An arid climate or landscape has little to no rain and is considered too dry and barren to support vegetation. We interviewed four guests from arid or semi-arid regions around the world including New Mexico, Egypt, Australia, and Colorado.
Growing food and preserving it is possible in desert-like environments and our guests share their regenerative practices with us including permaculture techniques, seed saving, drying, and fermentation in this episode.
Roxanne Swentzl, a Pueblo woman from Santa Clara, New Mexico who co-founded the Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute. She is passionate about learning from her ancestors and finding ways where her children, grandchildren, and future generations continue their ancestral knowledge forward. Roxanne is a seed saver and protector of her place-based indigenous knowledge which led her to share these customs by publishing the Pueblo Food Experience.
Menar Meebed is a grandmother and owner of Minnies Dried Fruit and Vegetables, in Cairo, Egypt. Her dedication to ensuring her grandchildren had access to healthy food meant she transformed an age-old technique of drying to make delicious and nutritious products for many more. She uses a German technology of solar drying to dry local fruits such as strawberries and mangoes as well as vegetables that create healthy and convenient soup mixes.
Salah Hammad, a permaculture consultant, and educator who lives in Sydney, Australia – originally from Jordan. His passion for ensuring regenerative systems has meant that when there is a surplus of food, it needs to be preserved. He works on fermentations such as sourdough, labneh, and others. He explains how these fermented processes can help the soil remain healthy – showing how microbes help us through soil health, the processing of food, and the well-being of our bodies.
Mara King is a fermentation chef and one of the co-founders of Ozuke. Originally from Hong Kong, she currently works at Fresh Times Eatery in Boulder, Colorado. Her passion for all things fermented has made her travel around the world in the discovery of different foods like Nato made in China. However, her passion lies in teaching others to explore their own journey of fermentation as a way of producing more organic foods.
Elena Escaño is a young agroecological pig farmer in Andalucia, Spain. At her family’s farm, Finca Montefrio, they breed the local pig race Iberico. The pigs eat mainly acorns and the animal density is very low. This and other sustainable practices prevent soil erosion at the farm.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to our guests and learn about arid preservation practices. Please consider taking this survey to help with our research.