In this Issue
The chicken coop nests are finished and have been placed in the chicken coop.
Edwin is in the process of clearing his dome and getting ready to start finishing the interior. First task will be to punch a hole through the wall for a bathtub drain, then the plastering can begin.
Dan has completed the motorhome foundation/enclosure, except for the front step and a few other finishing touches.
We had a couple of visitors since the last newsletter and had a good time sharing ideas and plans for the future.
Jose decided to move on and is currently visiting another intentional community in northern New Mexico. We wish him well on his quest, hope he finds "home", and are grateful for all his hard work at the Sanctuary and the Douglas Mercado.
The Farmer's Markets
The Bisbee farmer's market demand has continued strong, but our crop production continues to lag. We are continuing to refine our production method for mixed lettuce, spinach, kale, and Romaine lettuce, our four basic cash crops. The grasshoppers got to our kale in spite of row covers. It is difficult to keep out or even chase out the hoppers in the double-row covers, so from now on we will be planting kale under single row covers. The new crop of Romaine is coming along and may be ready in 3 or 4 weeks. Our spinach does not seem to grow well in the heat, even with shade cloth over the insect netting, and is also being attacked by hoppers. Our biggest success has been mixed lettuce. This week we sold 18 bags in Bisbee.
We are now selling some tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant as well as yellow squash, zuchinni, cantaloupe, watermelon, Long Island cheese pumpkin, and a few cucumbers.
We have planted a bed intensively with garlic for sale at next year's market, and for our own use. If we find space, we will plant another.
Our tepary beans are doing well, about a foot high now, and are blooming and sending out runners. Soon we wil have beans forming.
We are selling some of the Long Island Cheese pumpkin at the market but are saving the seeds for a bigger planing next year. They are rather heat sensitive, so we will be planting them under trees next time.
We also have planted another bed of potatoes which may be struggling against the grasshopper infestation.
Thanks to some torrential rains, our water table is being replenished. Water has been flowing in our main gulley for four days! After the initial torrents, the flow all goes into the ground.
We will leave you with some pictures of some of our flowing "stream".
- Three of the five new "hens" are roosters. None of our four actual laying hens have laid eggs yet. We are experimenting with keeping the older ones isolated in the coup.
- We had two torrential rains in August and it really helped to keep the plants watered, but also damaged the dirt road.
- We planted out quite a few chinaberry trees, most of them are doing well. We will have to replace just a few of them.
- Edwin built his composting toilet and it is working out well.
On the agenda for September:
- Exchange 3 roosters for hens
- Finish building the motorhome steps
- Make some more "sandwich" signs for the Douglas Mercado
- Start work on finishing the interior of Edwin's dome
- Continue selling produce at the Bisbee market and Douglas Mercado
- Plant out more chinaberry trees, which we have grown from seed, as needed.
- Highway cleanup near the end of September, to meet our requirement of three cleanups per year to retain our "adoption".