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Fall Vegetable Gardening starts inĀ August

by giant veggie gardener 

first harvest july 24

It’s hard to believe it’s already August. We’ve had plenty of hot days and hail storms to contend with this summer here in Santa Fe. With August, temperatures should start to drop and daylight hours are getting shorter. This means August is a great time to plant a fall garden with some cool season crops, just like the ones we planted in Spring.

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March Madness

Spring is springin', the birds are singin', the bulbs are poppin', so why you shoppin', when you could be growin' your own!

Its early Spring, and for those who have been growing year round, your beds should be erupting pretty soon. We had an aberrant Winter, with higher than normal temps, and very little precipitation. For those folks who already have beds, its time to revitalize the soil, and plant things for the Spring/Summer. If your beds are empty, then you can turn the soil, as deep as possible, and pull out any dead or old roots which will inhibit growth by choking out any newly-planted roots. We then add in Moonshine Potting Mix, which you can only get at Agua Fria Nursery in Santa Fe if you live nearby. It has about 28 different organic ingredients, and its like rocket fuel! You can use as much as you want. If the bed is empty of plants, then we usually add in a bag. If there are still existing plants, then turn the Moonshine in around as many plants as possible. Agua Fria has vegetable and herb starts year round, so you can get a jump on propagation with these. Otherwise, you'll be waiting on seeds to germinate. Normally, it takes a consistent temperature of 60 degrees and above to get things going. With the weather we've been having here in Santa Fe and surrounding areas, it might not take too long! You can also add in any compost you might have that has been biodegrading over the Winter. And you can throw worms in your bed to increase aeration, and benefit by their castings. 

Its also a good time to get any damaged covers repaired. We are going to be replacing the white polypropylene fabric with a 55% hemp/45% certifed organic muslin. In October, we had a 1 hour jagged egg-sized hailstorm, 70 mph winds, and 6" of rain in 20 minutes, that caused thousands of dollars of damage to our vehicles and homes. When it was over, I went out to survey the damage to my 4 beds. The three that had the polypro were shredded, but the hemp cover didn't have a blemish! I test-drove the hemp cover since last April, and it performed beautifully. Convincing enough for this gardener. Most of our Winter covers have lasted for 10 years, with only minor tearing on some. So we're sticking with the 6 mil, UV resistant Flex o'Glass. 

We can either help you to refurbish your beds, or answer any questions that you may have. There's a new video on the homepage, with a bag of Moonshine as the starting point, that will take you through the entire Grow Y'own process, from installation to planting. 

The kiln-dried, Western Red Cedar that we have been getting out of British Columbia has gone through the roof price-wise, so for the first time in many, many years, I've had to raise my unit prices a small bit. Taxation on trade from outside the US has also caused the increase. I'm trying to keep the entire system as affordable as possible, but times and situations have changed, and I've had to go with the unfortunate flow. The hemp fabric, which is twice as expensive as the polypropylene, is going to give everyone extended wear, without the need for replacement or repair. We're tryin'!

So please call or email if you need instruction, advice, or help continuing or starting your growing experience, and we'll be glad to come over or talk and get you growin'! 

Look for us at the Albuquerque Home and Garden show April 21st-22nd, and at the Santa Fe Master Gardeners Fair on May 5th at the Rodeo Grounds. Till then, get set or get dirty, and we look forward to a prolific year of growing once again!

Grow On!!!

 

Edible Blog Features Grow Y'own

Read about FAIL-SAFE GARDENING in the Edible blog post of February 1, 2018

EDIBLE 2018b I have gardened every year since I moved back to New Mexico in 2007—with some successes and some failures—but this was the year I threw my hands up and said no more. After investing hundreds of dollars in plant starts and soil, I got four small Japanese eggplants before the pests demolished every plant in my yard. With everything from tomato worms to weird slug bugs eating my tomatillos, and rabbits and mice munching away every last Sandia chile pepper, every day this summer was a battle. A pastime that I had enjoyed for many years and that had proven very fruitful was coming to a hopeless end. Then I had the good fortune of meeting Ken Kuhne of Grow Y’Own. I shared all my woes with him and he grinned and said his cover technology could take them all away. As he flipped through his book of success stories, my hope slowly resurfaced. “Covers are the key to the success of Grow Y’Own ooped raised beds,” said Kuhne. With his beds, anyone can grow at any elevation, in any temperature, under any condition the elements throw at you.

