February 2023: Seeds for the new growing season

Some folks have worked at the garden through the winter, but now we have Spring ahead and are thinking about planting. Ron emptied the big water tank, and Ken plowed. Some of us decided which seeds to replenish and which holdovers are still good. Now we need help clearing out the upturned Bermuda grass and breaking up the clods. Come on Wednesday or Saturday mornings starting at 10 or 10:30 if you want to help.

Zucchini Shrimp Boats

Recipe for all that upcoming zucchini and cured garlic

Zucchini Shrimp Boats (recipe from Betty Mishuk in Silver City)

4 large or 6 small zucchini
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
2 tbls butter
3/4 pounds shrimp, deveined
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Halve the zucchini long way. Score them and scoop out the insides, leaving ¼” or so to strengthen the boats. I use a grapefruit spoon.
Place the boats in a large baking dish. Drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and thyme. Bake until tender 20 .minutes
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper cook till pink 3-4 minutes. Remove the shrimp and chop into bite size pieces along with the reserved zucchini. Return the shrimp to the skillet. Stir in scooped-out zucchini, tomatoes, garlic Cook 1 minute. Add cream and lemon juice and half the parmesan. Cook 3 minutes. Fill the boats and top with mozzarella. Cook till cheese is bubbly about 10 minutes. Garnish with parmesan and parsley.

Valencia Community Gardens in Tomé Gets a Wonderful Gift from Lowe’s and wants to share the wealth with other established and starting community gardens

Valencia Community Gardens (VCG), a non-profit based in Tomé, received a donation of hundreds of bags of organic garden soil, starter soil, planter soil, and seed-starting kits from Lowe’s in Los Lunas. The donation arrived at the perfect time as our gardeners are preparing soil and planting early crops for the season.

VCG will share the Lowe’s donation with other community gardens in Valencia County.  East Valencia Urban Gardens at 309 El Cerro Mission Rd., directed by Lindsey Díaz from the SWCD at Whitfield, will be offering raised garden beds to community families this summer.  VCG will also be offering free supplies to individuals interested in participating in our garden community or those interested in starting their own community garden. Our gardeners can be found toiling away every Wednesday and Saturday morning throughout the year. Stop by and join the fun!

7 Silva Rd just north of Tomé Gallery, south of Tomé Plaza, west of and running nearly parallel to Hwy 47. Look for the Valencia Community Gardens banner on the gate and the streetside Little Free Library.

New growing season beginning soon

IMAG2808We wear masks, keep at least six feet apart, and otherwise observe all recommended pandemic precautions. We’ll be posting springtime hours as soon as it reliably warms up. We’re at 7 Silva Rd. between the Tomé Gallery and Tomé Plaza just west of and somewhat parallel to Hwy 47. We’ve been preparing plots and pruning grapevines.


If you attended last week’s presentation by Newt McCarty at the garden and if you bought gophinator traps on his recommendation, you might want to check out these photos. Some of us struggled with setting the traps once we got our order from Trapline, even though we watched the video here: https://www.traplineproducts.com/gophers.htmlfront endFront end of trap

back endRear end of trap

set trap 2Set trap

The key at the front end is to set the little protrusion over the open jaws of the trap.  Then, you thread the prong at the rear end through the loop (lower front of the second photo).

Finally you wind the spring and let it catch on the upright prong.  Be careful to hold that rectangular trigger down as you wind the spring.

Newt suggested that when placing the traps in the tunnels, face the front end of the trap into the tunnel and press down gently to make sure the trap is well-seated in the dirt.  ¡Cuidado!  Don’t spring the trap on yourself.  As the gopher sends dirt toward the rectangular trigger, the trap will spring.

Regenerative Agriculture

This article from Edible Magazine features Bob Quinn of Kamut International, who spoke at the Edible Institute 2020 conference at La Fonda on Feb 19, 2020.  Quoting Quinn, Edible defines regenerative agriculture:

So what is regenerative agriculture? Though particular features vary among its practitioners, it first and foremost requires food producers to nourish the soil, rather than mine, deplete, or even destroy it, as happens in industrial agriculture. Chemical herbicides and pesticides common in industrial practice can kill organisms in soil, leaving the soil a nearly lifeless medium reliant on artificial nutrients and thus creating an endless, toxic cycle.

Quinn also emphasizes the importance of real organic practices as opposed to “Big Organic.”

As a practitioner and public advocate of organic agriculture, Quinn actively resists the advance of large-scale organic agriculture, or “Big Organic,” which he argues in his book, Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food, “has mostly gone the extractive commodity route.”  To food corporations and other businesses, large and small, that are trying to get into organics, Quinn asks them to assess whether their businesses extract value from communities for commodities or return value to communities. To Quinn, thinking in terms of commodities cannot be organic. “Organic—real organic—requires a whole systems approach,” he insists, “with value regenerated at every stage in the process.”

For more, go here:  https://www.ediblenm.com/what-is-regenerative-agriculture/