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!

The first hard freeze November 16

We had a light frost a couple weeks ago and all the squash in the lower garden froze.   Fortunately we had enough time to move a number of basils and peppers into pots before it got down to the low 20s or maybe even teens last Sunday night (our puppy ate the outdoor thermometer).
The tomatoes and Armenian cucumbers were dead as door nails and we already cleared them out of the hoophouse and we’re getting ready for planting salad.

Free Whole Earth Summit March 11 to 14

You can sign up at

4:00 – 5:00pm – HOSTS Janell Kapoor & Stacey Murphy: Vision, Inspiration, Collaboration & Action
5:00 – 5:15pm – Vandana Shiva: Seed & Food Sovereignty
5:15 – 6:15pm – Raj Patel & Nikki Silvestri: Love, Purpose & the Food Movement
6:15 – 6:30pm – Cantave Jean-Baptiste: Haitian Seedbanks & Community Security
6:30 – 7:30pm – Brad Lancaster & Geoff Lawton: Regenerative Action & Abundance
7:30 – 7:45pm – Marla Spivak: Honeybee Allies
7:45 – 8:45pm – Joel Salatin & Peter Bane: Growing Sovereignty
8:45 – 9:00pm – Mark Lakeman: Activating City & Planet Repair
9:00 – 10:00pm – Jason McLennan & David McConville: Desiging Living Buildings & Systems

4:00 – 5:00pm – Bill McKibben & Hunter Lovins: Energy & Capital
5:00 – 5:15pm – Majora Carter: Urban Revitalization
5:15 – 6:15pm – Lonny Grafman & Rob Avis: Appropriate Technology & Community
6:15 – 6:30pm – Johnny Weiss: Solar & Renewable Energy
6:30 – 7:30pm – Sepp Holzer & Dr. Dieter Duhm: Healing Water, Healing Love
7:30 – 7:45pm – Allan Savory: Holistic Land Management
7:45 – 8:45pm – Jacquie Berger & Anna Lappe: Food Systems: Global to Local
8:45 – 9:00pm – Karen Washington: Urban Farming Movement
9:00 – 10:00pm – Charles Eisenstein & Vicki Robin: Transformational Leadership

4:00 – 5:00pm – Grandmothers Mona, Rita, & Flordemayo: Vision & Action for a Healed Earth
5:00 – 5:15pm – Bill Twist: Awakening the Dreamer
5:15 – 6:15pm – Starhawk & Rob Hopkins: Practical Action for the Commons
6:15 – 6:30pm – Sacha Stone: Human Sovereignty Movement
6:30 – 7:30pm – Nina Simons & Terry Tempest Williams: The Art of Engagement
7:30 – 7:45pm – Susun Weed: Wild Food as Medicine
7:45 – 8:45pm – Gemma Bulos & Osprey Orielle Lake: Women, Water & Climate Change
8:45 – 9:00pm – Rachel Parent: Kid’s Right to Know
9:00 – 10:00pm – Ryan Eliason & Ocean Robbins: Food Revolution & Social Entrepreneurship

Peaceful Valley website nightmare and deceptive ad for Goji (wolf) berries, grapes and currants

I was very excited after watching the Peaceful Valley / video about Goji Berries and I spent MANY hours getting my order together.   About a week ago I was ready to order:

After a great deal of frustration I realized that the berries featured in the ad are actually NOT featured at all and the 20% off coupon did not apply to them.
I then did some research and decided to order 20 or 30 Goji berries elsewhere and I also deleted the grapes and black berries.  So finally I was trying to order and there’s NOTHING I can do to get them to NOT charge me $24 for shipping in TWO boxes.
This is so incredibly frustrating.  I checked the box to ship all items whenever the backordered stuff comes in, countless times I have to check this box and that box and no matter WHAT I do, at the last page they want to charge me for TWO boxes.  I finally deleted the back ordered strawberries, but I’m still looking at $24 in shipping for TWO packages.
And what kindof crappy offer is that $12 shipping anyway?  They used to have worthwhile specials.  I’ve had enough of PV wasting my time.  It should be FUN to get ready for spring gardening.  How disappointing.

New site and missing pictures

I finally imported my old Solar and Wind Power blog into a sub blog at our High Desert Permaculture site. However, some pictures do not display. I just checked and the pictures are all uploaded, but some pics just don’t show up. When I click on the blank space where the picture SHOULD be, I get a 404 error. Somehow the links are messed up.

If you know how to fix that, please let me know!.

The World's Strangest and Most Magnificent Gardens

Check out these cool gardens.

Lowarth Helygen (The Lost Gardens of Heligan), near Mevagissey in Cornwall, UK, with two mud sculptures, a small “jungle”, the last remaining pineapple pit in Europe and a series of lakes, created between 1777 and the early 20th century. Fell into disrepair after the First World War, and restored only in the 1990s.

The Giant’s Head of Heligan:

The World's Strangest and Most Magnificent Gardens

House Patrocinio, by Rebelo De Andrade in Lisbon, Portugal with 4,500 plants from 25 different varieties:

The World's Strangest and Most Magnificent Gardens

A Plastic Bottle Vertical Garden by the Lar Doce Rar (means Home Sweet Home) project (Rosenbaum Design and Luciano Huck), Brazil:

The World's Strangest and Most Magnificent Gardens
Many more pictures.

The new High Desert Gardening and Food Resource and Discussion Forum

I’ve been extremely busy with the gardens and hoophouse, installing gravity drip irrigation, the occasional paid work and setting up the new website for our non profit, the Lake Mead Community Association.  Since blogs do not work well to organize resources, I decided to install a forum and it’s finally up and running:
High Desert Gardening and Food Resource and Discussion Forum
Check it out and please post your questions and answers there.