:This is a commercial resource that outlines some of the consideration in developing a rainwater catchment system on your property. Kujawinski. 1978. The Homestead Cistern. Mother Earth News. MayJune 1978 Edition.This is an archived article from Mother Earth News that includes digital images. Oasis Design is the most reputable source of grey water recycling systems. They have a book and web site that should be helpful to you. The description on their web site is, “All about all aspects of grey water systems. Why to use them, how to choose, build and use them, regulations, studies, and examples. Includes grey water irrigation, grey water treatment, grey water filters, and indoor grey water reuse.”Suarez, Donald. 2008. Salinity Management in Agriculture. MarchApril 2008 Edition of Southwest HydrologyThis publication can be viewed in PDF format at the following link:http://www.swhydro.arizona.edu/archive/V7_N2/feature3.pdfRegional Resources:ArcosantiAn experiment in sustainable design and agriculture initiated by Paul Soleri. It is located in Verde Valley Arizona. They offer tours of their gardens and facilities. There web site is at:The New Mexico Permaculture Institute might be able to refer you to some resources. They have many resources for practicing Permacuture agriculture in the arid southwest. The Sonoran Permaculture Guild is a group of highly committed individuals who share a common vision of making our Southwest Drylands region more sustainable through Permaculture design and implementation. They offer classes and a list of resources on rainwater harvesting, gardening and soil amendments.Booksarticles:Broobank, George. 1991. Desert Gardening: Fruits and Vegetables. Fisher Books, Inc.ISBN# 1-55561-002-1Bainbridge, David. 1994. Agroforestry in the Southwest: A Rich Past and Promising Future. Presented at the Symposium, Agroforestry and Sustainable Systems (Ft. Collins, CO, August 7-10, 1994). Ebeling, Walter. Handbook of Indian Foods and Fibers of Arid America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. 971 pp.Nabhan, Gary. 1989. Enduring Seeds. University of Arizona Press. Enduring Seeds, 1989In a series of essays about Native American agriculture and wild plant conservation, which address the importance of conserving wild plants, the difficulties Native American peoples have had in preserving their agricultural traditions and current wild plant conservation efforts in North America.http://www.garynabhan.com/books.html