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Edible Santa Fe Fall 2016

Read about Grow Y'Own in Edible Santa Fe's Fall 2016 Issue

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https://issuu.com/ediblesantafe/docs/edible-fall2016/c/smfe0f3

https://issuu.com/ediblesantafe/docs/edible-fall2016/c/smfe0ln

 

Save the Bees!

SAVE THE BEES! Plant edible flowers this Spring for you and the Bees! ONLY use natural pesticides and fertilizers. Set up bee 'baths' and nesting boxes. They feast on cosmos, echinacea, snap dragons, foxgloves, and hosta in the Summer. Ask the folks at Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe about their bee-utiful choices to help the bees!

International Grow Y'own growth!

Last week, I received a request from Quito, Ecuador for help with growing food at a new spa. We decided that since it was too expensive to ship the wooden beds, that I would supply them with measurements, they would build the beds, and we would ship them the covers. So off they go to Quito. I've also had requests from Sweden, China, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, and France. Maybe its in the air, but Grow Y'own and the idea of growing food locally is sweeping the planet. We're still far behind many countries which have this as their daily regiment, and have been doing it for centuries. We're catchin' up! Soon beds in schools, at restaurants, shelters, community housing, youth centers, and in most home will be a common thing. The carbon footprint dissolves, and we are left with a much cleaner and healthier planet!

The Zen of Growing Food

There are poignant, inspirational moments that we experience in our lifetimes. Ones that stay with us forever. Being at the passing of a friend or relative. Watching someone sing a song from their heart and soul. Witnessing the huge, emotional drama of a birth. Seeing the seeds that we have sown sprout forth and grow into food that will continuously nourish us through hungry times, and keep us healthy, and strong. Growing food is one of those longevity moments. Eating it, is the sustenance that sustains and enlivens. We should all do more of that. We should do it every day. It should be as ritualistic as breathing, or watching a beautiful sunset. We should do it, because that transformative experience will stay with us, forever.

Santa Fe Girl's School

Last night I attended the Santa Fe Girl's School Annual Dinner and Auction to benefit the Tuition fund. I gave a Grow Y'own raised bed and cover, and Donna Nash from A Woman's Touch gave the soil mix and amendments, which were auctioned off and created a nice fund for the girls. Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan stood up against the Taliban for education of young girls, and changed the world. I'm sure the bright young girls that spoke last night will carry on that tradition. Thank you to the SFGS for allowing me to be part of that inspiring evening!

Springtime Exposure of Beds

Its Early Spring here in NM, and time to be opening up your covers daily, folding them back up upon themselves, clipping them, and letting the good beneficial bugs in- parasitic wasps, ladybugs, lacewings, praying mantis- and even birds. They'll eat any bad bugs, especially aphids. This is the time when with both covers on it becomes an innoculation chamber in there, like Thailand! Those plants don't want to be closed up in there any more than you want to be in a closet with your clothes on in the middle of Summer! So aerate, aerate, aerate, and it will greatly lessen your chances of infestations, and those Winter greens will love the air and sunshine and really take off. At night, you can still lock everything down to protect from critters. 

Community Housing Food Production

Food production for community housing. A wonderful and economical way to share the cost, the work, the maintenance, and the abundance of fresh, organic, healthy, and FREE food! One of our installations of 10 beds in NM ran on the rental of the beds by the year to different families for a very nominal rate. At the end of the period, they could either renew their 'lease' or pass it on. There was enough food coming out of the beds for many more than the rentors to appreciate and use. Come together, right now, over FOOD!!