Striata d'Italia zucchini

We just harvested another zucchini:

Got the seeds at Baker Creek.
Unfortunately, all the plants from our first planting along the fence and in the three sisters bed got eaten by critters (we relocated a number of packrats and squirrels) and it was really late by the time we got the 2nd round planted.  So we're just starting to harvest and we're very glad only a few leaves froze in the beds when it got down to 28 degrees a few nights ago. Continue reading “Striata d'Italia zucchini”

Cover crops – our Peaceful Valley order

About a month late, we finally ordered our cover crops last week.  Peaceful Valley has a great selection, but they've been out of some of the items I wanted to order for weeks and I was overwhelmed as there is so much to read.

I called them, hoping to get some advice for our climate and soils, but nobody was available and I ended up sending an email.  Here is the response, as it's helpful to all who don't know much about cover crops: Continue reading “Cover crops – our Peaceful Valley order”

Frontier Co-op November sale

You can download the November Sale Catalog (6.7 mb) and we'd like to place another wholesale order in November.  For details please read:
Buying club: Frontier Co-op organic wholesale spice and tea order
We totally forgot to order bulk Vitamin C and the Vitamin C powder for drinks – never once thought about it when we ordered last month.   They were out of Peppermint tea last time and we also forgot to get peppermint oil.
Below is are some of the items on sale in November that we'd like to get: Continue reading “Frontier Co-op November sale”

Garlic growing tips

We have a couple of bulbs of “special” garlic we saved for planting.   Right now, I can't even remember what it is or where we got it, but it's been in the fridge and we just remembered that we need to get it planted ASAP and today is a good planting day for root crops.

Last year we didn't plant our garlic until December and when we last checked it, we decided to simply leave it in the ground another year.
So I just searched the web and found these helpful hints:
Continue reading “Garlic growing tips”

Growing bamboo or reeds in the high desert

I've been reading a lot about the benefits of bamboo in permaculture books:
It grows fast, provides a wind break, privacy screen and wildlife habitat.  You can eat it and you can use the stalks for mulch, plant stakes, etc.
It is supposed to be SPREADING — extra points!  We want it to spread.
Now I hear people say to NEVER EVER plant bamboo because it is invasive and what a horrible plant it is.
We got some reeds from a friend and planted them last fall. One was a few feet tall and the other was just a piece of root, here is a picture:4/10 planting update — I mistakenly called it bamboo.
It did grow a little this summer, but we barely had rain and it got about 5 gallons a week of kitchen water (the new trees got 10 gallons).  I'll post some new pics ASAP.
I've seen big reed stands grown at an elevation of about 3500 ft and really like them (probably watered with graywater), don't know how hardy it is, but it seems to do well here.
I don't really know the difference between bamboo and reeds, although I'm aware that the bamboo can have much larger stalks.  What else is different?
I still think reeds or bamboo are an excellent wind break in our area and cannot possibly be compared to “native” plants like desert willows that take quite a few years to get to 6 ft, take a LOT of room (as wide as they are high), can't be eaten and not much you can do with them.  Of course they have their place!   I've seen MANY properties around here with willows planted along the fence and it's as boring as any other plant.
We're looking for DIVERSITY, not a row of any plant along our about 900 ft of fence (an acre)
Our gardens need to be sheltered from wind ASAP.  We already use a 25 ft bamboo fence (Home Depot), but that's supposed to be temporary, to be replaced with something growing.

If you have any “invasive” spreading bamboo or reeds — please contact us and we might be able to dig it up if you are in the Kingman area.

Sell your fruit and veggies at Grandma's Best in Kingman

Yesterday we stopped at Grandma's Best Farmers Market on Stockton Hill in Kingman.  They're always our FIRST stop when we go to town every couple weeks.  On the way home we shop the supermarkets for what they don't have at Grandma's Best.
They need more LOCALLY grown fruit and veggies!

Here are some of the goodies we got yesterday:

Huge Crenshaw melons ($4) and a Honeydew melon ($2), a couple of pineapples ($3), zucchini, Armenian cucumber (where else do you find those?), organic Fuji apples, delicious Utah peaches and LOCALLY grown pomegranates ($1).
The honey is packaged in Flagstaff, but the bees are in the Kingman area.
Where are all the Kingman / GV gardeners with more squash and melons than they can eat?
One time we got delicious locally grown organic baby cucumbers and for a long time they had the pecans from the orchard on 66.
Several times we got delicious locally grown plums and I made a wonderful pie.  We also got locally grown apricots, pears and apples.
Grandma's Best isn't a supermarket, but a small produce store owned by locals who want to promote LOCAL food production.  Much of the produce comes from Phoenix and the prices are VERY competitive with the supermarkets.  But I always see some locally grown fruit and/or veggies too.

  • If you're growing more than you can eat, check them out.
  • If you you live in North Kingman, support your community and buy local.  Cash, credit cards and FOOD STAMPS are accepted.
  • Anyone with a green thumb and unemployed should consider growing food.  If you end up with more than you can eat yourself, you can make a few dollars.
Grandma's Best Farmers Market
4988 Stockton Hill Rd (next to El Rancho restaurant)
Kingman, AZ 86409

Tuesday – Friday:  8-6
Saturday: 8-4
Sunday & Monday: closed

Farmers' Almanac October planting schedule

October is a prime panting time around here and great to get those perennials, shrubs and trees in the ground to get established over the winter. We already panted lots of beets, beans and peas. Better get outside and plant a few of the trees we brought home yesterday.

Gardening by the Moon Calendar from the Farmers' Almanac

The Farmers Almanac Gardening by the Moon Calendar is determined by our age-old formula and applies generally to regions where the climate is favorable.
October 2010
1st-2nd Best Planting Days For Fall Potatoes, Turnips, Onions, Carrots, Beets, And Other Root Crops Where Climate Is Suitable. Also Plant Seedbeds, Flower Gardens.
3rd-6th Grub Out Weeds, Briars, And Other Plant Pests.
7th-9th Favorable Days For Planting Beans, Peas, Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, And Other Above Ground Crops In Southern Florida, Texas, And California. Fine For Sowing Grains, Hay, And Forage Crops. Plant Flowers.
10th-11th Good Days For Planting Above Ground Crops And Leafy Vegetables Such As Lettuce, Cabbage, Kale, And Celery Where Climate Is Suitable. Start Seedbeds.
12th-13th Do Clearing And Plowing, But No Planting.
14th-16th Plant Tomatoes, Peas, Beans And Other Above Ground Crops, Indoors In The North, Outdoors In Lower South.
17th-18th Poor Planting Days. Kill Poison Ivy, Weeds, Clear Land, But Do No Planting.
19th-21st Good Days For Planting Above Ground Crops, Extra Good For Vine Crops, Where Climate Is Suitable.
22nd-23rd A Barren Period.
24th-25th Good Days For Planting Beets, Carrots, Onions, Turnips, And Other Hardy Root Crops Where Climate Is Suitable.
26th-27th Poor Days For Planting, Seeds Tend To Rot In Ground.
28th-29th Best Planting Days For Fall Potatoes, Turnips, Onions, Carrots, Beets, And Other Root Crops Where Climate Is Suitable. Also Plant Seedbeds, Flower Gardens.
30th-31st Grub Out Weeds, Briars, And Other Plant Pests.