Tag Archives: Sustainable Living

Why is my soil so compacted?

Originally posted on Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!:
Hopefully, the ground in your yard has thawed by now (regrets to those who still have frozen ground!). So why is it that when you try to push your shovel into the…

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Lupine Seedlings Emerge After Winter Rain

After years of drought we finally got good rain in the High Desert. Lupine seedlings started to emerge in December.  I have carpets of them where mud puddles collected.  Spring is on its way!

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Farmers Flood Fields to Store Rainwater. Next is Protecting it from Evaporation

Dan Charles Recently posted a story on NPR, As Rains Soak California, Farmers Test How To Store Water Underground about farmers flooding their fields with rainwater in order to infiltrate the water into store the water in soil and replenish … Continue reading

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Rock Outcrops | Observations and Thoughts for a Desert Rain Garden

Rock outcrops show us how lush, green plants such as native cherries can flourish in a desert during a major drought without expensive irrigation water. Continue reading

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Meet VIP Member of Pest Management Team

Well, I wish the praying mantis could focus on less beneficial herbivorous insects than honey bees. Just the same, this insect carnivore,  is welcome in my garden.  This one was rather brazen and had no objection to a photo session while eating it’s … Continue reading

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What “cover crops” could home gardeners consider in the fall?

Originally posted on Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!:
Farmers across the country use “cover crops” over the winter. Cover crops do several things, depending on what is planted: Help prevent erosion and topsoil loss. Their roots, and the plants themselves,…

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Crispy Pototo Cake Filled with Chickpea Polenta

What about putting a crispy hash brown exterior on creamy chick pea polenta? Continue reading

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Pulse Pie Crusts

Chick Pea Crust for Open Pies I found this recipe for a pie crust made with chick pea flour embedded in a chickpea quiche recipe. For now, I need a wheat free recipe to  make pies out of my abundant … Continue reading

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In a Pot of Pure Trouble | Chicken Shamed

So who was in the vegetable garden beating me to my own harvest? That darned Leaf! Continue reading

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Simple Starter Compost Pile | Wire Basket

A simple way to start a compost pile is to create a wire basket.  Take a sheet of mesh fencing such as chicken wire, hardware cloth, or chain link fencing that is readily accessible.  Overlap the sides of the mesh … Continue reading

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How Some Animals Can Help Compost

Good scavengers for the backyard composting include pigeons, rabbits and chickens. Continue reading

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We Have a Vacancy: Building a Bug Hotel for Solitary Bees

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on Mind Your Dirt:
Now here’s a project that doesn’t take too much time and is simply perfect for the whole family. The materials used for this are all items you can hunt for in parks or woods…

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What is Compost?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, compost is “a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land.” Simply put, compost is what is left behind by organisms that eat dead things. Biologists call these … Continue reading

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Summary of My Training and Experience Regarding Compost

My introduction to compost was a gift from my Dad.  As a farm boy and soil scientist, he had an avid interest in compost long before it became trendy.  Some of my earliest memories were of him turning and tending … Continue reading

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Surprise Visit From Pest Management Team Member

California Herps Page for Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard – Sceloporus uniformis   I was quite surprised to find a friendly visitor in my dining room this afternoon.  A rather calm lizard was basking on the tile floor.  My cat walked by … Continue reading

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My Answer to The White Crowned Sparrow

My parents came to visit when my home was relatively new.  I showed my little vegetable garden to them with requests for advice.  One problem that I was having was that seeds would germinate, and then disappear within a day … Continue reading

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Local Gardener Skips Soil: Hydroponics Garden

Turning the desert into an ‘oasis of healthy eating   The Victorville Daily Press released an  interesting article about a local gardener who uses hydroponics to grow his vegetables.  Good read. By Rene Ray De La Cruz Staff Writer Posted … Continue reading

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Burrowing Barrier Effective: Chicken 1 Mouse 0

Shortly after applying the last batch of cement, observations of mice droppings went from common to briefly incidental. My best hunter, Apricot, suddenly put on weight. Her egg production went from intermittent to slightly over one egg per day. Continue reading

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Value of Ancient Ways – Dialog with Pat Spray Regarding His Native American Ancestor’s Use of Key Hole Gardens

For all our stunning scientific advancements, listening to grandparents talk about traditional ways is well worth while. Sure, some traditions worked out better in the long run than others. As we push the limits on technical advancements, we are learning which traditions are keepers. Native American agricultural practices that endured through thousands of years without environmental collapse are worth in-depth study. Continue reading

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Free Water in the Desert

So, I’m not the only crazy person out there who sees free irrigation water in “flooding problems” I found a great series of links to videos on stormwater and rainwater harvesting. If you want to grow more than rocks in … Continue reading

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Mojave Roadside Swale Blooms After Desert Rains

I maintained the grade of the roadside swale and added landscaping to solve problems: flooding of the intersection, unauthorized “off-roading” across my front yard, and unauthorized cement laying in my corner. An additional benefit has been free irrigation water in an area where water is very expensive. Continue reading

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Mojave Aster

Mojave Aster,  is easily one of my favorite plants.  It features large blue flowers with a yellow center.  When it opened it’s flowers in my garden this morning, I had to share it with you. My Experience Growing Mojave Aster … Continue reading

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Make Shift Chicken Bed

I needed a quick and affordable way to house my chickens at night.  I got wire cages from a pet store, put them up on tables under the eaves of my home, wrapped them with bubble wrap insulation, and clamped … Continue reading

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Chick Pea Tortillas Wrap-up Home Grown Veggies in Tasty Tacos

Yummy! If you could eat it with a corn tortilla, you could eat it with a chick pea tortilla. Continue reading

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Article Published on Need to Expand Use of Pulses.

“Pulses:
• provide plant-based proteins and amino acids,
ensuring food security.
• fight obesity due to their high fiber content.
• prevent and help manage chronic diseases such
as diabetes, coronary conditions, and cancer.
• are an important source of plant-based protein
for livestock.
• fix nitrogen, increasing soil fertility.
• are sustainable, using less water than many
other protein crops.” Continue reading

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Houzz Article Provides Good Overview of What to Consider When Planning a Backyard Farm

Article features what to consider when planning: Vegetable Garden Backyard flock of Chickens Backyard farm animals Compost Pile Backyard bee keeping Backyard clothes drying Backyard Orchard  

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