Demonstration garden for the dry tropics in the highlands of Nicaragua
Demonstration garden for the dry tropics in the highlands of Nicaragua
Details
Commenced:
01/05/2014
Submitted:
24/05/2014
Last updated:
07/10/2015
Location:
Somoto, NI
Climate zone:
Dry Tropical





Followers
Devin Lyttle Jeff Higgins Stephanie Saucedo
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Demonstration garden for the dry tropics in the highlands of Nicaragua

Project Type

Rural, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

A demonstration garden featuring several types of beds and watering systems, plants and fruit trees adapted to dry climates, perennials or annuals, as well as composting techniques.

Project Description

The northern highlands of Nicaragua are a dry place, with 800 mm rain each year at best, between mid-May and November. However, the variability is high, with El Niño reducing the precipitations between June and August every 3-4 years, causing an important stress for the majority of the population, who are small farmers.

Between June and August, each year, many families suffer from the "hunger season", when food reserve are scarce and employement low.

Vegetable homegardens are rare, and limited to a few vegetables. The site of the project is located in the national farmers' union (UNAG) backyard, a place often visited by farmers. The aim is to present several techniques that can easily be applied next to the house, and also to test the efficiency of these techniques in a dry tropical climate.

Features:

- Raised beds "vs" Sunken beds. Altough it doesn't rain most of the year, some months (September and October) receive large amount of precipitations, and intense rain events can occur at any moment during the wet season. Raised beds would avoid waterlogging, but sunken beds reduce evaporation and catch better runoff. We will see which one performs better over the year.

- Shapes: square, rectangle, spiral, mandala. Usually straight lines are used for beds, we want to show there are many more options, the circle being the most interesting for small-scale vegetable gardens as it saves scarces resources like water.

- Watering: 4 rectangular beds will be watered by drop irrigation. One Hugelkultur will not be watered at all. The mandala garden will be watered with a watering can or a hose. One circle garden will have an olla to water it.

- Techniques to save water: mulch, shade, sunken beds,...

- Plants adapted to dry climate

- Composting

- ... more to come ...

 

The idea is then to organize permaculture workshops, garden visits,...

 

 

Updates

Many beds ready to be planted

We finished almost all beds, now we have to create a seedbed. The rainy season has just stared, the timing is perfect.

Posted over 5 years ago (4 comments)
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Project Badges
Rural Demonstration Educational
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Gregory Amos - Admin
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