…cultivating the land where nothing else will grow
Greening the Desert creates the bridge between science and nature for the re-mediation and productive use of marginal and drought and salinity stricken land
By mimicking nature, Greening the Desert cultivates marginal, drought and salinity stricken terrain using nil, minimal or saline water.
Our scientifically researched and field tested solutions permanently re-mediate and sustain drought and salinity affected farmland and desert landscapes for practical agricultural outcomes.
What we do
In desert and arid wasteland and on marginal land we cultivate and grow
- Beneficial and sustainable cash crops for human and animal consumption
- Pharmaceuticals and flavonoids for medicinal and wellness products
- Abatement offset to counter global warming, and
- Biochar and biofuels for renewable energy
Our methods halt rising water tables and reduce desertification and erosion.
We stop the loss of valuable habitat for animals and birds by reviving ecosystems, repairing impoverished soil and improving poor quality water systems.
Why we do it
To restore poor and unsustainable landscapes such as deserts, salt flats and flood plains and to overcome man-made land degradation caused by agriculture, forestry and mining.
To help farmers to survive on the land and to combat famine by growing food for livestock and human consumption to sustain disadvantaged and poverty stricken people.
To empower Indigenous Australians as the world’s oldest living culture, by learning from their 40,000 year affiliation with the land by encouraging their active participation in Greening the Desert.
To reduce global warming, reduce the albedo effect and to encourage more rainfall.
A common perception is that rain emanates from the sky – whereas in fact, it emanates from the ground. Rain falls (or ceases to fall) because of what is growing on the ground. If there are no lush forests, green foliage or ground cover…rain will not fall.
- Fukoaka 1985
Greening the Desert is based on extensive scientific research and practical field trials to identify the species and the means to sustain productive agriculture.
In 2009 the company received a Commonwealth ARC Research Grant in partnership with the pre-eminent University of Tasmania (UTas) for the research and investigation of productive crop outcomes from drought tolerant and saline consuming plant species.
You can download a copy of this research report by clicking here: Panta et al (2014)
Our Scientific Partner – the University of Tasmania (UTas)
Our species have been researched and tested by our scientific partner by planting in companionship with other drought and salinity tolerant species.
Professor Shabala (left) of UTas; the Chairman of the Indigenous Monetary Fund of Australia (IMFA) Mr. Parry Agius (centre) and Mr. Gabriel Haros Managing Director of Greening the Desert inspect saline irrigated crops at the UTas Research Farm at Cambridge, Tasmania.
Our research identifies a number of species
- Requiring nil or minimal irrigation
- Of extreme salinity tolerance – in some cases using saline irrigation or flooding
- Requiring minimal land preparation, cultivation and weeding, and
- Needing negligible quantities of fertilizer
The species can flourish within extreme climatic conditions and planting in impoverished terrain and flood plains.
Such species are indigenous to countries and regions where the landscape is marginal or comprised of desert.
They include a mix of different types of plants that are capable of consuming salt and are drought resistant and tolerant.
These species can be used in companionship for a range of bio-diverse planting regimes, reducing the need for water and organically enriching the soil by fixing nitrogen.
Some species are endowed with salt bladders that consume salt from the land – which is disposed of by grazing or mechanical harvesting – a process called phytoremediation.
Pictured is a microscopic photo of salt bladders.
Non-till ground preparation
Non-till site preparation is important to overcome minimal rainfall and to ensure successful re-vegetation.
Extreme ploughing can damage and ruin the soil and disturb the roots that penetrate deep into the ground in search of air, water and nutrients
We use ground imprinting or ripping to avoid breaking-up the soil and to minimise erosion – employing manual labour or machines to meet local site conditions.
Clay seed capsules encase the seeds pending germination to provide nourishment and protection from a host of predators and damaging elements and for seeds to germinate under the right climatic conditions.
The capsules accommodate a range of different landscape and climatic conditions by providing valuable micro-sites for seed establishment.
This process concentrates scarce site resources of water and organic matter into non-till imprinted hollows – our methods accommodate nature – rather than calling on nature to accommodate our seeds.
Founder and Managing Director
Former Tasmanian parliamentarian and lawyer, Gabriel founded the PundaZoie Company Pty. Ltd. which is the owner of the intellectual property comprising the Greening the Desert program in the early 1990’s.
The word PundaZoie is comprised of two Greek words meaning “everlasting life.”
Mobile +61. 438 116 649
Prof. Sergey Shabala
The GTD research leader and Stress Physiology Research Group Leader at the School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania, Sergey is also a co-Director of the Australia-China Research Centre for Plant Stress Biology and an Editor in Chief for Functional Plant Biology.
