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DESC Desert Food Forest
DESC Desert Food Forest
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Dubai English Speaking College, Academic City, Dubai, AE
Climate zone:

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DESC Desert Food Forest

Project Type

Urban, School Projects

Project Summary

Transforming a High School's outdoor concrete ampitheatre into a Desert Forest Garden in Dubai

Project Description

Awareness of Permaculture in the UAE is very much in its infancy. It is hoped that this school project will not only enrich the lives of the students, staff and parents, but also help to promote permaculture in the region.

School inspectors recently reported the school to be outstanding in many areas, but highlighted a need to further develop students' understanding of local traditions and local environmental challenges. It also suggested a wider range of fresh fruit and vegetables should be made available in the school canteen, and that more shading could be provided for students during break time. A proposal was therefore put forward to the Headteacher, with the idea of solving all these 'problems' in a garden......sound familiar?!

Since September 2011, a permaculture-inspired school garden has been operating on a small scale at the site. Food waste has been converted into soil, which in turn grows food for the canteen. This generated some participation from students and staff, and interest from the local media. Such publicity, plus the inspection report and the school's wish to retro-fit a concrete ampitheatre, led to permission being granted to develop a garden on a much larger scale.

A desert food forest seemed an appropriate way to demonstrate permaculture, whilst simultaneously acting as a 'living classroom' for the core curriculum areas, and also address the wider educational concerns. 

It is hoped that work on the project will commence from October 2012. A basic design framework is in place, but many key areas are yet to be fully developed. Accessing, storing and purifying the grey-water nearby, plus designing a solution for a flash-flood scenario, are both examples of challenges yet to be met! 

Artists impression 


Desert Forest Garden - most of the planting is completed

Despite the rising heat, the plants in the Desert Forest garden are thriving.

Posted almost 9 years ago (7 comments)

Creating Ethical and Organic Soil in the Desert - Part 3

The last of a three part blog on soil creation for the Desert Forest Garden

Posted about 9 years ago (2 comments)

Creating Ethical and Organic Soil in the Desert - Part 2

Soil. There isn’t much of it in Dubai, so forget soil regeneration, here it’s soil creation.

Posted about 9 years ago (1 comments)

Creating Ethical and Organic Soil in the Desert

(This was previously placed on my profile page in error so I have posted it again on the project page)

Posted about 9 years ago (0 comments)

Striking Brown Gold in the Desert

Copy of a blog aimed at a Permie and non-Permie audience

Posted over 9 years ago (0 comments)

First phase of the irrigation system is installed for the Desert Forest Garden

The practical work has finally begun!

Posted over 9 years ago (0 comments)
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