>Food Production

Growing food in a desert is challenging, not only because it's dry and hot. It may look uninhabited, but it is actually teeming with life. Some of these life forms would love to eat whatever you can grow for them, as it would probably taste better than the tough, thorny stuff they're used to eating.

A veggie garden... Ah, let me clarify something. There are grid-powered ranches around, with deep wells and lots of water. These places can grow grains and other things for their cattle, but most of this desert has too little soil for fields of food. It's mountainous, eroded, mostly rock, sand and some small areas with soil, short on expansive meadows. My 20 acres are more a rockscape than anything, so we'll be talking about a raised bed veggie garden, not the back 40.

Container and raised bed growing are the best ways to grow things in the desert, as these prevent water loss and keep the edibles and other plants aabove the soil and out of reach of some pests. Any serious veggie garden, however, must be enclosed, to keep all the rodents out: cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, rats, packrats, mice, kangaroo rats, mice, gophers. Birds must also be screened out, so the garden will have to be raised and enclosed. A raised bed also allows for a proper soil depth and the creation of custom soil mixes.

My garden is a rectangular raised bed two feet high, enclosed in wire screen. Plants and fruit trees are watered automatically by timers and the house's greywater system. I can leave the system alone for months and everything will be watered.

Fruit trees grow fine in 60-gallon barrels, as do grapes

If veggie gardens in the desert interest you, my DVD shows how to build one and grow food in it.

On Growing
Survival Food

More DVDs
Are Coming

This web site is here because the knowledge about survival is critical to many of us right now. This survival retreat in the desert is the demonstration of various technologies which help us become free of dependence on fossil fuels, the grid and other things which are part of the problems we face as a global community.

The DVDs will appear here as they become available.