August 30, 2015

Growing organic & GMO-free veggies, fruit and nuts

8/22/15 Master Gardener Fall Gardening workshop in Kingman

This Saturday is the annual Master Gardener FALL PLANTING workshop:

Please join the Kingman Area Master Gardeners for a Fall Planting Workshop to be held on Saturday, August 22, 2015 from 9:00am – 12 noon.

You will learn about what to grow, soil preparation and square foot gardening. After the presentation, we will visit the DIG It Kingman Community Garden for a hands-on demonstration.

To make reservations and for additional information, call the Mohave County Extension office at 928-753-3788, Ext 19, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

After business hours, call 928-753-3788 and press *819. The voice mail will guide you through the registration process.

It’s FREE, but reservations are required.

If you’re in Meadview and you’d like to go, you could possibly ride with us.

I will also bring the handouts to our gardening club meeting at Canyon’s End next Wednesday and we’ll talk a lot more about fall gardening then.

Kingman Community Garden spaghetti benefit



509 Beale St, Kingman


5:00-7:00 PM

$12.50 PER PLATE (50% of proceeds will be donated to the garden)

Great food and lots of fun!

Marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, meatballs, chicken, pasta, salad, breadsticks, iced tea or lemonade.

Call Denise Neath for details (928) 263-1164.

Study Concludes FDA GMO Approval Process is Flawed, Outdated, and Unscientific


I posted the links to a press release and article about the study as well as the published study at

… The study, led by Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D., an MIT-trained systems biologist, utilizes his latest invention, CytoSolve, a 21st century systems biology method to integrate 6,497 in vitro and in vivo laboratory experiments, from 184 scientific institutions, across 23 countries, to discover the accumulation of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and a dramatic depletion of glutathione, an anti-oxidant necessary for cellular detoxification, in GMO soy, indicating that formaldehyde and glutathione are likely critical criteria for distinguishing the GMO from its non-GMO counterpart. …

I hope that regulators and legislators will take notice!

Not only should GMOs be labeled, but they should be prohibited.

Monsanto CTO Robb Fraley insults Neil Young

Robb Fraley - CTO Monsanto
   Robb Fraley   CTO Monsanto

I hate nothing more than being lied to.  Monsanto’s officers and employees are expert liars.  In response to Neil Young’s recent album “The Monsanto Years”, Monsanto CTO Robb Fraley  compiled a number of Monsanto’s biggest lies:

Neil Young: We’re More Like You than You Think

I almost threw up reading Mr. Fraley’s ridiculous lies.

My response to Mr. Fraley:

Just because you repeat these incredible lies doesn’t make them true.  To tell Neil Young that you’re like him is the ultimate insult.

I try not to be a hateful person, but I sincerely hope that if there is a hell, Mr. Fraley, his Monsanto cronies and all the politicians who accepted the Monsanto bribes will fry in hell for a LONG time.

Here are just a few reasons not to eat Monsanto GM poisons:

New High Desert Food resource forum

For years I’ve been subscribing to various Yahoo groups and I run across so much great info, but my brain cannot remember everything.  So I decided to start the High Desert Food resource forum to organize information.

I’m still working on setting everything up, but already posted on a number of topics.  I’ve been doing so much research on amendments and fertilizers, biologicals, brix, Reams, biodynamics, etc. and I posted in the “Gardening Resources” forum:

Grow bags:

I lost many plants in the last couple of months because it was so hot and the black plastic pots heat up the soil.  I’ve tried various grow bags (Root Pouches) and I’m sold on grow bags.  I don’t think I need expensive “Smart Pots”, just about any fabric pot is better than rigid black plastic.  However, I have to PAY for grow bags (we have a gazillion plastic pots) and I am looking for the best deal on quality grow bags:

Since we’re off the grid, we don’t want to use pumps and instead utilize GRAVITY for 1/2″ poly and drip tape watering.

It’s a challenge and it took us 5 years to figure out how to water without having to run pumps and without spending a fortune.  You might think that it can’t be that hard, but you probably don’t know that most timers seriously reduce the water pressure and that most drip tape requires more pressure than you get from gravity.  It’s been an expensive learning curve, but we are finally getting there. Here’s my post on timers:

On a slow day I’ll have to put together a page on gravity watering.  After all, even with regular power in the house, many people don’t have power and water in their gardens.

Soil tests for our HIGH pH soil:

I posted the native soil test from International Ag Labs (Jon Frank) and the recommendations.

We need lots of help with making the most of our alkaline desert dirt.

All things food include local organic and GMO free resources and it’s great that the Kingman supermarkets are carrying a lot more organics.  However, Vegas is still the best place to shop and of course we have our “buying club” for Azure Standard and Frontier Natural Foods.

I continue to be amazed by so many people using Roundup and supporting GMOs.

They say that it’s been proven to be safe and that there are no scientific studies indicating any negative effects.  That’s of course ridiculous and I’m starting to post info and links to studies that will hopefully change some minds:

There’s the Buy / Sell / Trade forum:

Need catnip, chichiquelite huckleberries or sweet annie?   I have a lifetime supply of volunteers coming up.

Check it out!

Watch The Organic Life documentary free until 7/17

I just watched the 1 hour documentary about Austin Blair farming in Sonoma county.  From the website

A year in the life of an hopeful organic farmer and his skeptical girlfriend reveals that a changing climate, financial insecurity, demanding physical labor, and corporate agriculture threaten the sustainability of one of the world’s most traditional livelihoods in modern-day America.

