Permaculture in the Desert
When you come to Kibbutz Lotan as a tourist you can book a stay in the Eco-Experience program. It is nice to participate in some hours of practical work in the morning before breakfast and in a very hands-on way learn about permaculture. I went to the Eco-Kef – the permaculture garden – very early in the day. This means in this time of the year, just before the sun comes up behind the mountains . This is a very special experience. The mornings are surprisingly chilly and the afternoons quite warm due to the desert climate.
The best time to grow vegetables here is from autumn to spring. The sun is incredibly strong in summer and burns everything. The light is always sufficient, what you need is good soil and water.
It is fun to work with a group. Many young people come here to volonteer and learn about permaculture and sustainable techniques. They are introduced to the whole circle from seeding to harvesting and composting. What grows well together and how to let nature support you. Composting toilets, how to cook with sunlight and bio gas and reusing things whenever possible are also part of the learning experience.
I felt often that the natural garden, the land that is cared for in harmony with nature, is the perfect place for human beings to live in and that we would all be happier and thrive in a circumstance like that. We seem to forget that everything is only a kind of lease to us that we are given “to till and to tend” as the bible says. Putting my hands into soil is definitely very grounding and satisfying for me