Category Archives: Growing

Celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 21st

Come celebrate Earth Day in Santa Fe on April 21st-10 am to 2 pm at the Railyard Park. Free workshops and demos, vendors, music and more! Come visit our table, Home Grown New Mexico and see what great classes/workshops we are having for 2018. We are all about growing, raising, harvesting, cooking and preserving homegrown food using organic and sustainable methods for urban gardeners. If you like to grow food, you should join us for some classes or better still become a member.

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Organic Pesticide and Disease Control class review

class pests pic

Today I taught the Organic Pesticide class and added Disease Control too as we are or will  be dealing with pests and disease soon in the middle of the gardening season. The class was great and we had good comments from some of the attendees. I talked about what’s going on the our gardens now and what insect and disease controls we can implement. Attached is the pdf from the class for anyone who wants to know what I do.

ORGANIC PEST and DISEASE CONTROLS

Also attached is the pdf with photos of certain insects that may be attacking our plants now as well. This is in color so it would be a great reference for you to keep when you need to identify a bug you may think is a pest.

CLass pests pics

I recommended the book, Good Bug, Bad Bug for everyone to get which is a great ID book that will show which ones are good beneficial bugs and which ones we consider pests and what crops they attack.  I got mine at Amazon.

Good Bug Bad Bug book

Then we walked around the community garden and looked for plants that are being attacked or are sick and I showed everyone the plants so hopefully it will help them go back to their gardens and look at their plants and see what is going on.

Other than the heat, I thought the class was great. Thanks to all 20 of you that attended!

Time to start planting summer vegetables!!

growfood,not lawns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 15th is around the corner and many of us are chomping at the bit to get growing!

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My trusty KRQE weather app on my phone says we are over the freezing nights and I believe we are out of the woods.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

wall of waters

However, having said that, I would not plant my tomatoes in the ground without protection. I use wall of waters to protect them from the still chilly nights.

wow done

Temperatures in the 40’s at night are still cold (just not freezing). The wall of waters will absorb the heat from the sun in the day and give it back to the plants at night keeping them warm.

Other warm season crops can be started from seed outside especially when we get up into the 50’s at night. If it gets cold again at night, cover the new baby plants with row cover to protect them-think of it as a nice warm blanket on them.

I will still WAIT TO PLANT my PEPPER PLANTS until the FIRST WEEK OF JUNE as they really hate being cold and will usually stall out if you plant those now. Just keep them in your house until then.

 

June is bustling with 3 classes this year

Our June’s bustling with 3 classes this year. So you don’t miss them here is the info and sign up on all of them. The first one is next Sunday-Hugelkultur Gardening on June 14

hugelkulturSun. June 14
Hügelkultur gardening
Learn how to make Hügelkultur raised beds
Time:
12 pm-2 pm
Instructors: Mike Reed & Mike Warren
Location: 747 Old Las Vegas Highway, Santa Fe

Eventbrite - Hügelkultur Gardening

Hügelkultur is a composting process employing raised planting beds constructed on top of decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials. The process helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds. Come learn how it works, how you can make one and see one in progress. This class is held past Fina Cafe on Old Last Vegas Hwy around the corner from Eldorado.

Help keep this class free! Become a 2015 Member here for only $35 – includes all classes and tour. TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

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Compost Tea Brewer 2013

 

Sun June 21, 12 pm —2 pm
Vermicomposting made easy!
Learn about vermicomposting and how to build a compost tea brewer
Time: 12 pm- 2 pm
Instructor: Duskin Jasper
Location: Milagro Community Garden (Off Rodeo Road east of Sam’s Club-Turn north onto Legacy Court. Garden is behind the church, ‘Church of the Servant’ on corner) • Santa Fe

Eventbrite - Vermicomposting Made Easy

Become a worm farmer! Let red wigglers do the work of transforming your household waste into “black gold” vermicompost. This workshop will allow you to discover how simple it is to create an outdoor vermicompost bin from straw bales and salvaged materials. The class will cover what goes in a worm friendly compost bin and how to care for worms and harvest their compost.

