In this Issue
No building activity this month. We have been very busy with spring planting!
We currently have some possible visits for later in the spring or early summer.
The Farmer's Markets
The Bisbee Farmer's Market is still doing OK for us, but there are even more vendors and more competition and we are still looking for more restaurants and retailers to sell to. Our stir-fry crop came back in, so we are selling that along with kale, mixed lettuce, and spinach. Our first radish crop sold well and we are now waiting for the next crop to mature.
We are continuing to plant and harvest mixed lettuce, spinach, kale, snow peas, radishes, and stir-fry mix, and our summer crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, summer squash, watermelons, and okra are coming up and growing. Our snow peas were seriously attacked by leaf-cutter bees untll we covered them. They are now recovering and our 2nd bed of peas is starting to produce as well. We have just planted a bed of corn in the new bed in the upper garden, and will try intercropping with tepary beans for a "two sisters' approach.Still to plant are cantaloupes and more winter (butternut) squash.
Our first blooms from a pomegranate we grew from seed have opened, after putting a dressing of cow manure compost around it. We will eventually be doing this for all the pomegranates, as time and material allows.
Our mature apricot trees will have a small crop this year. The fruit is nearly full sized, and we hope they ripen sufficiently before all eaten by hungry birds.
We have planted out the rest of the chinaberry trees which were grown last year in pots. We will be planting more from seed. The 3-year-old trees are growing rapidly and will probably be 8-10 ft. tall by the end of summer.
It looks like one of our olive trees didn't make it, thanks to gophers. The other is hanging in there. The bush cherries look happy.
We obtained some bamboo from David in Bisbee and have planted it. At least four clumps are sending up new shoots.
The solar oven has been on the back burner but Edwin's goal is still to complete it for the Bisbee Solar Cookoff on June 1.
The solar hot water system for Edwin's bathtub has also been delayed.
We will be continuing to gradually stockpile extra food, mainly grains and beans, and winter squash for emergency food supply. Next year we will start growing potatoes and possibly wheat and oats.
Edwin has started collecting cow manure for composting to save money on soil amendment purchases. So far we have used the composted manure in three beds and as a top-dressing on a few more and around trees and bushes. The manure is treated with EM-1, a effective micro-organisms to speed up decomposition.
- We have increased the number of beds to 24.
- We obtained the grasshopper biological control and have spread the first application
- We obtained the shade cloth to protect greens agains summer heat and sun for 4 beds, which will be used on the most heat-sensitive crops such as spinach.
On the agenda for May/June:
- Continue selling produce at the Bisbee market
- Harvest the garlic
- Continue succession plantings of our greens crops as needed
- Plant more summer crops: squash, cantaloupe, herbs, corn, and more
- Double dig more new beds in the upper garden
- Collect more compost and compostable materials
- Spread a second application of biological control for grasshoppers
- Build the solar oven
- Start work on finishing the interior of Edwin's dome and/or water heater if time permits
- Purchase a drip-tape system for 6 beds if funds permit
- Repair last year's damage to swales and earthen dam as time permits
Please Spread the Word
If you know of anyone who has a pioneer spirit and is interested in community, permaculture and ecology, organic gardening, living simply, and personal growth, please pass the word by directing them to http://sacredsanctuary.org and encourage them to subscribe to this newsletter.
Wishing you peace and love -
Edwin Basye, Steward