Gardening in the Desert: We will be Moving!

biradarcm(7b)January 12, 2013

Dear All,

Wish you all a very happy new year 2013! I hope all is well with you, family and of course planning for the spring gardening.

Here I would like to share one good news. Today accepted the job offer as a Head of the Geoinformatics Division at the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas ( It is one of the research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (, starting March 1, 2013, will based in Amman, Jordan (may be Morocco)!

It was tough decision considering other offers/counter offers from NASA/USGS/OU and wonderful friend circle of the Oklahoma. I have chosen CGIAR because it will give me an opportunity to develop geo-spatial technology and applications for agriculture and environmental security. Secondly its fits well into my personal interest and fashion about the agriculture, gardening, biodiversity, etc!

We will definitely miss you all and of course our Beautiful Garden in the backyard! We have established garden thinking we will stay here for longer! However time come to say good bye to (sell/rent) our sweat equity. I am hoping to find Home in Amman with an option to garden, even root top!

I have learned lot from this forum, thank you so much for you all, such a generous, knowledgeable and kind people. I will try my best to keep in touch with you all with this forum to further explore my fashion about the gardening and food security.

We wish you a wonderful year and happy gardening.

Regards -Chandra and Family

PS: I will update my new coordinates after March 1, 2013.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Sweet Home Garden

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Congratulations on the wonderful new job opportunity, although I confess that there's a little bit of me that is heartbroken that we won't be seeing you, Priya and your beautiful family at future Spring Flings. We will miss all of you so much, but I am excited that you get to see more of the world, face new challenges and make new friends.

Hopefully some of the things you have learned about gardening in Oklahoma will help you deal with Jordan's (or Morocco's) heat! I know that you are doing valuable work relating to agriculture in dry areas of the world and I do appreciate the way you always so freely share your knowledge with us. I always felt it was likely that a wonderful career opportunity would take you away from Oklahoma but was hoping it wouldn't happen so soon.

I wish you and your family smooth sailing and a wonderful new adventure in your new home and in the new garden all of you will create together.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:54PM
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I am very happy for you in your new adventure, although I will miss you terribly. You have been a tremendous asset to this forum, sharing your exploits. It has been great fun watching your creative endeavors yield so much success. Even as a newbie, you shared so much, and gave us great eye candy with your photographic expertise. I have very special memories of visiting your home and touring your garden. I know you will busy, but hope you will find time to drop us a line from time to time.

All the best for you and your beautiful family.

Seed mama

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Chandra, Congratulations on your new venture. Like Dawn and seedmama, I will miss you and now regret even more that we never made it to a sprig fling so could meet in person. I have so enjoyed your beautiful pics and do hope that you will come back here and post some from wherever you do live next. Best to you and your family always. Dorothy

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Chandra, congratulation on the new venture. Like the others I will miss your posting and pictures. Please keep us updated and also pictures of your new home and garden.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Chandra, I am glad you have official signed, and announced so I don't have to keep it a secret any longer. You know that Al and I will miss your family, but as I said before, I think you need to 'follow the money', and this seems like it will be a great opportunity for you.

It amazes me that Jordan can even survive with all of the refugees it has taken in, but they seem to be interested in improving their agriculture possibilities and I have read a lot lately about some of the things they are doing. I have read several articles about the schools that have greenhouses and are teaching children to garden.

As for gardening in the desert, we know you can do it. You had about every possible weather event in your backyard in Norman and your family went from beginning gardens to experts in a very short time.....but I think you will miss your beautiful backyard garden.

Since your twins are official Okies, you will have to bring them back to see their birthplace.

We will miss you on the Forum and at the Flings, but I think you are moving up to bigger and better things, and I'm sure your parents will be glad that you are a little closer. You have a lot to do in the next few weeks, but try to keep us posted on your progress. May God bless your family forever.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:02PM
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sniff...sniff....Chandra! How wonderfully blessed you are!! I'm so very happy that you and your family will be able to continue to follow your dreams...but I'm like the others...I'm gonna miss you, Priya and those babies!

And now I just want to kick myself for all the times I didn't just drop around the corner because we live so close. As Carol said...the twins are OKIES so you'll have to bring them back home from time to time. And you KNOW you've got a place to stay.

Please stay a member here?! I know many of us will anxiously await your gardening ventures in Jordan. And guess what? I've actually been to Morocco! Spent a bit of time there many years ago. The beaches and water are fabulous....and not totally unlike Oklahoma spring-time.

I'm going to cherish the seeds you've shared with me. I still have a few. Praying the Almighty keeps watch over you all!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Awwwwww......darn it! The good ones always....leave! But, nonetheless, congratulations on the new opportunity(ies) that await you and your lovely family, Chandra! It has been such a pleasure watching you, your family, and your garden grow.

I know you'll be excited about your new job, and that you'll be closer to family. But, we are only a "few clicks away", so you can fill us in on your progress in your new home!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:26AM
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Chandra, you will be missed. Thank you for all your contributions here. Perhaps you will be able to "drop in," sometime. I wish I could have met your family. It has been wonderful to see the pictures, and, probably, I've been more blessed by your sweet family and its unity, than even the garden pictures.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 7:50AM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

Oh wow, Chandra, congratulations!!! Add me to the long list of people who will miss you terribly.

