After YEARS of mostly no usable internet, I finally got a working connection and I’m going to make a serious effort to redesign this site and add a knowledgebase with info about our native as well as food plants and cob / adobe building.
Growing in a megadrought
We had practically no rain for almost two years until July 2021, when we got about two badly needed inches of rain over several days. And then we got about 3/8″ or so every few weeks — I am so grateful! I was beginning to consider the possibility that it would NEVER rain again. It’s a miracle that so many plants survived. Sadly, even natives like prickly pear died without irrigation, although some came back from the ground after the rains.
I now know which trees and shrubs are likely to survive without supplemental irrigation even when it doesn’t rain for a few years:
Native willows, sages and Morman tea, bird of paradise, mimosas from the NV state nursery, Chilean mesquite, palo verde (tough to establish as it’s not cold hardy), mesquite, and cats claw did so well. Of course, eventually, they’ll all die without water, as they get weak and either insects and/or critters take them down or the wind blows them over.
Greywater systems for shower and laundry water and proper shade planting should be required by our building departments.
It’s all common sense, which most residents and our government are clearly lacking.
Record harvest in 2021
Thanks to the help of WWOOFers and HelpXers the orchard garden is thriving. We amended the west and north perimeter along the fence and installed shade cloth, planted many elderberry and fig trees, blackberries and kiwi. I doubt that any of the kiwi survived, but many plants are thriving.
2021 was the year of peaches, tomatoes and tomatillos.
Just like the huckleberries, the tomatillos volunteered in great numbers and as long as they get water, they’ll be back year after year. While the peach tree has been loaded every summer since planting in 2016, this was the first time I got to harvest ripe peaches. I didn’t have time to can, but froze quite a few.
The hydroponic greens are thriving and countless cauliflower, collard, kale and chard seedlings are ready to be transplanted into the ground.
I appreciate that I lost little food to critters this year, but I am concerned.
I’m aware that we lost most cottontail bunnies in fall/winter 2020 to a virus, but we also had so few packrats and ground squirrels. The grapes normally disappear quickly and long before they’re ready, but this year I was still eating grapes in October. I also had hardly any mice.
Did they not reproduce or have smaller litters due to the drought?
We’ll see what happens next year.
I purchased two virgin desert acres for a demonstration site.
The lots are washy, perfect for terracing and planting many drought-tolerant trees. Many of the newcomers to Meadview clear just about every square foot of land and leave only the Joshua Trees. WHY?
Why do people move here to destroy our beautiful desert?
It wasn’t so bad when only a few people lived here, but as more and more people flee the fires and lockdowns, they’re destroying our ecosystem. Do people really not understand that SHADE = COOL????
Around 113 F day after day … when is it going to be warm enough for these people?
Not to mention how ugly the bare and dead dirt is. So just in case they don’t know how plants keep the ground and their houses cooler in summer and warmer in winter, I’ll put a hoophouse on the building site and then plant the appropriate trees. Most should be able to survive without water for a couple of years once established. And of course, we’ll have a water station for the animals. I’ll also set up a farmstand and occasionally sell plants. I plan on propagating many.
We live in interesting times.
As an anti-racist anti-fascist 1970s Germany-type socialist and environmentalist it is frustrating to see how conservative thinking destroyed our wonderful Grapevine fire district and what little “community” Meadview had when I moved here in 2000. Even our water co-op is currently at the brink of collapse due to mismanagement and depending on a Biden bailout (grant).
It is so frustrating to see that most residents and especially the newcomers are obsessed with boating, partying and their happiness.
Not even the closure of the Lake Mead South Cove boat launch due to ever-decreasing water levels woke up the locals.
It’s like they’re drugged, in a stupor, a trance, nothing can make them understand how important our environment is. I’m so grateful that I don’t have to go out often and I enjoy working in the gardens and greenhouse, making cob and bricks, doing what I can to create awareness of the solutions to our countless problems.
I hope to inspire others to make the planet more sustainable and cleaner for all!