How To Build Bad Soil In a Dry Land

Desert Soil:  Oxymoron?

Those two words seem like opposites when you think about it.  A desert doesn’t have soil really, does it?  Living in a dry climate doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the desert.  Your home could be situated in a semi-arid “Mediterranean” zone that gets far less water than many places but still supports a variety of plants.  Whatever the ground is composed of, that’s your growing medium.  I firmly believe most “soils” can be recovered, but you may be starting with more of a dirt than a soil.  And that’s okay.  If your goal is to create or improve a landscape with little rainfall (clouds occasionally hovering but not always releasing their magic for the ground to soak up), you can focus on improving your soil’s capacity to hold what water does fall onto it.  This is one step toward moving it up the scale in terms of how well it will grow plants.

I recently tried to find information about how specifically to improve a special type of clay soil but didn’t find much at all.  Most people familiar with what I was looking for were adding it to their existing non-clay soil.  I wanted to know what to add to it in the case where a property’s soil was made of it.  The soil type in question?  Bentonite.


March 6, 2022 0 Comments

Permaculture Gardening During Food Shortages

Permaculture Gardening For Food Security

Since early 2020, just about the entire world has been through one major media-reported crisis after another.  The stories now are of course around Russia and Ukraine, but there are also a lot of articles coming out about impending shortages in the food supply.  In this article, I make a case for incorporating permaculture gardening into your lifestyle.

image: permaculture gardeningThe blocking of truck deliveries across borders, the delay of ships off major ports, the tripling of materials and shipping costs, American energy independence gone, and the trucking industry protests in Canada and the USA all contribute to forward-thinking concerns about the supply of food.

A friend sent me this photo from downtown Los Angeles, California.  I’ve already noticed that my local grocery store has had sparsely-stocked shelves two or three times in the last two months!

The Rockefeller Foundation released a report in February calling to defund farms and ranches and centralize control of the food supply of the globe.  In a ‘messaging guide’ for the report, the foundation states that “one of the consistent needs expressed by those seeking to transform the food system is a shared narrative.”  IMHO, globalist entities shouldn’t be granted solitary control over anything, so hopefully the Rockefellers aren’t successful in defunding farmers and ranchers!

In the meantime, We the People can (and should) prepare our own resilient systems of food production that WE control, rather than some outside entity.  If peaceful trucker protests against forced injection in Canada resulted in frozen bank accounts, then perhaps permaculture gardening ahead of any food crisis will assure food sovereignity if the planet’s food supply is taken over.


September 14, 2021 0 Comments

3 Top Healing Plants For Your Immune System

Keep Healthy Naturally With Plants

If you are worried due to all the noise on TV and piped over sound systems in stores, don’t worry; you can take simple action now to sidestep all the fear.

Using plants to stay healthy is tried and true, tested and proven over millennia of human civilization.  Most pharmaceutical drugs were derived from the plants that miraculously grew the medicine within their branching architectures.  For-profit corporate interests focus on making money, and so if shouldn’t surprise us that a return to the source – Nature – is powerful and inexpensive.


image: West Texas permaculture
August 26, 2021 0 Comments

Greening the West Texas Desert

Ask any Texan living in the far out western part of the state, and they will tell you; “this place is not for everyone.”  But what if it could be?  Is it possible to change the environment of a hot landscape?  Just like plants change their surroundings, we too can adopt strategies that improve the places we live.

If you live in far west Texas already, or you’re considering homesteading in that part of the world, this article will show you how you can:

  • grow a garden more easily and with less water
  • build soil out of sandy desert dirt
  • create shade quickly
  • cool down the area around your home, shop, or guest house
  • attract beneficial wildlife and precious pollinators
  • attract and increase moisture
  • grow food year-round

As a permaculture designer for over 17 years, I’m excited to share that this ecological design discipline has succeeded in transforming areas of the Sahara Desert into orchards!  Geoff Lawton, a long-time permaculture designer out of Australia, applied permaculture principles to revitalize dessicated sand dunes.  Here, I’ll show you what you can do to effect the same changes in your dryland landscape.


image: microclimate
August 12, 2021 0 Comments

Live + Grow More By Creating Microclimates

Is Your Yard Drier Than It Would Be Naturally?

If you are like one of my clients in Santa Ana, California, your yard may tend toward dryness.  This particular client actually only watered her landscape a few times a year prior to our working together.  I advised her that all plants need to be watered during their first one to three years in the ground so that they can establish their root systems.  Strong roots give plants the ability to draw moisture from deeper in the soil as well as pull the nutrients the plant needs.

As you might expect, the appearance of this homeowner’s landscape was on the extreme verge of desertification.  Even succulents were dessicated.  I knew that it would be a delicate conversation to convince her that plants need and deserve water.  Once I had brought her over to this understanding, I set to work creating layers of defense for her soil, existing trees, and the new plants I would be adding.


image: animal meanings
March 17, 2021 0 Comments

Animal Meanings and Equinox Magic

Learn From Animal Meanings At The Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox is upon us.  With so much change sweeping the globe since last year at this time, it can be helpful to gain understanding from the those in the nonhuman world who are going through these changes alongside us.  Animal meanings are essential messages long associated with different species and can help you walk a more powerful path through chaos if you tune in and heed what Nature is telling you.