Duskin will also demo how to make an inexpensive compost tea brewer. With a brewer, you can make a compost tea for your plants.  The use of compost tea has been shown to increase plant growth and suppress disease.

Duskin Jasper is certified by the Santa Fe Master Gardener Association in conjunction with the City of Santa Fe as a public outreach educator to promote residential composting in Santa Fe. Presented in cooperation with Milagro Community Garden (MilagroGarden@yahoo.com)

Help keep this class free! Become a 2015 Member here for only $35 – includes all classes and tour. TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASun. June 28, 12 pm —2 pm
Fruit Trees with Gordon Tooley
Learn what varieties of fruit trees do well in NM and how to grow them.
Time: 12 pm-2 pm
Instructor: Gordon Tooley
Location: PO Box 392 Truchas, NM 87578 info@tooleystrees.com 505-689-2400 (THIS IS A FIELD TRIP) This is a field trip up to his property so you may want to carpool or offer someone a ride. Here is a map to his property: gordon tooley map

We will have a meeting point for those of you wanting to help give rides or pick up a ride up to his property and follow us up there. More info on where to meet coming up by June 20 here.

Eventbrite - Fruit Trees with Gordon Tooley

Come learn from the Master! Focusing on varieties that are drought tolerant and adapted to high pH, Gordon grow species trees, shrubs, and grafted fruits for our area.  His stock is grown with organic methods and he practices holistic orchard management.

He has many heirloom and uncommon varieties of grafted apples, apricots(sometimes), plums, pears and cherries. Some of them may be new to you but are an opportunity for you to grow varieties that have all but disappeared from our markets.  His grafts are on rootstocks carefully selected to match climate and soil types in this area.  His species trees and shrubs are easy to care for and will provide screening, habitat and food for wildlife and yourself.

He believes in selling small caliper trees with well-developed root systems.  The fabric root bags we plant in are key factors in building a fibrous root structure.  Smaller caliper trees establish more quickly with less transplant shock, and grow more vigorously in difficult sites than large caliper trees.

Help keep this class free! Become a 2015 Member here for only $35 – includes all classes and tour. TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

 

Biodynamics class wrap up

biodynamicsThe Biodynamics class was great! Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition, and a potent force for change worldwide. Poki talked about the ecological approach and showed us his barrel compost he makes and how to do it and the practical side of applying Biodynamic products and principles to his compost and soil, while Dominique talked more about the spiritual side of what Biodynamics represents.

We got a planting calendar page for the month and many handouts on the basics of Biodynamics. Then we went out to the fields to learn more. Biodynamics is so much more than just growing food.

Here are links to the handouts and resources:

BIODYNAMIC ASSOCIATION: www.biodynamics.com
12 ways to Learn More about Biodynamics:
https://www.biodynamics.com/content/12-ways-learn-more-about-biodynamics

PLANTING CALENDER:
Stella Datura-Biodynamic Planting Calender
https://steiner.presswarehouse.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=432258

JOSEPHINE PORTER INSTITUTE: (to buy preparations and literature)
www.jpibiodynamics.org

BIODYNAMIC FARMING AND REPARATIONS: (free 20 page doc from ATTRA)
www.demeter-usa.org/downloads/Demeter-Science-Biodynamic-Farming-&-Compost.pdf

PFEIFFER CENTER: (training and workshops)
www.pfeiffercenter.org

RUDOLF STEINER ARCHIVES: (free downloads-please donate)
http://wn.rsarchive.org

PURCHASING BIODYNAMIC COMPOST LOCALLY:
www.gardengaia.com
(Maggie: 505-982-6879)

BOOKS
Agriculture
Eight lectures given 1922-23 by Rudolf Steiner (free download)
http://wn.rsarchive.org/search=mode?query=agriculture&mode=context

Culture & Horticulture by Wolf D. Storl
https://steiner.presswarehouse.com/Books/AuthorDetail.aspx?id=24062