Sergey is the acknowledged world leader for plant stress physiology, plant adaptive responses to salinity, extreme temperatures, soil acidity, drought, water logging, nutritional disorders and bionic stress.
Sergey is on the scientific funding panel for 14 different countries where his research has been cited almost 7000 times. His current H Index is 45.
Jeff Castellas is Managing Director of Greenard Willing India Pty Ltd. and the founder and director of Clean Technology AustralAsia Pty Ltd.
Jeff has enjoyed 20 years of professional investment banking and corporate advisory experience and is acknowledged as an international expert in structuring and raising capital for industry partnership projects in the agriculture, energy and mining sectors in Australia and India.
Jeff advises ASX public and private companies on commercialisation and investment. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Earth Sciences from Deakin University, Melbourne and Master’s Degree in Business from Royal Roads University, BC, Canada.
Mobile +61. 401 067 252
Michele is Director of Eco-efficient Consulting: business strategist and marketer with an unwavering passion for the environment, having founded her first environmentally minded enterprise at 18 years of age. Michele has continued to make a life-long contribution to the area of the environment and over a decade in clean technologies.
Mobile +61. 409 858 116
A graduate in botany and geology from the University of Tasmania, Roy has been a science teacher, Supervisor of Science in the Tasmanian Education Dept., managing director of both a computer training company and a Web design and marketing business operator.
Roy has acted as a consultant in business management and project development and for the PundaZoie Company for the last five years, Roy has been involved in developing projects and management structures.
Mobile +61. 438 392 041
Elizabeth (Biz) Nicholson
Tasmanian farmer and seed producer, Elizabeth (Biz) is the proprietor of the specialist Tasmanian wild seeds production company Taz Wild Seeds as well as Taz Wild Foods (a grower of Tasmanian sea vegetables) and is an experienced and successful farmer in her own right.
Biz’s family run 18,000 sheep on their Tasmanian farm where Biz propagates and grows native species for a broad range of practical purposes.
Phone +61. 3. 6384 2165
Suresh is responsible for science and research having joined our team in 2014, holding two postgraduate degrees in Agricultural science as well as being a final year PhD candidate in University of Tasmania.
Suresh’s research is Halophytes for high saline agriculture where he is researching the sustainable use of saline water for irrigated halophytic plant production in degraded land and plant adaptive responses to extreme environment (soil and water salinity, drought, and waterlogging) soil health and rehabilitation of degraded land. Suresh is a member of Soil Science Australia and the Australian Society of Plant Scientists.
Mobile +61. 421 358 669
Greening the Desert is involved in developing a number of projects both in Australia and overseas.
Learning from the world’s oldest living culture
More than 40,000 years of Indigenous culture is applied by Greening the Desert for tailoring our environment and lands solution process.
By harnessing a history and natural affinity with agriculture, bush tucker, animal husbandry and the land, Indigenous Australians are empowered from participation in Greening the Desert at all levels.
This encourages a future that delivers land tenure, working capital, employment and learning and develops business and entrepreneurial skills within Aboriginal communities for the assistance of many others around the world.
Greening the Desert applies the rich history and valuable cultural and social roots and skills of Indigenous Communities in a manner that is independent, dignified and respectful of Aboriginal heritage.
The Wimmera – Turning negatives into positives
Greening the Desert is establishing a number of trial plots in partnership with drought and salinity affected farmers and stakeholders of the Wimmera Districts of Western Victoria.
These trials, conducted with the assistance and support of the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (WCMA) are researching the potential for long term perennial crop solutions on marginal land for alternative growing outcomes for local farmers.
This project involves processing into feed pellets and foodstuffs, hardy and consistent crop outcomess for export as high quality livestock fodder and food for sustenance in countries such as Africa and India.
Greening the UAE
Ground preparation by imprinting being conducted by hand in preparation for trial plots in the UAE
Almost every tree and shrub growing in the UAE requires irrigation – and almost every drop of water used for irrigation purposes is provided by desalination.
Greening the Desert is researching a variety of endemic and Australian species in the desert of Western UAE at two sites Ghayathi and Barqua Al Suqor for the cultivation of crops using both nil and saline contaminated water.
Visible sign of success have emerged from the harsh desert landscape in a manner that promises that most of the planted species will be in bloom by the end of this year.
Get in touch
Should you wish to support our work, become involved in our activities, receive more information or if we can address a specific need for you about Greening the Desert™ please feel free to contact one of our team members by phone or email us at email@example.com
The PundaZoie Company P/L (ACN 101 489 605)