I cannot believe you are going to leave your gorgeous, perfect, productive garden. You should consider selling or renting your home to a forum member here. That way you will know it will remain loved, and we will all still get to see progress pictures. ;)


    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 9:22AM
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My saffron friend!
We need you! But in all sincerity, so does the world. I am honored to have shared written time with someone as talented and passionate as you.
It is a blessing to be able to "follow the money" as Soonergrandmom says, and still follow your passion while doing exceptionally good in the world.
Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us.
Every now and then, please drop in and keep us abreast.
Thoughts and prayers always,

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Chandra, congratulations on your new adventure. I hope you will enjoy the new position and that you and your family will be very happy in your new home. Like everybody else, I will miss seeing you all at spring fling and look forward to watching how you will develop your new garden wherever you are. Maybe you will find some new hot weather tomatoes to tell us about!

Peace, Betty

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:39PM
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I love your photos! And I love the grape vines on the arbor! I am going to do that! I'm impressed they covered it that well in only 4 years.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 12:23AM
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I just have to post again. Seriously, I am so glad you posted those pictures of your place. Pictures help me much much more than just text. And that isn't a slam to those of you that have helped me out so much with just text, it's just that pictures can do even more for me. They make it so much easier for me to visualize what I will have in the future.

With these pictures I think I finally have a plan in my head, with the only exception being the specific layout.

And again, I absolutely adore the pergola with grapes. I am going to do the exact same thing! Did you just plant a different species at the base of each leg? It seems like one leg isn't on soil though. Did you just replace the soil around the legs with good soil? Or just plant in the native dirt? Did you purchase more mature grape vines? I can't believe they grew that fast otherwise! But I know only minimal information about growing grapes. That is research to be done.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I don't know how much Chandra will be online since he is busy preparing to move.

A great place to start your research is with OSU's fact sheets.

I've linked the grape fact sheet below.

Grapes grow like mad here, by the way. The key is to keep them healthy. Jo has grown beautiful grapes in the Tulsa area, but has had issues with anthracnose some years. We have wild grapes all over the place here and the birds keep planting them in my garden and I keep removing them because they are not good for fresh eating. They grow like mad and have taken over my entry arbor to the big veggie garden despite my efforts to control them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Grapes in the Home Garden

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Ooooh...I haven't been on here for just a bit, so I'm just reading this announcement! What a wonderful opportunity for you and your family, but we will truly miss ALL of you! We just took it for granted that you would stay, and your daughter and the twins would grow up here, right along with your amazing garden.
Safe travels for you all getting moved to Jordan, very best wishes for you and your family in your home and neighborhood, and great success in your endeavors. I look forward to seeing a "snapshot" of where you will be living and the rooftop gardens you engineer :)


    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 12:10PM
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I am sure they must be really busy because they are selling everything, house, 2 cars, and I think furniture and household things as well. I am sure that is the best way to handle it in this case. It is just easier to buy electrical things that will run without transformers and such. I think his reporting date is March 1st, so that isn't a lot of time to get everything done here and to get into a place over there.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Hi Chandra,

I don't think we've met in the Oklahoma Forum - I'm a fairly new member and live in Virginia. I am writing to thank you for sharing your knowledge - you are an inspiration. A few weeks ago, I was looking for information about cattle panels, found posts from 2011, during the time you were expanding your garden beds. I found answers to many questions - and new questions popped up.

These posts led me to your photo albums on Picasa. Wow, when I found those photos, I felt as if I'd struck gold! I've spent so much time looking at the photos - they are a tutorial about how to design garden beds that produce great harvests ... even during those record breaking hot dry months of 2011.

Last year, I started building raised beds - eight 4' x 12' beds - and plan to double that number this year. I will use your model and make the the new beds 16' long. Perfect for cattle panel trellises! Your irrigation system is great - I use soaker hoses but my system is less organized and I have to throw switches to water different beds. My husband is our plumber (and electrician and carpenter). I'll show him your photos so he can help me upgrade the irrigation system this year.

I know you will be sorely missed by the folks in this forum. You have such a positive, upbeat can-do attitude. I wish you and your family all the best - in your new position and another new adventure in Jordan.

I'll post this on the Forum in case you visit before you leave, and will copy and paste the text into an email to your address via GW.

Many thanks!
Pam Wright
Stingray Point,
Chesapeake Bay VA

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:45PM
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Mabrook on your well-deserved placement. I'm envious. You'll be eating Jordan's fresh vegetables, grapes, figs, watermelons and more when you're not eating your own. Jordan was the last time I ate REAL fruit! The figs were like jelly. And, as always.. those Jordan almonds and olives.

You're most likely to have the roof-top garden. They even keep chickens up top. I hope the political situation stays calm, too.

Most of all, I'm envious that you'll have access to fresh Mensaf!

I will certainly miss the pictures of your beautiful garden and your helpful knowledge. You're a jewel and we'll miss you.

Wishing safe travels for you and yours.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:04AM
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Congratulations, Chandra. It's always been a pleasure to read about the gardening things you do, and to marvel at your level of energy. It is good to have proof that others value you as you deserve to be valued. Good fortune!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:26AM
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Oh, exciting! I'm not really ever in this forum, but I was poking around to see if there were any people on GW from Jordan. My husband is from Jordan, and we're moving there in a year or three. He doesn't seem to remember any nurseries or anything else. We'd be up in the north where we would get more rain than you in Amman. I remember little roadside stands, but not much else. I'm sure there must be a few gardeners there at least who are interested in more than just the average plants everyone else has. I'll be interested to hear what you find out. I'm seriously considering bringing all my houseplants (on the wasta ticket) with me if it turns out to be a houseplant desert :P I know my SIL has a cane begonia, but other things have been rather random. you see some epiphytic cacti, occasionally someone has a hoya, etc. I've never seen orchids or AVs. The area we'll go is more like Riverside, CA. Amman is a bit different, maybe more like the CA central valley. In Irbed I have seen people grow mature euphorbs, and they must never see a frost-- at least in those yards.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 2:48PM
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