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.

Tell Obama to VETO the DARK Act!

Last week our corrupt representatives in the Senate voted for death, disease and destruction.

You have to confirm your email address after you signed the petition – click on the link in the email you’ll receive after signing.

To get an official update from the White House within 60 days, we need 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

I rarely post a petition, although I sign many, but this is one petition that should get MILLIONS of signatures.

The money the protestors threw at the corrupt thugs in the Senate doesn’t compare to the many millions of dollars the industry donated to our “representatives” — obviously they’re NOT representing the people who elected them, but the corporations who PAID them.

President Obama LIED when he was campaigning in 2007 and 2008 and he promised GMO labeling:

We can’t make Obama finally do what he promised, but if he ignores a petition signed by hundreds of thousands (hopefully millions) and he refuses to VETO the DARK Act, I hope that many Americans get angry enough to take action to restore democracy, leave this corrupt system — do “something” to stop this madness!

It’s not only about Americans being able to avoid toxic food, but it’s about ending the destruction of farmers, soil and the environment.

I have glyphosate in my drinking water in the middle of the desert and we have never had any farms anywhere near our aquifer.  A few people spraying Roundup on weeds was enough to put small amounts of glyphosate in our drinking water and I am so sorry for the people who are poisoned with this “probably carcinogen” by America’s farmers.

GMO Labeling In Congress

You have to confirm your email address after you signed the petition – click on the link in the email you’ll receive after signing.

Thank you!

Wakimoto Farms corn is genetically modified

I was planning an outing to the Wakimoto Farms for the High Desert Gardening Club and had called earlier to confirm the hours posted at the website, but forgot to ask the million dollar question:

Is the corn GMO?

So I just called back and unfortunately was advised that the corn is genetically modified and that that’s what they’ve been growing for 25 years.  BUMMER!

The lady hung up when I asked why they don’t grow non GMO corn.

Obviously, we won’t be visiting the Wakimoto Farms.

I didn’t get to ask the lady at Wakimoto whether their alfalfa is also genetically modified.

LKH Farms (Kingman Farms, former Rhoades on Stockton Hill) alfalfa is supposed to be non GMO, but it’s sprayed with pesticides and/or herbicides, so I can’t use it for mulch.

Maybe I’ll order some corn seed from Native Seeds / SEARCH:

http://shop.nativeseeds.org/pages/seeds

With corn and also onions day-length requirements can be important:

Mountain Pima Yellow

Dulcillo del noroeste, a folkrace from western Chihuahua, Mexico at 5000′. Grow with summer rains in the low desert due to day-length requirements. Ears are 6 inches long with yellow kernels. Approx. 50 seeds (10 g).

High Mowing Seeds also has quite a few varieties of organic corn, both open pollinated and hybrids:

http://highmowingseeds.com/_search.php?page=1&q=corn

I’ve been very happy with the High Mowing seeds and there’s no minimum order for FREE shipping.
If you have any recommendations for late corn that does well in our area, please let me know!

In 16 years living in Mohave county I have never found non GMO corn cobs in any Kingman store and I haven’t had any corn on the cob in many years.

Since I don’t want to wait for the corn I might grow, I checked on stores in Vegas / Henderson:

I called Trader Joe’s in Henderson and they have some non GMO corn cobs left today, will get several cases tomorrow and the next day and they’ll even set some aside for you when you call so you don’t make the 2 hour trip for nothing.

Next I called Sprouts at and the produce guy told me that there’s no such thing as non GMO corn. I’ve read that all corn has been contaminated and that’s why Bob’s Red Mill would not advertise their corn products as GMO free — a few years ago.   But as I just looked for that info, Bob’s Red Mill CHANGED their approach:

Our Sourced Non-GMO Pledge

Sweet corn was not nearly as contaminated as corn flour, but Monsanto is hard at work:

Information on GMO Sweet Corn

I don’t know why Sprouts won’t at least make an effort of sourcing corn that’s non GMO.

It’s so important that we vote with our wallets — the only votes that count!

Every day I receive numerous emails about the DARK Act and evil companies like WHOLE FOODS (notice I did not call them — will NOT shop there again!) supporting Monsanto in its effort to preempt state law just as the Vermont labeling law goes into effect.  Our corrupt legislators (McCain and Flake in AZ) vote for death and disease because they’re bought and paid for by the industry and they have no morals whatsoever.  Even in our “pristine” Meadview aquifer — no industry or farming EVER — we have traces of glyphosate in our drinking water, probably because ignorant residents use Roundup on weeds.

I’ll be damned if I knowingly buy toxic food and pay Wakimoto Farms or anyone else to destroy the planet.

Shame on Wakimoto Farms!

Emailed to wakimotofarm1@gmail.com:

Request for comments regarding my post about Wakimoto GMO corn

Hi,

I’ll greatly appreciate your comments for publication at
http://highdesertpermaculture.org/blog/2016/06/30/wakimoto-farms-corn-is-genetically-modified/  — preferably AFTER you read the studies linked at the end of my post.

Sincerely,

Christine Baker

I also requested comments from Sprouts at https://sprouts.service-now.com/contact_us.do and will update here with any comments from Wakimoto or Sprouts.

FYI, if you don’t think that glyphosate kills, please read the studies.

Dig-It Kingman Community Garden BBQ

Yesterday we attended the Dig-It Kingman Community Garden bbq and I signed up as an occasional monitor.  They are looking for volunteers to be at the garden for two hours to inspect the beds for any signs of pests, watering issues, etc. and to answer the gardeners’ questions.  More info on monitoring at the Dig-It site.