Gardening for Life by Maria Thun
https://steiner.presswarehouse.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=167

CONFERENCE:
2016 North American Biodynamic Conference
November 16-20, 2016
Santa Fe Community Convention Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico

 








 

Chitting potatoes-You chitting me?

chitting potatoes_closeup

Chitting Potatoes
by giantveggiegardener.com

What is chitting potatoes? Why do we want to chit potatoes? Basically it is ‘prespouting’ the potato ‘seeds’ to force healthy new sprouts before you plant the them. It will knock off a couple of weeks to harvest time so you’ll get be able to harvest sooner.  Potato seeds are not seeds at all but the actual small potatoes.  We keep potatoes we want to eat in the dark so they won’t turn green and quite often they start to develop smaller flimsy white sprouts while in the dark but what you want is thicker healthier sprouts that are either green or purple. If you missed the opportunity to chit the potatoes, it’s ok to just plant them when the time is right. This year I’m growing fingerlings-French fingerlings.

chitting potatoes

Here’s how to ‘chit ‘ them (sounds southern doesn’t it?!)

1. Get a couple of egg cartons so you can stand the potatoes with the pointed side down. The blunt side generally produces more sprouts so keep that side up. The egg cartons make it easy to support them this way. Sometimes there is no pointy side which you should then just look at your potato and put the side with the most ‘eyes’ or sprouts up.

2. Put them in a cool space that gets good indirect light in your house and they will develop thick sprouts  in 2-4 weeks instead of those flimsy one that grow in the dark.

3. Plant them outdoors when the soil is 50°F or warmer. Use a compost therometer to see how warm the soil temperature is. There are many ways to plant potatoes which you can research on the net but if you plant in a bed, dig a deep trench about 10 inches deep in heavily amended fluffy soil.

4. Place the presprouted (or chitted) potatoes with the sprouts up-the sprouts become the leaves, not sideways and bury them 4 inches deep depending on the size of the potato. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK OFF THE SPROUTS. Spacing them 12 inches apart and rows 12-24 inches apart.

5. After the leaves come up, start filling more dirt around the plants till they are almost covered. Bury the whole plant-leaves and all except leaving the top 3 inches of plant exposed. Continue doing this every time they get about 6 more inches tall Basically till you run out of soil. The potatoes will grow up above the potato seeds in the dirt above it. Below the potato seed the roots will grow for the plant.

6. You should see sprouts/leaves come up through the dirt in a couple of weeks. If it is still freezing at night, I will cover the plants with row cover.

7. Potatoes will start producing tubers when they flower.

8. Fingerling potatoes should be ready to harvest when the plants die back in about 90 days. Other potatoes may take less time or more. Leave them in the ground 2 weeks to harden off before harvesting. In fact, you can leave them in the ground until just before a hard freeze happens. That way you can harvest a few as you go and the rest in late fall. Don’t leave in over winter.

For more information on growing and buying good potato seed go to: http://www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com/growers10.php

Cool Season Crops Outside class a success

illustration MG of middlesex countyWell, it looks like many of you are chomping at the bit like I am to get out and start our gardens! 48 people signed up for the class and 45 showed up! Biggest class ever and what a great day it was to get out in a garden and see how to prep the garden beds, go over what plants do well here in Santa Fe and we actually planted some cool season crops-lettuces, kale and chard in Duskin’s plot at Milagro Community Garden. Thanks to all for supporting the class, it was good to see our friends.

Here are the handouts if you missed the class:
Starting Cool Season Crops Outside
WINTER:EARLY SPRING HARDY VEGETABLES
soil temperatures for veggie seeds
PRESPOUTING SEEDS Starting Cool Season Crops Outside
Mycorrhizal benefits

The next class of ours should be fantastic -Making Chevre and Feta cheese on April 19! Don’t wait too long to sign up as that class is limited to 25 lucky people who will learn how to make both cheeses and get to take home some of the cheese as well.