Garden update 11/10

-I have a feeling this wind will bring down the mulberry leaves so hopefully we can fit a couple of hours of leaf bagging into our busy schedule this week…..or next.
-Do you have canning jars??? Especially pints and 1/2 pints???? Bring them to the garden tomorrow for our canning session on Saturday. We have about 8 people who are coming to my house to put up green tomato relish and red tomato sauce.
-Going to the Quivira Coalition conference?

What we did on Saturday. Six of us did more garden organizing. I checked to make sure the valves to the circle watering system were open while Steve and Ron drained and rolled hoses. The three of us fixed up a temporary storage area behind the greenhouse for our lumber materials, wagons, and wheel barrels. If you need a wheel barrel look for them between the horse fence and the north side of the greenhouse. Patricia took down the shade cloth in the green house while Geri harvested radishes and lettuce. Suzanne checked our canning supplies in the shed. We have cleared our garden equipment from around George’s barn so it will be clear for him to enclose the south wall.
What we need to do on Wed. Debbie would like to plant more cover crops since we have the seeds so be prepared to dig Bermuda grass, haul compost, and level plots. Someone needs to pull down the bean vines and pull out the squash plants. The vines can go on one of the tomato plant piles that are layered with compost and chips. Someone can cut or dig out the marigold plants around the garden and tie them upside down in black plastic bags. We’ll figure out a place to hang them. During the winter the seeds will collect in the bag and we can scattered them next season. The more marigolds in the garden the better….they add lovely color and mean insects don’t like them.
Unless we have something urgent to do let’s drop our Saturday workday after this weekend, but continue with Wed workdays until we have completed all our “bedding” chores.

Putting the garden to bed, take two


After planting greens in the greenhouse and shallots, garlic, leeks, and cover crop in the outdoor plots, since the freeze we’ve tidied up, pulled up tomato and chile plants and other garden remnants, and piled up the debris. Not much is left visibly growing except chard and herbs, and there’s still gathering leaves and mulching and planting more cover crops to do. We’re planning on leaving behind no bare ground in the quiet of the year.  The hoses are rolled.


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The mosquito-eating fish (gambusia) are still visible in the stock tank.  And there’s still some red and green. IMAG2550IMAG2552IMAG2554IMAG2553 Bundled up and looking motherly, President Joyce is taking home the last of the harvest.IMAG2556  Thank you for all you do, Joyce!

Garden update Nov. 6

There was a flurry of activity in the garden last Wednesday, until the curtain of rain descended. I found myself in the greenhouse with Debbie and Geri making a list of things to do, all three of us looking like drowned cats. So here is what got done….
Ron and Steve hooked up and tested our electric pump. Ingrid, Jeany, Erin and kids, plus Deb and Suzanne picked the last of the green tomatoes for our canning session, Nov. 14. Then we pulled more tomatoes, and piled the vines in two areas, then layered them with compost and manure. We’ll let the piles break down over the winter. Geri worked in the greenhouse.
Saturday may be one of our last workdays if we can get everything finished. Someone needs to take down or pull back the shade cloth in the greenhouse. We need to prep a place north of the greenhouse and move the rest of our materials and equipment from around George’s barn. Could either Ron or Steve get the electric pump going and fill the fish tank so Geri will have water available for the greenhouse?

Barry Wood (the Branch owner and master coffee roaster) said to be on mulberry leaf alert. His leaves may fall any day now. My cousin Jim brings his trailer and we rake up all the mulberry leaves and bag them for mulch on the plots. (Mulberry leaves make great mulch because their leaves are not as waxy as cottonwood leaves) The more people we can get to help, the faster the job.

Quivera Coalition: 2015, Wed. Nov. 11-Friday, Nov. 13. ABQ This is a wonderful conference that brings speakers on farming, sustainability, and conservation from all over the world. This year Paul Hawken will be speaking. He is a world renowned author and lecturer. Several of us will be attending at least parts of this conference. Join us if you are interested. Google it!

Canning Workshop, Green tomato relish/red tomato sauce. Nov. 14, 9:00-1:30 Saturday,
90 Valencia Rd. Call for directions. Let Suzanne or I know if you are coming….jjh 414-8693
Suz 916-6578

Garden Update Nov. 3

Looks like we may have only one more workday before the first hard frost. Although the trees are not showing much color it has been lovely working in the garden.
What we did on Saturday.
Steve transported the chipper to the garden and they used it right on his trailer in the garden. Rick ran the chipper while Molly and Ron gathered material to run through it. Steve kept the operation flowing. Geri moved the tomato cages to the back fence while Molly, Ingrid, Suzanne, and Debbie prepped and planted cover crops in another two plots in the enclosed tomato area. Ron moved some old concrete to the dumpster. A few more green tomatoes and beans were picked by Kathy who also harvested herbs and put them in the greenhouse dryer.
We had a lively meeting, talking over the chipper noise and patting ourselves on our backs for a great season of gardening. The garden looks better every year.
What we need to do on Wed.
We need to figure out how to hang our harvesting baskets in the greenhouse. A couple of people can drain and roll the hoses and maybe hang them on the east fence by the greenhouse. If we have enough people we can prep and cover a few more plots. We want every plot leveled and either composted and covered in chips or planted in cover crops.

We will have a canning session on Sunday, Nov. 8 in my kitchen starting at 9:00 AM. If you have any canning jars, especially 1/2 pints and pints we could sure use them. Bring them to the garden tomorrow if you can so Suzanne can sterilized them. We will can green tomato pickle relish and ripe tomato sauce.

I think we need to have a gathering at the end of the season sometime this month. How about a bonfire in the late afternoon? S’mores, hot dogs, hot chocolate? And according to Pati, a party without a cake is just a meeting. Let’s plan a bash as we put the garden to bed for the winter. Jjh

Putting the garden to bed

Here it is almost November, and we’ve had only a light frost on a few plants, but we’re making progress putting the garden to bed for the winter.  In this photo, you see we’ve covered the cover crop with row cover to keep in moisture and warmth and to keep out chickens.


Halloween chipping, covercropping, and meeting

Rick the chipperbefore and after pilesHalloween harvestchippingchipping breakgarlic patch with MollyKathy and SuzanneDeb and Joycequartet of cover crop plotsMeetingThanks to Rick and Molly for bringing their chipper and to Ron and Steve for helping Rick chip, also to all the folks who worked the bed at the northwest end of the tomato plot. With all the TLC, cover crop, and mulch, the soil should be lots better next year. Only one showed up in costume, but the meeting went on as planned.