Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nambe Lake

One of our goals for the year is to do more hiking.  We have so many wonderful day hikes that we can easily access, and we’d like to try more of them.  Unfortunately, for most of the summer the national forests and open space were closed because of wildfires, but most areas have reopened so we’re trying to take full advantage. 

Last weekend we hiked to Santa Fe’s closest alpine lake, and it was, of course, beautiful.  Here are some scenes from the lake.

And of course, someone managed to get quite dirty!   

She slipped into deep muck trying to cross a stream on a slippery log.  It didn’t slow her down much, and the girls had a grand time chasing chipmunks while we napped on the edge of the lake.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SFG=Square Foot Gardening=Love

Andrew and I tried Square Foot Gardening this year, and it has been a joy.  Basically, it is a method for planting lots of plants in small spaces.  We have 4 raised beds – 2 boxes that are 4′x4′ and 6″ deep and 1 box that is 2′x2′ and 12″ deep for longer root veggies like carrots and leeks.  We filled the raised beds with a soil we mixed ourselves – 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost and 1/3 peat moss.  The soil is a dream – all natural, organic, drains well, nutrient rich and light and fluffy.  Each box has a grid marking each square foot.  Mel gives instructions for how many of each plant you can fit in each SF.  A tomato or pepper is one per square foot; basil is four per square foot; spinach and sugar snap peas are nine per square foot; and radishes are sixteen.  With this compact method, you can really grow a lot in a small space.

In our three boxes, I am growing:
9 sugar snap pea plants
9 beet plants
9 spinach plants
16 radishes (we’ve already harvested and eaten all of these and the SF is now filled with more spinach)
8 heads of lettuce
3 jalapeno peppers
2 tomatillo plants
16 basil plants (lots and lots of pesto…)
48 carrots
9 leeks
3 tomatoes
2 cucumbers
2 oregano
4 bell pepper
and about 72 zinnias and cosmos!

Yes, all that in 36 square feet of garden!!  And it couldn’t be easier.  There’s no weeding except for a few weed seeds that blow in; there’s no tilling the soil; there’s no back breaking work.  And it’s all natural, totally organic and the veggies are amazing.  Much better than what we’ve even been getting in our weekly CSA basket.  Here’s what I harvested yesterday:

2 cups basil for Walnut Pesto; 5 carrots for carrot cake; 4 beets for beet ravioli; a few sugar snap peas for snacking; and some zinnias to brighten up the house.  Check out these beauties:

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