I started to blog about “My Caliche Challenge” in 2013 because I felt a need to connect with others who also garden or farm in the Mojave Desert. I was fortunate that some of my neighbors have extensive training and experience farming, gardening, and building in desert communities. My initial web searches conducted at the time didn’t result in local references. I did find good information on desert gardening through posts hosted by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension“, The National Center for Home Food Preservation and the University of California Cooperative Extension . My inquiries to the Master Gardener program through UC extension in Riverside went unanswered until I stumbled on a class held at the Town of Apple Valley Library. Both instructor and students were terrific. I attended a couple of sessions before life got in the way for both the instructor and myself. Then I took a break from blogging and networking to attend to personal responsibilities.
I knew that Micki Brown wrote a weekly garden column for the Victorville Daily Press but catching her columns was hit or miss. I stumbled on a blog hosted by CastIron Dan, who writes a great local blog. I attended an introductory Compost Masters Seminar taught by Don Woo. When I could, I attended monthly meetings, which I found to be very informative. Then Wendy Walker started a face book group, High Desert Native Plant Gardeners . I joined. Facebook recommended a new group, High Desert Garden Junkies that I also joined. Then Facebook suggested High Desert Vegetable Gardens. I joined that too. When a Facebook friend posted that Micki Brown started a blog, High Desert Gardener. I was over joyed. After years of difficulty finding fellow gardeners to talk to, my online contacts are growing exponentially on a daily basis. Each new contact results in tidbits of information based on local personal experiences that is very helpful. With liberation resulting from a recent retirement, my gardening future is looking bright.