Archive for January, 2009

Pray for Rain

I was just flipping through the TV channels and Fox 40 had a report of the drought in California and how the veggie prices were going to be higher because farmers are not planting as much. WHAT!!! This concerned me. So I searched the internet to find the whole story. The same story, from the Associated Press, is all over the internet.

Part of the story says, “Consumers may pay more for spring lettuce and summer melons in grocery stores across the country now that California farmers have started abandoning their fields in response to a crippling drought.” It’s time folks, we need to grow our own.

You can grow in containers, flower boxes or raised beds. It’s really not that hard as long as you have at least 6 hours of sun. If you don’t have the sun exposure you can join or start a community garden at a church or school or join a CSA farm. We know we will be providing shares this year, but we aren’t sure how many and every year we have to turn people away, so now’s the time to start a garden for yourself.

We plan on giving classes, just haven’t yet because we weren’t sure where to have them. We wanted a place to accommodate at least 25 people. I think we are going to just have to start and have many small classes at our farm and see how they go. We need to get started, so you can.

Our classes will be basic gardening with the Square Foot Gardening Method (SFG). We chose this way of gardening because it’s easy to understand, you use less water and seeds than conventional gardening and there is less work, plus you’ll grow more. The soil you currently have does not matter as you will be making your own. You can also grow in containers, or build boxes with legs for table top gardens. We plan to have a few of these on our deck, for herbs and flowers.

But, in the meantime, check out the seed catalogs or go to the nursery and order seeds of veggies you like or want to try. Check out the Square Foot Gardening website, the library or buy the book, either from us or your local bookstore.

I promise, it’s a super easy way to grow your own food. We had a large, raised bed as our demo box last season and everything in that box grew better than the same veggies in the ground. Plus, we are looking forward to not having to deal with gophers and moles in the beds.

Something we may have not mentioned in the past, Mel Bartholomew of SFG, teaches in many third world countries, where they don’t have the resources we have in the US, and they are able to produce food for themselves. I know we can too.

I’m not trying to scare you or talk you into SFG, but things are changing and we need to be ready. Attached, for your information, is Mel’s list for Preparedness Gardening. If you have any questions, ask us, we are here to help.

GARDEN: Rain and the family emergency has caused us to slow down. But we are going to be working on Tuesday once again. We really thank all of you who responded to our email asking for volunteer help. We have a couple of things that need to get ready first and then we will schedule a Sunday to make Mel’s Mix. We really appreciate all of you who volunteered, we’ll be contacting you shortly.

And thanks to all of you who enjoy these newsletters. We enjoy researching, learning and sharing.



Here, in Northern California, I am grateful for the rain. We need it!!! And I am joyful to hear the drips and drops fall from the sky. Sure, I’ve been loving our unusual Spring weather, but it’s more important to have the moisture.

Life has been somewhat stressful for us lately; family emergencies which have us days away from the farm. A lesson in patience for me. All will work out for the best, I just have to remember to breath.

We are planning a Summer season and rebuilding our little farm is coming along. Six raised beds have now been built. We’ll build about five more in the upper garden and then continue into the lower garden. At some point, we’ll have to put up a better fence. Deer pass through the property, stop at the fence that barely keeps them out, and drool at the luscious greens they cannot have. Let’s hope they don’t decide to jump a little higher than normal! 😉

Happy New Year!

How do you bring in the new year?

In Italy, a tradition is to throw old possessions, like old utensils, furniture and clothes out of the window, in the hopes of forgetting past misfortunes and clearing the decks for good luck in the New Year. In Wales, the back door is opened to release the old spirit of the old year at the first stroke of midnight. It is then locked up to store the luck in, and at the last stroke the New Year is welcomed in at the front door. The people in Spain believe the New Year custom of eating grapes at the stroke of midnight to secure 12 happy months in the coming year. (From 123 New Years)

We like to get together with friends and family, have good conversation, play games and toast the new year with a glass of champagne. I get on this cleaning binge and clear out closets, drawers, pantries and donate the good stuff to the hospice. For me, I think it’s about letting go of the old, to bring in the new.

GARDEN: Boy, are we making progress. It sure helps when you have a helper. We are so grateful! This week, they leveled the old, remaining beds with the tractor to build up the next section. We hope to have the upper garden in full beds, not counting the already established asparagus beds. Pics will be on the blog as soon as they finish. It’s exciting to see the change.

RECYCLE GREETING CARDS: Even though we’ve received less and less Christmas cards throughout the year, I do enjoy them…but what to do with them when we are done enjoying them? I send them to St. Jude’s Ranch so the children can recycle them and make new cards to raise money for the organization. They are accepting used, all-occasion greeting cards until February 28, 2009. Send to:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Thanks again for supporting local farms and being a part of our farm family.
Have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!