We have developed a permaculture learning garden in Las Vegas, the first of its kind. Using permaculture design, we shaped a 5300 sq ft space to accept and retain any rainfall we get in our arid region, forming sunken growing beds and swales. We've used organic matter and nitrogen-fixing plants to improve the soil on site instead of importing more. We redirect chipped christmas trees to our site for mulch and collect coffee grounds and food scraps from the community to make compost. The plants we selected for our site are all food producing and/or serve mutliple purpose within the ecosystem we are creating. For example, we planted mesquite trees because they add nitrogen to the soil, give dappled shade and produce many pods that can be ground into a protein-rich flour. The fruit and nut trees we planted take very little water and love the heat (very important in our desert climate), like most of our plants. Many plants serve multiple purposes and are either perennial or easily self-seeded. This design has allowed us to spend most of our time harvesting instead of continually planting annual seeds. We've reused or recycled materials to build potting benches and seats from pallets, a shade structure from wooden trellising and palm fronds, as well as cob benches made from sand, clay and straw.
We educate our dryland community about sustainable living by holding weekly workshops at the garden and leading tours. Our Mesquite Pancake Breakfast in October highlights food grown at our garden. We will be hosting Brad Lancaster in a few weeks for a discussion on water harvesting as well as many guests in the fall for alternative building workshops.
We share our food, seeds and knowledge to build a stronger, healthier community.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (July 2013)