A great idea to keep the food cool:

food

It was delicious:

food-2

I hadn’t been at the garden in a while and I was amazed how much they accomplished:

colorful-beds

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Rummage sale for Kingman Farmers Market this Saturday

Please support the Kingman Farmers Market, opening next September in old town!

If you have anything to give away, please contribute and check out the sale this Saturday:

THE

KINGMAN FARMERS MARKET

WILL HOLD ITS FIRST EVENT!

AN INCREDIBLE

RUMMAGE SALE!

Please support the organization of

The Kingman Farmers Market

by donating your gently used MERCHANDISE, CLOTHING, TOOLS, CAMPING GEAR, HOUSEHOLD GOODS, ELECTRONICS, KITCHEN THINGS, SPORT EQUIPMENT EXERCISE GEAR, EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINES

BRING DONATIONS TO 101 E BEALE

OR

CALL 928-753-3788

OR

CALL 580-595-0770

FOR PICK-UP

This gigantic sale will be held:

June 11th at 8:00AM until 2:00PM

at Thunder Rode, 102 E Beale

Proceeds will be used to file papers of incorporation

and various start-up costs

for more information call Steve at 928-279-2961 or 928-530-4571

The rose in our French Garden in full bloom

What a nice surprise!

This rose has been rather neglected since our French WWOOFer Yael planted it a couple years ago when she built this little garden with stuff we had laying around.

5-19-16--rose-in-French-garden

I’ll make an effort to take pictures of some of the other pants in bloom.  We didn’t have enough rain for lots of wild flowers, but the cacti, desert marigold and a few others are flowering.

 

 

 

How to plant fruit trees

In our new orchard we followed the traditional advice to dig DEEP and LARGE holes.  Just as we spent MEGA BUCKS  (about $100/hole) getting these holes dug and buying Kellogg Amend by the pallet (for a 50/50 mix), I find that the latest recommendations are to dig a SHALLOW wide hole and NOT to amend the native dirt with compost.

So we have 12 giant compost amended tree holes in the orchard and about as many outside.   3 trees will be in an area that was once amended about a foot deep for a garden, but the rest of the trees outside the orchard will be in native dirt.

Here’s an OLD Dave Wilson video on fruit tree planting:

As ALWAYS, read the COMMENTS!

One person lost a tree after cutting it down to knee height as recommended in the video.

Also, the Kellogg Topper wouldn’t have been their first choice for mulch, but it’s what they had.

Interestingly, they put the mulch right up against the trunk and I’ve heard at least a thousand times not to do that as it can cause the tree to rot.  What gives?

There are numerous Dave Wilson videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClShqpLDCJ-Q97zk3tsYZAw and of course thousands of related videos on YouTube.

We’re currently building “frames” around the tree holes in the orchard and we will add about a foot of our dirt / Amend mix.  When you fill deep holes, trees can settle significantly as they get larger and heavier.   We’ll probably plant the trees even higher because I wouldn’t mind keeping the raised beds around the trees. We’ll be growing all sorts of companion plants such as comfrey, lupines, yellow bird of paradise and herbs and it’ll be our summer veggie garden until the trees provide too much shade.

When we get ready to plant we’ll stick the trees in a bucket with water and some kelp and when we plant it we’ll sprinkle myccorhizae granules on the wet roots and into the planting hole where the roots will likely touch it.

If the bareroot trees have any branches, we’ll plant so that the least dense side faces south.

We amend with rock dust, gypsum, manganese, epsom salt, iron, zinc, micro minerals, humic acid, nitrogen fixing microbes and soft rock phosphate.   I was so excited when I saw that Arbico near Tucson sells 50 lbs bags of soft rock phosphate for $18.45.   I thought I’d get 10 bags as it’s so expensive to ship.  Good thing I called to see how many they have in stock, found out that it’s drop shipped from Arkansas.  So I ordered two bags and it costs $21.76 per bag to ship UPS.

It’ll be very interesting to see which planting method works better — big deep holes with 50/50 native dirt and Amend or shallow holes with native dirt.

With regards to amendments, they work when your soil is deficient of whatever it is you’re adding.

That’s why it’s best to see what your neighbors are doing and how it works for them when you plant in native soil.

We’ve paid for several soil tests and while I don’t think that the money was wasted, they’re not so helpful in our high pH calcareous soil.

In case you’re wondering why we are planting bare root trees, I’ve heard that they’ll do better than potted trees.  Everything we propagate is grown in 50% native dirt so the plants don’t have so much transplant shock.  I also really don’t care for the fertilizer granules we usually find in purchased plants no matter where we buy them.

Tomorrow I’ll pick up another load of mulberry cuttings for mulch.  We could use another 1

Spring day and cow pie run

It was a beautiful day today and it’s amazing how HOT we get as soon as we work outside.  The high for the day was 67 F, but it sure felt like it was 20 degrees warmer.  We just had temps in the teens and it’s so nice to get hot outside.

We’re working on filling another 5 tree holes and it was the perfect day to go on a cow pie run to the corral.

2016-2-11--corralThere used to be a lot of old metal, fencing and all sorts of trash and they really cleaned it up.  Unfortunately they also took out the cattails.  It used to be so beautiful, like an oasis.  I’m surprised the fish are still in alive, although the big fish apparently died.

2016-2-11--fish

I don’t know what they eat, I suppose bugs, and they have no shelter at all.

It’s a shame to let all that water go to waste: Continue Reading