While this is a “real” farm, I sure know what he’s talking about, the endless hours of work and so little pay.  Yet, Austin loves what he does and so do I.

Awards: Best Documentary Feature, Santa Cruz Film Festival

Watch free on Hulu until 7/17/15:

The Organic Life

Support the Kingman community garden “yard” sale

I’m very excited about the Kingman Dig It community garden and I just got a chance to see the property on Saturday.   One acre adjoining Cecil Davis park off Harrison (Hualapai Mountain Rd.) was recently donated to the garden and they are moving along at lightening speed.   Fencing is almost finished and they got a water meter for just under $3,000.  Is that crazy or what?  I heard that True Value supports the garden and I’ve been making a point of shopping there.

Dig It Kingman Community Gardens will be holding a Benefit Yard Sale on Friday, May29 starting at 7:00am. It will be held at the Kingman Community Gardens site on the corner of Lillie Avenue & Harrison Street, next to Cecil Davis Park (see attached flyer).

Donated items can be dropped off on Thursday, 5/28 between 3-7pm. Call Mike Roundy for details at 928-715-1165.

All proceeds will be used to purchase irrigation and garden tools. Items not sold will be donated to local charity.

I haven’t been able to help at the garden at all as we’re so behind schedule with our own new garden construction, but I’ll drive to Kingman on Thursday to drop of stuff for them to sell.

Please contact me If you’re in the Meadview area and you have items to donate — I’ll pick them up on Wednesday or you can drop them off at Canyon’s End on Wednesday between 2 – 4 pm while we have our gardening club meeting in the front room.

The sale is on Friday, so if you’re in Kingman, check it out!

The official flier with a map and more info:

Garage Sale FLyer DIG it Kingman letterhead 5-4-2015-22

You can also see more pictures and updates on Facebook at

Small Farm Summit

It’s free and I just started listening to yesterday’s replays:

Sustainable Small Farm Summit

CHRIS WAYNE : Stealing Market Savvy – Standing Out at the Farmers Market

RACHEL ARMSTRONG & LAURA FISHER : Common Farm Risks & Management

CRYSTAL STEWART : Holistic Management Decision Making

TRADD COTTER : Mushroom Cultivation & Production

RICHARD WISWALL : Farming Smarter, Not Harder

COACH MARK SMALLWOOD : Can Small Farm Organic Production Feed the World?

NANNETT CEPERO : 5 Uncommon Crops in Cold Urban Areas

TAMMY HOWARD : Goal Setting for New Farmers

LINDSEY SHUTE : How You Can Help National Young Farmers’ Coalition Help You

ZACH WOLF : Your Relationship to Soil Fertility Management

KEVIN EGOLF : Farmland Access Strategies for Aspiring Farmers

CURTIS STONE : Farming in the City – Intro to Profitable Urban Farming

STACEY MURPHY (HOST) : Understanding Your Finances – Tools & Strategies

DENNIS DERRYCK : Growing the Local Movement with Food Hubs

CONNOR STEDMAN : Five Research & Development Opportunities for Regenerative Agriculture

DRU RIVERS : Production Flower Farming

JOEL SALATIN : Business Strategies & Tips from Polyface Farm

$100,000 gross per acre? A great read on a rainy Sunday

I just finished reading this very thought provocing article about Paul Kaiser and his Singing Frog 8 acre farm near Sebastopol (Nor Cal wine country).  Singing Frogs looks a lot like my vision for our place:

We’re getting ready to build another hoophouse, although we’re hoping for more of a walapini (in ground).   I’m not sure how far down we can get due to the CALICHE everywhere on our property, but it sure would be nice to be able to avoid the huge temperature swings that are apparently a problem even in Sebastopol.  Paul Kaiser mentions 50 degree differences and we can easily have 60 or even 70 degree differences between day time highs and night time lows in our hoophouse.

I’m sure glad we finally got compost going and hopefully will be ready for chickens in a month or two, at the most.

Add to our wholesale berry, fruit and nut tree orders

Our first order will be from Hartmann’s Plant Company in Michigan.  They retail too, but if you order more than 100 plants you get wholesale prices.   I’ve been looking for deals like Hartmann’s, with many berries, kiwi and figs for about $2/ea in 2.5″ containers.   In previous years I paid $6 and more for small seedlings or rooted cuttings and lost quite a few of them.

There’s LOTS of info at Hartmann’s site and you can browse both the retail and wholesale listings:

Download wholesale catalog (.pdf)

The Growing Instructions are quite extensive and they also describe each plant and how to grow and prune it.  Some plants appear to be available only retail, such as asparagus and elderberry. It looks like the Growing Instructions contain all plants. And of course you can also download the retail catalog.

Download Growing Instructions

We will talk about specific plants and how to grow them in our climate at the 1/29 Gardening Club meeting next Thursday at 2 pm at Canyon’s End near Meadview.   That’s when you can add to our order and we will place the order the following weekend.

I called Hartmann’s today and a helpful person promptly answered the phone, spoke fluent English and answered my questions.  We’re off to a good start.   They’ll ship about a week after the order or later, as specified.  I may split the order into two shipments, have to do some more research.

Shipping costs:  about 25% of the order and I’ll probably have more info next week at the meeting.

In the meantime, please post here or email with any questions.

If you’re in Kingman or Golden Valley, we can bring your plants to town or you can pick them up at our place, near Meadview.

Below is our preliminary order:

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