Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is an important aspect of our quest for sustainablity. We still have a lot to learn about greenhouse gardening and organic farming methods, but we hope that soon we will be able to produce our own organic fruits and vegetables year round.
Heirloom Seeds
We are making a point to primarily plant heirloom vegetables and open pollinated seeds in our garden. Heirloom and open pollinated seeds can be saved and replanted, making them the best choice for a sustainable garden.
Making Garden Soil
The ground here is dry, hard and rocky and has little nutrient value. For best gardening results we decided to make our own garden soil from local sand, straw and manure.
Cold Frame Design
This fall we resolved to build cold frames and by October we'd attached them to our raised garden beds to keep our winter vegetable garden growing. We happily report that our cold frame design is performing well, even in the depths of winter.
Planning Our Garden
We spent the winter planning our garden and making preparations for spring planting. We've been ordering vegetable seed, starting seedlings, planning perennial zones and learning about companion planting.
Plan for Our Passive Solar Greenhouse
These are the plans for the first structure we are building on our homestead, a passive solar greenhouse. Large South facing windows incorporated along the front of the greenhouse and high clerestory windows are integral to our passive heating and venting strategy. With a wood stove installed we believe that our greenhouse will provide us with indoor growing space for a year round garden.
Garden Irrigation
Our new irrigation systems are both solar powered and work with low pressure water. We are happy to have a sprinkler controller to handle delivery of water to the garden and the greenhouse drip irrigation has also proven a success.
Organic Gardening in the High Desert
As part of our plan to grow our own fresh fruits and vegetables we've undertaken a number of organic gardening projects. We've recently created several new fruit and vegetable patches to complement the existing raised garden beds in our desert garden.
Plans for a Passive Solar Greenhouse
Using UV protected glazing recycled from old greenhouse kits, plywood, and traditional insulation we turned an ordinary greenhouse into a structure with passive solar qualities. Our passive solar greenhouse now has a well insulated North side which helps the structure to absorb solar energy and passively retain heat, while the Southern side allows ample light to penetrate.
Garden Photos
Our organic gardening project is underway and we have many colorful garden photos showing the fruits of our labor. As you can see in our garden photos we've been blessed with a bounty of garden fresh vegetables and delicious greens.
Constructing Raised Garden Beds
In preparation for our first vegetable garden we spent several weeks constructing raised garden beds. We designed the raised beds to protect the plants from wind, sun and hail, as well as to extend the growing season. We are making a sets of removable panels to enclose each raised bed that will also offer maximum protection from critters.