Sweet potato harvest

My neighbor Patty just harvested their sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes

 

Red racer
Red racer

This picture was taken on 10/10 when a red racer was racing through their garden.   They have been harvesting lots of tomatoes and Patty has been canning.  I’ve been enjoying their extra eggplant and peppers.

It’s incredible that it’s mid November and their tomatoes are STILL loaded!

Pete and Patty are currently building a little greenhouse and an aquaponics system.  They also planted fruit trees and I just love to see retirees do more than watch TV.

So inspiring!

GMO Crops Headed for Ban in Sonoma County | Election 2016 | KQED Science

I realize that secession is unlikely, but if the West Coast was to secede, I think I’d be moving!  As much as I love Arizona and especially the Joshua Tree desert, the many tourist and Muslim hating right wingers and the absence of any appreciation of “good” food in Mohave County is starting to frustrate me.  All our supervisors are Republicans, do-nothing corporate shills, supporting idiotic ideas like uranium mining and ruthless corporate farmers plundering our water and clearing the desert of established Joshua Tree forests with trees literally hundreds of years old.

No place is perfect, but it sure is good to see that there are still people who care in other parts of the country:

… Sonoma joins five other California counties that have already passed bans on transgenic crops: Mendocino, Marin, Trinity, Humboldt and Santa Cruz.

Proponents say the ban is necessary to protect the county’s organic fields from cross-pollination. …

Source: GMO Crops Headed for Ban in Sonoma County | Election 2016 | KQED Science

GMO corruption: Grocery Manufacturers Association fined $18 million for violating campaign finance laws

(Law360, Los Angeles (November 2, 2016, 10:45 PM EDT) — A Washington state judge slapped the Grocery Manufacturers Association with a record $18 million fine Wednesday for violating campaign finance laws while fighting a GMO labeling ballot initiative, levying what state prosecutors say is the highest campaign finance penalty in U.S. history.

The court previously found that the Grocery Manufacturers Association unlawfully hid the names of contributors to its account funding opposition to Initiative 522, a 2013 ballot measure requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods, and that the group failed to file required disclosure forms….

They got a slap on the wrist.

The Organic Trade Organization also sold out to the biotech industry and SUPPORTED the DARK Act. 

https://www.organicconsumers.org/press/60-groups-call-companies-withdraw-organic-trade-association

Sometimes I could cry.  It is so frustrating to see so much deceit.

Things aren’t getting better, but WORSE!

Giant melon and wonderful dinners

The other day we were cleaning up in the orchard, cutting back and taking out plants that were killed off by the hail.  Lost one of my Armenian cucumber plants and had to harvest damaged veggies.

One of my helpers was pulling on a melon vine, it didn’t move and he went to investigate. Wedged behind the growbags and the fence he discovered our biggest melon of this season:

Moon and Stars Melon
Red Moon and Stars Watermelon

Everybody got to hold it and we thought it was around 30 – 35 lbs.  My scale stops at 10 lbs.

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Various squash and Armenian cucumbers for sale

All that rain last week really made everything grow like crazy!

We’ve been eating the occasional Armenian cucumber and Black Beauty and Yellow Crookneck squash, but the last few days I got to harvest way more than we can eat:

8-10-16-squash-Armenian-cucumbers

This is the first time we actually get to harvest Ronde De Nice summer squash.  I’ve tried for years, but apparently the seedlings never made it and I’ve mostly harvested Black Beauty zucchini.

Ronde De Nice Reviews and recipes at Baker Creek.

Right now I’m getting the light green Armenian Cucumbers.   I had ordered seeds for the DARK green striped variety this year, but apparently also planted some of last year’s seeds.  I prefer the dark green variety because it looks more like a cucumber and it is smooth — easier to clean and/or peel.  I think they taste the same and it’s just a visual thing.

7-31-13--Armenian-cucumbers
Cut the Armenian cucumbers in half and EASILY remove ALL SEEDS with a spoon in a second or two.

Armenian cucumbers are actually MELONS, so people who can’t eat cukes might well be able to eat these guys.

I don’t grow “real” cucumbers anymore because they’d get bitter and I got so tired of tasting, spitting, peeling, … repeat …

I haven’t had many tomatoes yet.  Some plants died from sudden death syndrome and one actually died after a tomato worm attack. That’s never happened before, but I’ve been so busy, missed a day of checking for worms and the plant was so leafless, it died.

I still have 3 or 4 peace vine tomato plants going and I’ve eaten a few tomatoes as they got ripe while watering.  Am hoping for a lot more tomatoes in fall when it cools off.

Southern Giant Curled Mustard

I just started eating it and it is HOT!   Let me know if you’d like some.

LIMITED supply for sale.

If you’re local and you’d like to buy squash or Armenian cucumbers, please contact me.  I’m in Meadview at the Collectors Corner Sundays 1 – 4 pm and if you’re in LMC or Unit 6 or 7 we could meet up out here or you could come by.

We do not use any herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  Everything is organically grown in OMRI listed / native soil.

Zucchini / squash are $1.50 ea or 4 for $5
Armenian cucumbers are $2.50 each.
Southern Giant Curled Mustard is free with purchase, just let me know if you want some.

Please call me at 564-2642 or email christine@highdesertdirt.com.

Artificial glaciers to combat drought in the Tibetan high desert

In the news section at http://icestupa.org/ you can find pictures of the 5000 trees they planted and watered with water from the melting glacier.  What a fascinating project!

If we could only store at least some of the water that runs off during monsoon season.  This year we got much more rain than usual (everything’s been growing like crazy!) after a dry June and I sure wish we could have a very deep pond.  The trouble is that digging is so hard. And then you have to waterproof the hole, not cheap!

Chickens, turkeys, koi and fruit trees in Lake Mead City

A few weeks ago I visited Jeff and Shannon in Lake Mead City after hearing about their pond, poultry and fruit and nut trees. It’s great to see neighbors so dedicated to raising food animals cruelty free and I hope they will advertise “never frozen” chicken and turkey at our local Buy – Sell – Trade forum.   I really don’t want to have to drive to Vegas again to buy a free ranged turkey or chicken at Whole Foods, much rather buy LOCAL — knowing the animals have been treated well!

pondI LOVE to see water in the desert.  There are MANY fish in the water and it will eventually be pumped to water the trees — excellent fertilizer!

And here are the chickens and turkeys:

chickens-bird-of-paradise
Bird of Paradise for shade and it’s also a nitrogen fixer

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The first Armenian cucumber

FINALLY!

It didn’t even see it growing since the plants aren’t staked (yet) and all of a sudden there it was:

2016-7-21-first-Armenian-cucumber

A friend just asked me what Armenian cucumbers look like and I put the letter sized catalog next to it for size reference.  It’s not one of the heavier cukes we’ve grown (12 or 15 pounders), but I decided to pick it because I wanted the cucumber salad so bad and I was worried about some critter getting it first.  It was so GOOD!

Last year we had the other kind of Armenian cucumbers, light green without stripes and I think they taste the same, but I just like the look of the dark green striped cukes better.

This one was so young, I didn’t even peel it or cut it lengthwise in half to de-seed.  I’m hoping for many more!

I don’t grow regular cucumbers anymore because they got bitter and it was such a hassle always having to taste test.  Armenian cucumbers are actually melons and don’t get bitter.