Sacred Garden Sanctuary Newsletter for July, 2012

In this Issue

Building Update

Edwin has nearly completed the chicken coop nests for the inside of the chicken coop. The picture to the right is shows the nesting box structure made out of our recycled materials. We still need to install the inside side panels to enclose each of the 8 boxes (the bottom row will not have side panels installed  for now). Edwin intends to complete this in the next week.

Dan has nearly completed the motorhome foundation/enclosure, it's looking good, and we will show pictures of the final result next time.

Jose has completed the drip system tubing, as much as we are going to do at this time, and has been working on other gardening projects.

Members and Guests

The two possible visitors we mentioned in the last newsletter have had some delays in their plans and may come later when they are ready. We also continue to get a few inquiries from people, mostly from the website.

The Garden

The Farmer's Markets

The Bisbee farmer's market demand has been somewhat uneven, as has our crop production. Last week the Bisbee market demand was amazing and all the produce vendors pretty much sold out.  Some of our crops, even the collard greens, perished in the late June heat, and we have harvested all we could of the Romaine. We have replanted mixed lettuce and spinach and started some heat-resistant Romaine.We will continue to plant lettuce and spinach weekly, and kale as needed.

We have harvested some of our onions, which also sell well at the market, and cabbage, which is mostly for us but we are selling a few. These are also highly prized at the market by select customers.

We are growing tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant as well.

Self-Sufficiency Projects

You may have noticed we have divided the Garden section into two sub-sections. These two focus areas are both important to us as a community - the first, to provide financial sustainability, and the second, to provide crops for ourselves now and to have sufficient diversity of food to survive any collapse of food supply that may happen in the future (always good to be prepared, and it ensures us maximum food percentage from our own gardens.)

We have planted tapary beans of two varieties. The brown/blue-speckled variety we purchased from Native Seed Search a few years ago, and the white teparies from our dear friend Marcia. The first planting has already sprouted up in just a few days. Teparies are amazing, and grow almost without care during monsoon season.

Our experiment with growing flax in unimproved ground failed. Next year we will plant flax in improved soil and earlier in the season before the heat sets in.

We also grew potatoes this year. This is mainly for our consumption, but we did sell a few red potatoes at the markets. They sell well and if we had the space and the water we could grow more.We will evaluate this at the end of the year for next spring. We are going to put in another bed of red potatoes for ourselves to harvest this fall.

We grew a few sprigs of wheat this year in with the potatoes and they produced some nice grain. Winter wheat is easy to grow here. Again it's a matter of space.

We are growing Long Island Cheese pumpkins for a winter storage crop. As you can see in the photo on the right, they are coming along nicely. These will make delicious pumpkin soups and other dishes (perhaps empenadas?)

Another crop we are growing for ourselves is watermelons. Although most them do not turn out sellable quality, we still enjoy them ourselves, and it provides a delicious summer fruit for us.

We are also growing summer squash, cucumbers, black-eyed peas, corn, cabbage, and  cantaloupes. We will be putting in a new crop of cabbage for the fall and for winter storage.

The bush cherries that Shaine gave us looked like dried up sticks when we planted them, but now they are coming along beautifully (see photo on right), and we look foward to an abundant crop of cherries in years to come.



We will leave you with pictures of some of our flowers from our gardens

Other News

Other Happenings

  • The five laying hens are growing. None of our hens have laid eggs yet.
  • We planted another small crop of beets
  • Our small crop of celery is growing nicely, about 7 inches tall now.
  • The mosquito fish in our pond our proliferating by the hundreds. I guess we won't have any mosquitoes breeding in our pond this year!
  • We are still taxing to the max our solar well pump, through the heat of summer and happered some by afternoon clouds reducing the wattage output of our panels. We have had some rains, but only one really good far.

On the agenda for July/August:

  • Finish building the nest boxes for the chicken coop
  • Finish building the motorhome "foundation"
  • Improve sprinkler systems in the lower garden
  • Continue selling produce at the Bisbee market and Douglas Mercado
  • Plant out more chinaberry trees, which we have grown from seed.
  • Build a new composting toilet for Edwin