Tag Archives: Gardening

Seed Saving Ideas

Last week we held our last potluck of 2012 and had Richard Bernard (from Pojoaque Pueblo Farmers Market, Greenhouse and Farm as well as Seeds of Change) to discuss what we needed to do in Santa Fe to increase seed saving. Pablo Navrot from our board presented a TEDx talk titled, Restoring Agricultural Diversity Through Backyard Seed Saving, on Saturday to start people thinking about how they can save seeds in their home gardens.  We have started this discussion and are planning more classes and discussions in 2013.

Let us know your feedback.  What do you want to learn?  Is there a type of seed that you want to save? Have you created any new varieties in your garden?

Here are some 2013 Events for Seed Saving
Bring  any seeds to share with others in a packet from the store or that you saved. You can also bring envelopes or small baggies and a marking pen. We will have a seed saving class to show people how to label seeds with year, seed type and other information.

Home Grown New Mexico Potluck
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:30pm
Whole Foods on St. Francis in Community Room
Cool Season Seed Exchange Table During Potluck

Santa Fe Seed Exchange
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 4pm – 7pm
Frenchy’s Barn
Parks Division of Santa Fe and Home Grown New Mexico

Seed Starting in Soil Blocks

Do you want a more environmentally sustainable seed starting method that does not use plastic and provides more oxygen to the roots for healthier plant growth and less transplant shock? Soil Blocks may be your answer. Plants are grown in compressed blocks of soil that are pressed from a metal tool. They are an ancient method of growing starts that the Aztecs developed. Europe has been using this method for more than 100 years and refined the tools that create the blocks. It is an easy process to learn and the Milagro Community Garden produced 1,200 starts in three hours with a handful of gardeners that were using the soil block tools for the first time.

The soil mix includes sand, compost and other elements that help the blocks stay together. There is a 2”x2” tool to start seeds and then a larger block that the 2”x2” fits inside to reduce shock to the young roots.

It is an investment to purchase the soil block tools, but the garden hopes to use these for all future years of seed starts. The other tools needed were a large “bowl” to mix the seed starting mix. Milagro Community Garden used a children’s swimming pool. The trays used did not have any perforation so that watering can happen in the tray. It wicks into the soil block in a few hours. The starts are in a hoop house with a plastic cover directly over them to maintain temperature during the New Mexico spring with 65-degree days and freezing nights. You can contact the garden at MilagroGarden@yahoo.com with questions about their experience.

If you would like to learn more about the soil blocking system and soil starting mix, visit the potting blocks website.

Green Drinks, Potluck and Garden Fair

This is a busy week for Home Grown New Mexico.  We have just completed Earth Day with events at Earth Care, The Santa Fe Community College and La Montanita Coop.  Our celebration included snap pea seeds for all attendees, so they could start their gardens with a healthy treat.  It was great to meet all of the people that want to grown their own food this year.  We hope to see you at our monthly potlucks, education classes and the Kitchen Garden and Coop Tour.

This week includes three important events:

  • Community Homesteading Potluck
    Tuesday, April 26th at 7pm
    Santa Fe Complex at 632 Agua Fria Street, parking on Romero
    We will have a seed exchange and hear from Food Depot, Santa Fe Time Bank and Beneficial Farms CSA
    For more information, click here
  • Green Drinks
    Wednesday, April 27th at 6:30pm
    Joe’s Diner at 2801 Rodeo Road
    We are excited to share our 2011 plans for connecting individuals, local business and organizations in gardening and urban farming.  The New Mexican wrote a great article on the program and Kathleen Chambers who founded Green Drinks in Santa Fe three years ago.  Congratulations Kathleen!
    For more information, click here
  • Master Gardener Fair
    Saturday, April 30th at 10am
    County Fairgrounds at 3229 Rodeo Road
    Our booth will be outside the exhibit hall and you can come learn about our education sessions from May to October.  We will also be selling heirloom tomato plants!
    For more information, click here

Spring Tree Pruning Classes at the Railyard

Here is an announcement from the Railyard Stewards.  Contact http://www.railyardpark.org/ for more information.

SATURDAY MARCH 26, 10:30 – 12:30

This is the time of year to prune back those dead branches and shape your fruit trees. However, more harm than good can be done if pruned incorrectly.  Learn the correct techniques for pruning fruit trees and general rules for pruning any tree. Are your trees just ornamental? Are they focused on fruit production? Maybe a little bit of both? What insects and other problems do you need to watch out for this time of year? Do you have some specific problems with any tree that you would like expert advice on?  Led by Robert Wood, ISA (International Society of Arboiculture) Certified Arborist and Certified Municipal Arborist, Santa Fe Parks Department.

Meet near the new community room (silver corrugated building near the parking lot behind SITE Santa Fe).   To reserve a spot or for more information, contact the Railyard Stewards at info@railyardpark.org or call 316-3596.  Hope to see you there!