In this Issue
Happy Valentine's Day!
January and early February have been much warmer than average, with overnight lows still occasionally reaching below freezing, but daytime highs in the 60's and 70's. In January, the Bisbee Farmer's Market gave us an all-time record for gross sales, and sales have continued to be above previous levels for this time of year.
Rocco rewired electricity to the campers, swapping out the old 12V source for 110V, and we now have lights in all campers and the toilet house.
Chris fixed Edwin's gate and built up the stone higher around it for more stability. With help from John he also built a large wood-fired oven which he plans to bake lots of bread in.
Plans have been made to integrate the two pairs of campers and add another shower and outdoor kitchens, and completing the pond walls and shade structure.
Chris, with help from John, has built a wood-fired oven out of an old dryer, plus rock and mortar. He's still putting the final touches on it. Home-made bread is in our future!
Gordon is our latest guest, and is likely to become a member when the 90-day probation period is over. He brought his dog scout, who needs some training but is adjusting to life on the Sanctuary. Gordon brings with him skills in landscaping and gardening, and is creative with arts and crafts. Gordon came with his friend Cathy, and is currently away, taking Cathy back to California.
Chris received a cat, named Monty (short for Monster), from our friends Shane and Beth. He's turning out not to be a monster after all.
The Farmer's Market
We had all-time record sales on the 18th of January, and good sales since. The salad mix has not sold as well as expected on some market days. We are improving quality control of the salad mixes. We are selling salad mix, which is just lettuce, and spring mix, which is our salad mix with some mustard, tatsoi, and kale mixed in. We plan to add other greens to the spring mix as well.
We are continuing succession plantings of lettuce, kale, spinach. Fava beans and snow peas are still blooming but have not yet produced pods. Soon it will be time to start planting crops for spring and summer. In fact, we have already planted onions and other crops.
The cows have finally stopped challenging our fence, thanks to the ranchers fixing their well. The cows now have their own adequate source of water.
We are continuing to dig new beds in the upper garden, as seen on the right, and then we will dig more beds in the lower garden until we have at least 50 beds. Currently we have 39 beds. We have the drip system in place in the upper garden and will extend it as we add more beds on a second terrace.
Gordon trimmed the fruit trees, and did a fine job. We plan to plant more apricots and other bearing perennials in March.
We have developed plans for solar hot water and a solar dehydrator. We will be constructing those in March and April.
We have an interest-free loan for solar pump repair and now need to get the repair kit ordered so we can get back on solar. Once back on solar water pumping, we plan to get a washing machine and use the generator to run it, which will no longer be required for the well pump.
- The drip system parts for the upper garden have been purchased and are being installed.
- We now have 5 planted beds in the upper garden and are digging more.
- The Douglas Mercado is undergoing a rebirth. All current board members (including Edwin) have resigned and the Mercado will move to Friday evenings when it re-opens this spring. We do not plan to sell at the Mercado this year, but will monitor it and may open a booth there next year.
On the agenda for this month:
- Continue selling produce at the Bisbee market
- Continue succession plantings as needed and plant spring/summer crops
- Continue digging new beds
- Finish installing drip system for upper garden beds
- Build outdoor kitchen(s)
- Plumb Edwin's bathtub.
- Work on pond walls and shade structure.
- Continue to look into aquaponics, talapia culture, and design the system
- Repair road as needed
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://sacredgardensanctuary.org and encourage them to subscribe to this newsletter.
Wishing you peace and love -
Edwin Basye, Steward