A growing movement of gardeners and farmers is practising permaculture, an approach to agriculture that encourages sustainability.
TETOUAN, Morocco - The uphill footpath of recycled tires and timber logs winds between fig, olive, and pomegranate trees, passing cactus bushes and a scattered assortment of flowers and herbs. The garden does not appear to reflect years of thoughtful planning and work, but everything here was planted with a purpose.
“Every single piece of soil here has its own story,” says Farida Alluch, a certified permaculture designer, about her home garden in Tetouan, in northern Morocco.
Alluch is among a growing movement of gardeners and farmers in Morocco’s Rif region practising permaculture - an approach to agriculture that encourages working with, rather than against nature where the emphasis is on sustainability.
Developed in the 1970s by Australian biologists Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture’s popularity is increasing in drought-prone Morocco.
The north African country is currently in the midst of a water crisis due to high consumption rates and inadequate management of the resource. According to the World Resources Institute, Morocco is among the countries expected to face "extremely high" levels of water stress by 2040.
"Here you clean the dishes with pleasure knowing that you are watering the plants"
(Farida Alluch, permaculture designer)
Unpredictable weather in recent winters is also contributing to Morocco's current drought. This past November was the driest month of the country's winter rainy season in more than 20 years.
[Photo by hectorio | Flickr]