6/29/10: It's raining somewhere

We’ve been hoping for rain, but no such luck.  We dream about living “on top” where it rains a LOT more.

And we’ve been incredibly busy with our garden and countless plants and veggies.  I forgot to post the link to our new blog with lots of updates:

High Desert Permaculture

Planting update

The greenhouse addition:

Quite a few tomatoes, 2 cucumbers and a bunch of seedlings.

It’s really nice to have some “real” tomatoes occasionally in winter. And now the first cherry tomatoes are growing outside in the tomato cage, hardware cloth wrapped with shade cloth to keep the wind out. Soon we’ll have a LOT more tomatoes.

We finally cleared the new road in preparation for the new greenhouse, as we’ll have a lot less space to turn around.  Now we got the circular driveway and coincidentally, can drive up to the swales and dump water from the truck.  It worked great, the upper swale holds about the 300 gallons, one tank, and it won’t be long until the grapes below will grow roots up to the water.

We’ll also plant seeds on the swales (flowers, gourds, squash, …) and depending on the weather, occasionally dump a load of water.  It costs us $1 plus driving two miles and about 20 minutes of our time to get 300 g at the well.

Here are the seeds we bought at a Habitat for Humanities store in Vegas last week for 10 cents/package.  Why didn’t I buy a lot more?

There’s a fairly level spot above the lower swale and I built it up with black brush we had cleared off the new road and dark dirt below the bushes.  We definitely need more dirt, but at least got started.  Obviously the cans indicate where the seeds are and amazingly, they didn’t blow over in the wind. Not exactly beautiful, but they do the job.

Also buried some mint root, as this point I’m glad for everything that grows there.  As soon as it warms up we’ll plant some beans and maybe corn and definitely sunflowers.  I’m afraid we’ll have to fence it once it gets hot.

The bamboo we got from Anna is doing great, but you can’t tell from this picture.

One of the many flowering weeds.  Have to take a bunch of pics of the countless wild flowers, or weeds …

Like many people in the area, I’ve had allergies like never before this last week.

The pallet board garden fence

We happened to get a bunch of free pallet boards last week, right after we fenced the new garden area with stucco wire.   So we decided to build a little fence to protect the plants from the South wind that blows all summer.

You can see that we painted only the bottom part with linseed oil because we didn’t have enough oil.  We had a few  4x4s to use for gate posts and to stabilize the fence. Now we’re almost out of boards.  If we got another load, we could finish the “inside” part of the fencing.

We got these two office chairs at the Safeway recycling area a few weeks ago and it was great to be able to sit down for a few minutes and take a break as the sun was setting.

In the back is our three sisters growing area.  We got horse manure and lots of “black bush” dirt, twigs and roots from our hill and we screened the native soil.   Today Jose set the blocks and then I filled them with mud so they’re stable and keep the soil and plants warm (and cool in summer).  It was a lot of work and hopefully the sisters appreciate it!

You can barely see the apple tree we planted in front of the sisters, it’s just starting to grow.

We still don’t know where to put the juniper, so I transplanted it into a bigger pot last Sunday.

As soon as the first fence panel was up, I realized that we could plant vines, beans, squash, grapes and all kinds of plants inside the fence.  They’ll be protected from the fierce South wind and we’ll put some hardware cloth cages over them until they are established.  The fence should be rabbit-proof, but of course won’t keep out squirrels, lizards, mice and kangaroo rats.

We have to get some more black bush dirt and screen more of the local soil for the fence plantings.

Inside we painted the pallet boards with linseed oil to the top of the stucco wire before we put up the fence panels as it would be really hard to paint later and we had just enough linseed oil.

The fence braces are a bit funky, but it’s a TEMPORARY fence as our camper is inside the garden area. We also didn’t set the posts in concrete, just rock and dirt.

And I’m very glad we finally got a gate.  It’s a miracle we didn’t fall over the stucco wire fence when we planted the fruit trees and it sucked not being able to bring the wheelbarrow in and out.

According to the moon calendar, Friday and Saturday are good to plant above ground annuals and the corn is definitely ready to go out.  I’m so excited about our new garden!