A garden in progress

I’m gradually altering my yard to become a permaculture garden. The woman who lived here before me grew purely ornamental plants, especially bulbs. The garden beds had been neglected for years.

I just discovered “waste” rock left over from the beds and main pathway buried around a large pine tree in the northwest corner of my yard. I have used much of it to build up the pictured raised bed and north garden walkway. I now need to fill the garden bed with soil that I will collect from burying the pathway rocks and bed edging rocks.

I plan to plant summer and winter squash and pickling and lemon cucumbers in this bed. It gets early morning sun and stays sunny until mid-afternoon.

I’m very much into repurposing things. Staying at home because of Covid-19 makes repurposing absolutely necessary. I will never be bored!

A new cold frame

It fits over my raised bed made with recycled plastic. Terrific! We plan to grow summer and winter squash and cucumbers in it during the warm months and then leafy greens in the fall and winter.

A garden in progress …..

We planted a bare root apple tree. We’re waiting for a cold frame to arrive. We have, beds and containers to plant, seeds, biochar, compost tea mix, and more. More seeds are on the way. We intended to create a permaculture garden three years ago, but multiple life events got in the way: divorce, remarriage, plumbing disasters, major and minor surgeries, sudden health crises, and more, and that was before the pandemic. Almost four years of observation of the yard’s microclimates has been helpful.

I think at this point, the necessity of home food production and greater local resilience and self sufficiency will reenergize the permaculture and Transition Town movements.

An April snow has not stopped our cool season crops from sprouting!

Cool season foods and medicinal plants like leafy greens, mint family herbs (catnip pictured), onions, and cool season legumes like sugar snap peas, have no problem with light to hard late frosts and late spring snow.

My book, “Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains,” shows you how.

Our #2020VictoryGarden

Today I planted sugar snap peas, lettuce, lacinato kale and radishes. We also have seeds for PeƱasco winter squash, cherry tomatoes and Chimayo chiles, all from Native Seeds/SEARCH. As you can see, Tiger is providing free labor, while Pablo stands guard. LynnAnnRose and I put up some old chicken wire in the garage to use as a trellis. #StayAtHome #Permaculture #UrbanHomesteading #DIYGardening

Signs of spring

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The pea seedlings are coming up in our community garden plot, and fruit trees and shrubs are in the middle of flowering, like these bright yellow barberry flowers. It might be a great barberry year, like 2014 was in Flagstaff, AZ. I’ll have to decide if I’m going to make barberry juice or jam.

We’ve started a new garden plot at the neighborhood community garden

LynnAnnRose and I have a plot at our neighborhood community garden. After removing the drip irrigation tubing and raking back last year’s straw mulch, we prepared the soil and planted some pre-sprouted sugar snap peas and radishes so far. The soil is sandy, in contrast to the compacted, silty soil in Flagstaff; it required very little loosening. We had to buy some compost to spread on top since we don’t have our own compost bin yet. Compost works to improve all types of soil. We added plenty of new straw mulch on top to prevent soil water evaporation. The tomato cages on top are preventing the mulch from blowing away.

We bought the pea and radish seeds and other heirloom seeds from Native Seed/SEARCH, including one of LynnAnnRose’s favorite foods, Chimayo chiles. Chimayo is a small village not far from Santa Fe. The chiles have been grown for centuries by Hispanic farmers in the region. We also have some purchased seedlings of vegetables and herbs that will be planted mostly in out back and front yards. We plan to save the seeds from the open-pollinated varieties.

Native Seed/SEARCH is a regional seed bank for Native American and Southwest Hispanic seed varieties. Limited quantities of these seeds are available for purchase.