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Sunday, June 28, 2015

All Hail Summer!

Yesterday was a "weather" day at The Nickel and Dime Ranch, with crazy rain and hail.


While this was happening, I was having lunch with M and M in Santa Fe, on the way home from Albuquerque and the "didn't happen" Friday flight to California for my brother's retirement bash.


I ended up not going because Friday was a "weather day" in Dallas, disrupting flights, resulting in a nine hour wait for an airplane that wasn't going to take me where I wanted to go after all. At 2:30 am, faced with the prospect of waiting another eleven hours at the next stop offered to me by a harried, exhausted Southwest Airlines ticket agent, I gave up.

Sorry I missed your party, bro. All I can say is retirement is awesome and now you can work at whatever you want, whenever you want. Congratulations on surviving 32 years of adolescents.

I'd say, "Come visit," but looking at these photos, you might have second thoughts.



Ms. Pearl certainly had second thoughts, not even wanting to hang out on the covered porch while this was going on. Thunder, lightning and crazy noise on the tin roof were not her thing.


This is why my tomatoes are growing inside a greenhouse.


By the time I was home, all this was gone and today is sunny with nary a cloud in the sky. Still, there's a 50/50 chance for more rain today.

I think I'll go water the tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kitchen Garden Early Summer 2015

Man, do I suck at blogging! It seems like there are so many other things to do..."Look! Squirrel!"

But I haven't forgotten you and hope this has been excellent summer season so far. Our part of Northern New Mexico has been blessed with rain, so much rain that we are out of our drought and the drought map says we are unusually dry, instead.

Tell that to the mosquitoes, who have been enjoying this moist weather just a little too much. Afternoons and shady spots are their favorite time for blood sucking, but if it's breezy they don't hang out too long, so I'm not complaining.

I've been working on are both the Growing Dome and kitchen gardens. The heat loving plants, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, thrive in their warm dome house, but that story is for another day.

Anyway, here are some kitchen garden photos. I truly love the raised beds, which allow me to garden without crawling around.

Below are some Northeaster runner beans climbing up their netting. This is the first time I've grown these, but a neighbor had good luck with them and when I tasted their flat-podded wonderfulness, I decided they would be part of this year's garden.


You can see that black patch on the ground, which is weed barrier cloth. I need to spread some more bark to cover it.

The beds beyond the beans have strawberries, which are starting to bear, and asparagus in the background, now gone to seed after a couple weeks of judicious picking. The asparagus is three years old now, so next year I will be able to pick as much as we want. My friends say the rain has extended the wild asparagus crop along the roads and acequias, so they're still picking!

Below is another shot of the garden. On the left are white cauliflower, broccoli and garlic. Those grow bags contain potatoes: Magic Molly, Purple Viking, Sangre Red and Yukon Gold. Someone said the first three potato names sound like weed. I think they're right.


And here's the last shot. That long bed in the back has more cauliflower (green and orange varieties), carrots and corn. The corn is called Spring Treat, but we shall see what happens, since most people say sweet corn grown around here tastes like sawdust.

In the far beds, which each measure four by four, I have a rhubarb plant, some Sugar Sprint snap peas, a valerian plant which the bees love, and some more cauliflower. I've decided to roast cauliflower and freeze it if there's too much. We could use a little more outdoor growing space, so next year we hope to build some more raised beds.

Next up, inside The Dome.