||INTEGRATED USE OF MARGINAL AREAS
||Tucson Basin, Arizona, United States of America, North America
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|Continent: North America
Country: United States of America
Site: Tucson Basin, Arizona
Description of the local variant of the technique
The ancient Hohokam would cultivate crops with low water requirements on marginal land surrounding agricultural fields. Field run-off, especially during heavy rain and flooding events, would provide enough water for these well-adapted plants to thrive without further management. Specifically, Agave and edible weeds such as Amaranth and Goosefoot would be encouraged in these marginal tail-lands to provide a buffer source of nutrients and plant resources. Coordinated planting of Agave creates functional check-dams to direct water runoff into desired areas and allow water to slow enough to permeate into soil.
Survival prospects are improved by providing a source of nutrients in off-season or in event of crop failure. Agave can be used as an emergency source of carbohydrates.
1) Johnson, Jolene K. Hohokam Ecology: The Ancient Desert People and Their Environment. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1997. Print.
2) Minnis, Paul E. "Agave." New Lives for Ancient and Extinct Crops. Tucson: U of Arizona, 2014. 116-20. Print.