Fall Offerings

It has been way too long since I posted here on our blog, but don’t be fooled– the garden grows on!!

In fact with so many students gone this summer I frankly didn’t have time to blog about what was growing, it was hard enough to keep up with it all….So to give you the highlights of the season here is a brief summary of what we grew this summer

an epic 150lbs of Onions…IMG_4154

Almost 20lbs of GarlicIMG_4152

And lots and lots of herbs, greens, and fruits I have yet to add the totals up from because they just keep coming!!!IMG_5257

Now that the students are back and getting dirty in the garden again we can tackle some of those unruly weeds and break new ground for development of new perennial herb and vegetable gardens.

As far as classes go, I had to cancel my “Gardening in the Desert Class” for the fall due to low enrollment, though it was a hit in the spring, I just didn’t get enough signups…so if you are interested let me know and I will offer it again.

However I am super excited to share some of the fall classes that some honored collages and friends are offering in our garden.

There is Arina Pittman of the Permaculture Institute offering ‘Create a Raspberry Patch’ which will be taking place right on our very own garden in just a week or so.  Saturday Sept 20th from 9-12pm you will learn everything you wanted to know a more from start to finish about growing your own luscious high desert berries.

After all these rains I imagine many of you are more interested in Arid Land Restoration than ever before.  Well you are in luck, one of our best local Sustainability educators, Amanda Bramble of Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center will be offering a class on use that the following Saturday morning Sept 27th from 9-12pm right here on campus and you will get to learn to read the land and  work with the waters right here on site.

Then Tracy Neal and Bob Pennington will also be offering some of their hit classes like “Plants for Santa Fe”, Gardening Good Enough to Eat”And “Garden Superstars” to name a few.

You can still sign up for any of these by calling the Continuing Ed office at 505-428-1270 or go right online here.

 

 

 

Garden Events!!

Spring is in the air and there is LOTS going on in the next couple of weeks in and around our garden.  First of all, this FRIDAY APRIL 25th From 1-4pm.  We will be hosting Deborah Madison, celebrity chef and cookbook author in our garden.  She will have a few of her new Vegetable Literacy books for sale and signing and will be touring the gardening with a chefs eye.  We will also have a plant sale where we will be selling Chard, Cabbage, Collards, & Tomatoes. This would be a great day to come out and see what we are up to in the SFCC Culinary Arts Garden.IMG_3323

The Following day, APRIL 26th, while the Solar Fiesta is happening on the SFCC Campus, I will be down at the Railyard for EARTH DAY SANTA FE meeting people, sharing about our growing garden and sharing tips on how you can grow your own food.

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And as if that is not enough…I will also be attending the Spring Garden Fair May 3rd from 10-4pm at the Santa Fe County Fair grounds.  We will have a table set up and lots to share!

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Lots of great opportunities to connect with community and grow together!!

 

Fresh Press!

Our Garden made it into todays New Mexican!  Last Friday a reporter, Carlos Lopez and a photographer Jane Phillips, joined us in the garden activities to do todays story about our garden.

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It was a garden frenzy, with trees being planted, by David and MateoIMG_5599

Carrots coming out of the ground,

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and 26lbs of produce being harvested by our awesome garden volunteers!!!

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We are so happy to spread the good word of edible education to our community.  Come join the fun every Friday from 1-4pm!!

( All Photos taken by Elea Flower, one of our prized garden volunteers)

 

 

Garden Bounty

Yesterday was glorious!  We had our new ‘Gardening in the Desert’ class out in the garden getting ready to learn all they can in the next 5 weeks about high desert food production.

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Our garden volunteers harvested over 16 lbs of greens and herbs for the Culinary Arts Kitchen!!!

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With a great team effort we finally got the new Garden Kiosk board built by the YOUTH BUILD crew, illustrated with all that is happening in the garden!!!

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Our Culinary Arts students patiently harvested 6lbs of Spinach and meet some busy little friends along the way.IMG_3321

The garden is abundant these days– Come join the garden efforts– Every Friday 1-4pm for Community Garden Work Days!!

 

 

‘Gardening in the Desert’ is about to begin

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As most of you know, I have been running the garden at the Santa Fe Community College for about a year and a half. Before that I was on the design team, so for the past four years I have gotten to watch it go from good idea to a highly productive and beautiful garden, and we are just getting started!!IMG_6815

I can’t tell you how much I love to witness the process of a piece of land go from ignored to embed with love!! Don’t get me wrong, this project has been less than perfect, but when I step back and look at what we have sown, I am deeply satisfied to the core and know it will bloom and grow as the years go on. We now have 21 fruit trees, 16 vegetable beds, a pollinator garden, a worm compost and have plans for an outdoor classroom/ kitchen, berries, herbs, perennial vegetables, and more!!

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This Friday marks the beginning of my first official class I will be offering in the garden, ‘Gardening in the Desert’ through the Continuing Ed Dept. Because it has been a long time in the making, I have pulled out all the stops for this one.

It will be a 6 week course where I will impart all my garden secrets weaving lectures and hands on learning to really get my students confident in growing in this wild western ecosystem.

