Apricots and tomatoes

We overwintered several of the Peacevine tomatoes growing in hydro tubs in the winter greenhouse.

SUCCESS!   They made it without any supplemental heating, being 6 ft in the ground (walapini) kept the winter greenhouse from freezing.  No single-digit temps last winter.

While indeterminate tomatoes, they all flowered and set fruit at the same time. But unfortunatley, they were seriously neglected, essentially just grew in water with no fertilizer and minerals and they were much smaller than usual.  But, still tasted pretty good and didn’t get old!

I love tomatoes, although I shouldn’t eat any since I have arthritis.   Planted a number of Peace Vine and Mountain Magic (Campari) in the garden — will post those pics hopefully soon.

Peacevine cherry tomatoes

The plum and the nectarines trees produced no fruit this year.  It was too cold and windy when they flowered.

Continue reading “Apricots and tomatoes”

Transplanting Mormon Tea to the new pond

Last spring we finally got the little pond set up and today my helper transplanted a bunch of Mormon Tea from the bottom of our rock pile where they were about to be covered by rocks and caliche.

Next we’ll transplant some gopher plants between the Mormon Tea and the critters will finally have some privacy while drinking.

When we first set up the pond I thought we made a mistake because it drains on the UPPER side.  It turned out that’s perfect because I can fill the pond and then it overflows to water the surrounding plants.

There are several fruit trees in this area and I am almost done converting everything to flood watering.

10/12/20: October was HOT last year!

This red racer enjoyed a drink at the little orchard pond on the last warm day 11/4/20:

Hope it sticks around!

I bought a trail cam months ago, but so far none of my helpers have been able to set it up and we’ve all been so busy!

In February I should have a lot more time and catch up on thousands of pics and video I’ve taken last year.  And I’ll finally install a new theme and fix this site up again.

Unfortunately, I started posting in the FaceBook permaculture and gardening group,  where everything disappears, just because it’s quick and easy.   I’ll try to repost our major improvements and construction over the last few years.

The last couple days have been so beautiful and the wind today wasn’t ice cold — it felt like spring!

Anyone growing Lion’s Mane mushrooms?

I have a visitor very much into mushrooms and we’re definitely going to grow several varieties.   Unfortunately, our high desert dry hot / cold climate is not at all suitable for portobello mushrooms, love those as meat substitute as I’m less and less into eating animals.
In our research we found Lion’s Mane:
The described benefits are just incredible and I’m especially interested in enhancing brain function!
Lion's mane mushroom - Dr. Axe
If you have any experience eating or growing Lion’s Mane or other mushrooms, please let me know!

Why I do NOT work in the morning when it's cool

Lately just about EVERYBODY tells me how I need to get up at sunrise and work outside until it’s too hot.  And I refuse to do so because I don’t need more injuries, don’t need to be miserable all day and it just doesn’t work for me.
So I had to watch Marjory Wildcraft’s video on SLEEP and how she almost lost her leg:

Yup, she was lucky!
In theory, getting up at 5 am and heading outside, working until it’s “too hot”, then doing lunch and siesta until 5 pm or so sounds great.  In reality, if I sleep during the day, I don’t wake up refreshed at all, but then can’t sleep at night and it just screws me up even more.  Both my grandpas used to take naps in the afternoon, but it’s not for me.
And then there’s the “too hot”.   During last week’s heatwave, it was WAY too hot when I got up around 10 am and approaching 100 F.  I remember that I felt too hot even by 8 am the few times I tried to work in the morning.   Sometimes I’ve been screening dirt till 11 pm and it was still 90 F — but DARK.  It’s nice to work outside with a bright moon (snakes are out too!)  But working in 90 F in the SUN is totally different.
Not to mention that I can’t water or transplant in the morning, the poor seedlings would be fried by evening.
I need a bout 8 hours of sleep to be fully functional, but especially when I have to get up early, I can’t sleep at night.  And then I actually need to make up for the lost hours, if I get 4 hours one night, I should sleep 10 or 11 hours the next night to make up for it.  That’s just how it works for me.
I’m very busy, managing a new Airbnb house and trying to keep everything going in the gardens.  Fortunately have a helper here and he goes to bed early and gets up at 5 or 6 am and works then.  But he’s also completely fried the rest of the day, not good for much of anything.  That’s what the heat does.  It’s ok for him because he has to do absolutely NOTHING the rest of the day.   I got 10 hours of research, web work and decision making to do on the average day in addition to the outside work.
Of course it’s also extremely important for our health to get plenty of sleep as sleeping RESTORES and HEALS body and mind.
Every person is DIFFERENT.  Some people need less sleep and love napping.  Do what works for YOU and stay healthy!

The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Exposed — free documentary

This 7 part series is free on Youtube, but each episode is only available for 24 hours and it started yesterday.   I just watched the beginning of the first episode and it is about the medical benefits of cannabis (marijuana).
I really wish I could grow hemp as it would help so much with wind breaks and it also has so many incredible uses.
So if you or a loved one has serious medical problems, check it out for free right now:

Girl power: Joshua Tree rescue

It’s been CRAZY here in the Joshua Tree desert.  Farmers are clearing entire square miles of Joshua Tree forest for almonds and other fruit and nut trees.   They’re using the water in our aquifers without any well monitoring, they clear-cut without any environmental review and they destroy one of the most beautiful Joshua Tree forests anywhere.
So I’ve attended water meetings and I’m working with groups to stop not only the Joshua Tree massacre, but also the exploitation of our very limited water resources.   Incredibly, they are growing alfalfa in the middle of the desert!
I’ve been struggling to recover from many rain and wind storms, fixing washouts and fences.  Lived here since 2000 and have never experienced a winter with so much rain and clouds.
Finally we’re getting ready for some serious planting and transplanting.  Today we started with planting a rescue Joshua Tree.  We hope it will live!

transplanted Joshua Tree
Girl power: transplanted Joshua Tree

New pictures of the Joshua Tree massacre

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!