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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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SFG in a mediterranean climate

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camprn
walshevak
sanderson
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chloeasha
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Post  chloeasha 2/28/2014, 12:28 am

Ohh, good question Marc!  I hadn't even thought about that.  They do have newspapers, although most people read the news online.  I think the Jordan Times though is fairly available in cities (not our potential village though). 

Sanderson-- Well hopefully I don't have to actually work haha!  But that's what I did when I first worked there for 2 field seasons, so my Arabic is odd.  Razz
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Post  FamilyGardening 2/28/2014, 12:46 am

with your lack of water Mulch, Mulch, Mulch.....I know it sounds crazy.....stones can be used as mulch too....if you have a lot of stones you could screen out the dirt and use stones as mulch to hold in the moisture  Very Happy 

anything to cover the soil will work as mulch, leaves, grass clippings, straw, shredded paper and cardboard......

you might want to look into any farming that might be in the area, they may have used straw and manure from animal beds that you can compost and use.....also any area resteraunts that would be willing to give you veggie waste for your compost.....

start out small.....and build on it as you get your own compost going, so its not so overwhelming at first  Very Happy 

im sure you will get creative and have a wonderful garden!.....please keep us posted and we all love pictures!


happy gardening
rose
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Post  sanderson 2/28/2014, 12:48 am

If the soil is alkali, maybe a compost with citrus could help neutralize it.

http://tylerstorey.blogspot.com/2009/03/composting-citrus-and-citrus-peels.html

You may have to get creative making compost in Jordan:  (I would leave out the toenail and fingernail clipping!)

http://www.plantea.com/compost-materials.htm
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Post  chloeasha 2/28/2014, 12:23 pm

Thanks Rose!  Not any use of hay for animal beds or restaurants in the area, but I am sure I'll manage a compost pile out of our own waste.  I had actually thought about doing a small layer of raked earth as mulch.  That has been shown to be very water retentive as well as weed-preventative.  I've used stone in the past as well.  Not a lot of straw or anything there, and no one has lawns for grass clippings.  Actually, one of our things to look for will be to see if we can even find a lawnmower in the country.  Since everyone is plowing to control weeds, it makes more sense to try to mow in the orchards than plow.  May not be any mowers though at a reasonable price.

Sanderson-- I had thought the same thing!  Citrus is everywhere and I thought citrus may help correct the soil a bit.  Also everyone has a ton of coffee waste.  I may not be able to collect anyone else's coffee grounds (and not being a coffee or tea person myself that halves our waste), but I can surely collect my husband's.
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Post  chloeasha 2/28/2014, 2:36 pm

I thought it may help people visualize it more if I showed kind of the property we'd get and its general area in winter spring and then summer Smile

So first some winter shots.  the first pic is of the hilltop we're looking at building on.

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The second through 7th are all shots from that hilltop in winter in all directions.  The green "grass" is wheat.

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You can see some things like the Roman olives, new olives, native oaks, and other stuff.
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Post  chloeasha 2/28/2014, 2:39 pm

Here are some early and late summer shots including the same wheat field and the Roman olives amongst other things.  They are called that since they are a bit over/under 2000 years old.

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Post  chloeasha 2/28/2014, 2:40 pm

And this is what is on the back side of the hill.

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It's not been deforested quite as much, although still has some deforesting issues.  The whole area has had a lot of trees but down-- it was once all forest.
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Post  kauairosina 2/28/2014, 3:48 pm

and coffee grounds are really terrific, high nitrogen,like grass clippings.
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Post  chloeasha 2/28/2014, 4:01 pm

Yes!  That's what I thought too Smile
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Post  walshevak 2/28/2014, 7:24 pm

What a beautiful hill.  I didn't get to see any green while I was in Jordan, summer time.

Just a thought and one I'm hoping to try here.  Will the local farmer let you have some of the wheat straw after harvest.  I'm hoping for rice straw.  Browns for the compost pile.  Even in the US straw is a good addition to the pile.  

This may be a dumb question, but what do they do with the olive mash after pressing for oil?  Does it have a special use or can it add to the compost.

Are you planning to keeps goats for milk, meat and manure?  and lawn mower service Laughing 
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Post  chloeasha 2/28/2014, 8:30 pm

LOL well that particular local farmer was my husband and his wheat field.  But his sister who has a farm may let us have some things like that.  Farmers generally prefer to till it under though.

That area gets more brown in the summer, but still remains kind of green.  it was much greener than Amman and South or East.  More like Ajloun.

