Climate Appropriate Demonstration at the Greening the Desert site in Jordan

I had the chance to spend sometime on the Greening the Desert site established by Geoff and Nadia Lawton here in Jordan during my stay here.

The site is 7 years old, situated in the Dead Sea Valley , 300 m below sea level in a very harsh and dry environment that gets on average 100-150mm of rain per annum.

With temperatures averaging around 45′ in the summer period and 20′ in winter the main design of the site is around creating shade  to minimise the impacts of the harsh sun.


The sun is the enemy most of the year, but now in the beginning of winter theres an opportunity to chopn and drop  some of the high legume support trees that are shading the fruit trees below them. This will provide the fruit trees with good quality mulch high in Nitrogen and opens the canopy a little bit to allow some sun during the winter season.


The legume trees that working nicely on this site include thorny species such as Jerusalm Thorn and Prosopis (Mesquite) and some fast growing nitrogen fixing such as Leaucaena and Tipuana Tipu.

Pollarding the Leaucaena to head hight.

In addition to a drylands species food forest that contains olives, guavas, pomegrantes, and citrus trees , the site also demonstrates sustainable gardening methods under a shade house and a number of different building techniques suitable for this climate including straw bale house and an adobe earth bag small animal pen.

If you would like to know more about the work we do please do get in touch.

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