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I even invited the some of Santa Fe’s Garden stars to teach with me!!

Joel Glanzberg of Pattern Mind will be teaching about the high desert arid landscape and how understanding this distinct ecosystem aids in us growing well within it.

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Ken Kuhn of Grow Your Own will be sharing his experience in making raised garden beds for desert bounty.

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and lastly Deborah Madison will join us for a lesson in Vegetable Literacy!!

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I am so excited about this class and have to say I hope it is the first of many, but it very well may be a once in a lifetime course.

There are still 5 more spots left in the class so you can still sign up! Go online or Call 428-1676 to enroll.

You can even enroll after the class starts on Friday, but trust me you don’t want to miss even one!!

I also want to say thank you to all of you wonderful readers who have already signed up, without you planning ahead, this class would not have run!!! See you Friday!!

 

Signs of Spring

Last Friday we had very few SFCC gardeners in the garden, probably because they were off to spring break fun, not to mention the weather was blustery and snowy at one point, but our die hards did make it!!  We were blessed by the hard work of Alice Corbett, a welding student at SFCC who has been diligently working on these beautiful garden signs for us.

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Alice started volunteering in the garden last fall to learn more about high desert gardening for herself.  As we worked together she noticed nothing was labeled.  I told her of my sign quandary; we had no budget for signs but I thought they are important to help students learn and navigate in the garden.  I told her out paper signs were flying away and easily damaged, even the laminated ones and I was not sure what try next.  I mentioned a sign we had in a garden at the Childrens’ Museum where I once worked, and Alice visited the garden, took the inspiration and designed these beauties herself out of scrap metal.  She then made one fro each crop and donated them all to our garden project!!!! Way to go Alice!!! We are ever so grateful and promise to take good care of your work.  Thank you for being the first to make a big donation to our garden!  Alice does plan to sell these signs and you can find her work here in the future.

Though the weather was rough, we still had work to do, and luckily we had eight young ladies from the Masters Program Charter school who are studying food and farming come over to help.  We boldly took over the bar in the East Wing Eatery and turned it into a warm and toasty garden bar.

We cleaned seeds saved from the SFCC garden last summer and transplanted little baby plants in preparation for an up coming plant sale in our very own garden!!

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The garden is coming along beautifully this spring.  Lots of food is now being delivered to the Culinary Arts Kitchen every week, new seeds are being sown, our garden kiosk is almost done and our continuing ed garden class, ‘Gardening in the Desert’ is about to begin (though there is still room, so sign up!!)!!  We still need lots of help, and resources so please get involved if the SFCC local food system is important to you!!

Tree Pruning, Onion Planting, Spinach Harvesting oh my!!

Last Friday we had a packed day in the garden.  Good thing more folks are showing up every week to help!  Spring is the most important time in the garden and we have got lots to do!!( Every Friday from 1-4pm)  The garden club even meet for a while to plot their agenda for the spring to come.

Tracy Neal Guest pruning teacher

Tracy Neal Guest pruning teacher

We had a guest teacher, Tracy Neal, who is a Master Gardener and Continuing Ed teacher, come and teach the garden crew how to do first year fruit tree pruning in our little orchard.

The first few years of a fruit tree’s life is very important.  Though the pruning is minimal, it determines the form, strength and health of the tree for the rest of it’s life.

We did a few careful cuts, and for most folks, they were their first pruning cuts ever.

Me cheering on Shari to make her first pruning cuts

Me cheering on Shari to make her first pruning cuts

We added some wooden branch spreaders and we did some slight branch training.

Encouraging the leader

Encouraging the leader

Now for years to come, our students will be able to watch these trees grow, shape and form and yes, soon enough, bare fruit!!

Diego tucking in the last of the little Super Star White Onions

Diego tucking in the last of the little Super Star White Onions

We also planted onion sets.  Onions sets are basically little tiny onion plants that have about three leaves on them.  They are much further along in their growth so much more likely to give nice onion bulbs than starting your own from seed (which I have done ever year till now with little success!!)

Now thats a lot of onions!!

Now that is a lot of onions!!

I bought the onions online from Dixondale Farms, which was recommended by my friend Arina Pittman, who will also be teaching Gardening Classes through SFCC Continuing Ed this summer, stay tuned!!  These onions are from the Intermediate Sampler pack which included three types of Intermediate Onions; a red, a white and a yellow.  If you go out to the garden you will soon see one bed planted in each.  We will be paying close attention to how each one does to determine the best onion for our garden, and of course our chefs and kitchen.

Elea harvesting America Spinach

Elea harvesting America Spinach

Last but not least, we harvested over 2lbs of beautiful Spinach from our beds.  Actually we have been harvesting this all winter, but in the past month we have been able to harvest about 2 lbs a week!!  This variety is my new favorite, as not only is it productive, but totally beautiful and tasty.  I present to you America Spinach, by Seed Savers Exchange.  Try it, I know you will be delighted!

Big old bucket of Spinach off to the Kitchen

Big old bucket of Spinach off to the Kitchen

Interested in learning more, helping out having fun?  Come join the garden volunteers every Friday afternoon from 1-5pm.