I've asked about the olive mash before and he said he didn't know but thought it would be so culturally nuts to ask lol.  I planned on working on that one Razz

No, no goats.  We wouldn't have the space, I'm allergic to mammal meat anyway, and no way could I kill something-- or even let it go.  So it would become a multiplying herd lol.  I want a few chickens though (no rooster) and that could be a slowly increasing flock as I need to bring in fresh layers.
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Post  Turan 2/28/2014, 11:49 pm

Beautiful pictures. One of my dreams is to be in the north of Jordan when the wild tulips bloom.
A Jordanian I once knew told me about his family garden. They were making lowered bed areas, sort of like waffle gardens. His problem was that he was now in Ohio and just could not stand to change this style and so had too much moisture in his beds. I think he was from further south though.

It sounds like a great challenge and surely well doable. I hope you keep us updated.

O! you might be interested in the keyhole garden ideas. https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t14093-keyhole-gardens-think-it-would-work?highlight=keyhole+gardens

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Post  chloeasha 3/1/2014, 7:50 am

Walshevak-- I asked again and he said he found out about the olive mash last time he went.  They now compress it into bricks and sell it as fuel.  So it's no longer an option.

Turan-- I haven't ever seen the tulips, but in his area they have a lot of cyclamen and anemones as well as some iris and lilies.  I've also seen squill bloom and that was nice.  Smile

Yeah, I didn't see any waffle gardening there so it may have been further south.  I had thought about it and wondered if that was better.. but then it would seem in winter it could flood too much.  They keyhole idea is interesting.  All the areas they mentioned as doing it actually get quite a bit of rain in the off season (like S. Africa, Lesotho, and that area in Sudan-- those are all 30"+ areas which may be why they raise them.  I noticed they are still putting water in them during the summer.  Very interesting concept!
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Post  Turan 3/1/2014, 1:58 pm

Sounds like my mothers garden in the spring gone wild..... gorgeous. I was told to look for tulips along the old road to Jarash especially. Sigh, right now we have a blizzard outside, I wish I was in Jordan searching for wild flowers.

Can you get the chaff from combining the wheat? That would make a good mulch unless there are too many weed seeds, then into the compost. Coffee grounds for compost and just dig straight in as a nitrogen source. Cardboard is good too. Dust works well too though the Dust Bowl taught us the down side of that.

My guess is that you will find a meeting spot of traditional methods that are adapted already to growing things through the dry season and French Intensive/SFG.


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Post  chloeasha 3/1/2014, 2:50 pm

Turan-- I agree.  I think it will end up being a meeting point as obviously some of the traditional methods are destructive, yet some have merit.  I told my husband about the sunken beds and he really liked that idea and thought we should try it on one or two and see how that worked out.  He mentioned they do build barriers around newly planted trees to hold water, but that was it.

Re: the chaff from combined wheat-- they don't combine their own-- there is one or two people in the area who you pay to come out and harvest.  They basically strip the fields and get everything out of it.  So it's not exactly the same.  What is left they try to keep to plow under.  Or so that's how my husband explained it to me.  I think if you did you own you could muster something though, but we wouldn't have enough for the tractor guy to bother to come out.  And yes, the fields are full of weeds. Sad  Lots of thistles.

Oh yes-- Jerash is maybe an hour or so south east from where we would be.  Even Irbid is drier than the area we would be in!  A bit hotter as well.  Maybe the tulips need a drier climate.  I'll have to ask when I get home.  Usually he just shrugs and is like "I don't know" and then like 5 months later insists he knew that answer and never did that.  I believe it's selective listening Razz
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Post  kauairosina 3/1/2014, 3:06 pm

You hit a chord there!!
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Post  chloeasha 3/1/2014, 3:11 pm

LOL!  Yes, I think lots of us deal with that (and probably do it too!) Smile
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Post  Goosegirl 3/2/2014, 5:54 pm

A word of caution trying to use wheat chaff for mulch. Unless it is an organic source or you know the farmer it comes from to get the details, beware that many wheat farmers spray the crop with Round-Up about a week before harvest to kill the weeds (the wheat is already dead if it is ready for harvest). A common practice in this area.

GG
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Post  chloeasha 3/2/2014, 6:25 pm

That isn't a worry.  There is no commercial farming in that area, and even though cost of living is the same as several US cities, people live on a couple hundred dollars/month.  No one can afford to even think about stuff like Round-Up let alone buy it Smile
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Post  kauairosina 3/2/2014, 8:23 pm

That is a blessing.
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