Springtime in Northern Nevada with Thoughts of Gardening

I love northern Nevada…but springtime here can be a killer. She teases you with 70F one day and then drops the daytime temps to 46F the next. You just want to hug your trees that are full of ready to burst blossoms and tell them to HANG ON BABIES!

Weeping Cherry

Weeping Cherry

Wrapping your newly transplanted cool weather veggies with pine needles or straw so they can make through the 25F-32F nights. Big Sigh.

Me thinks I’m going to have to buy myelf some more herbs at the Master Gardener's Plant Sale in May…some of them didn’t make it through the last cold snap, and we’re having another tonight for a couple of days.

I’ve noticed lots of people looking at my posts of how to make yourself a raised garden bed ~ Here’s what mine ended up looking like…Finished Raised Garden Beds.

filling2

Thought I’d link you to a bunch of sites that are for us locally here in North Western Nevada…starting with Local Harvest: Real Food, Real Farmers, Real Community. I put in my zip of 89431…but it covers the Reno/Sparks, Sierra Valley, Truckee, Stagecoach Areas. You can just put in your Zip if you want something else. You can find Farms, Farmer’s Markets, Restaurants and Grocery Stores that sell/use locally produced veggies, fruits, diary and meats.

A list of LOCAL CSA's in our area. Including Reno, Silver Springs, Fallon, and Stagecoach.

The River School looks like a pretty cool place…an educational and event center that demonstrates a holistic approach to stustainable living. Organic Gardening.

Home Classes Workshops & Events Weddings & Parties Calendar Sustainable Practices Mayberry Farm Contact Photos Organic Gardening Series

Early Registration is now over but please drop in for the classes you would like to attend.

Winter & Spring Series
11 workshops, January 10th – May 23rd, 1 – 3 pm
Note: these are not consecutive Saturdays!!!

From planning to making compost to planting, this series will give you the know-how to create a vibrant and productive organic garden. We’ll take you through the following topics and offer expert advice from our years of organic growing experience:

•What is Organic? (1/10)
•Planning your Garden (3 parts: 1/24, 1/31, 2/7)
•Starting Seedlings – cool season crops (2/21)
•Pruning Fruit Trees, Shrubs & Grapes (3/7)
•Compost & Worms (3/21)
•Starting Seedlings – warm season crops (4/4)
•Soil & Beds (4/18)
•Raising Chickens (5/2)
•Planting your Garden (5/23)

Class just added: Garden & Tool Management (Sunday, 5/17 from 10-12pm)

$10/pp for all

Part of the River School is Mayberry Farm ~ Growing Organic Food in Reno, Nevada.

Mayberry Farm is a group of gardens and micro-farms throughout Reno, Nevada dedicated to growing organic foods and to sustainable living education. We are part of the effort to produce 20% of the Truckee Meadows food locally by the year 2020.

Workshop Programs at Mayberry Farm include Organic Micro Farm Series (Irrigation & Water Harvesting, Crop Planting & Seeding, Composting, Poultry Mangement, and Beekeeping). Green Building Workshop: The Pallet Chicken Coop.

University of Nevada, Cooperative Extension Office ~ Washoe County Calendar. There is a class coming up called Backyard Conservation Workshop taught by Leslie Allen. She’ll discuss methods and techniques of creating wildlife habitats in the home landscape with special focus on creating habitat for native pollinators and beneficial insects.

Earth Day is this coming Sunday ~ 19 April ~ don’t forget to go to Idlewild Park!

Community Gardens in Reno/Sparks area ~

Teglia's Paradise Park Community Garden
Yori Street/Libby Booth Garden
Mayberry Farm is in it’s early stages of making a garden plot on Valley Road between Sixth and Seventh Streets and are looking for other spaces to start…products raised will go to the Great Basing Community Food Co-op.

This is sort of an after thought … was checking out Craigslist and saw an ad called Got Polutry ~ I may have to check them out sometime as I’m still mulling over the idea of raising a couple of chickens for eggs.

Northern Nevada Poultry Fanciers Association

Meet the Creatures of Grow For Me Sustainable Farm Tour ~ North of Reno, NV

I have been signed up a the Local Harvest website…and received an email about the tour a week ago, but just got it again this morning. Thought I’d pass the information along. I don’t think I can go this weekend, but it would be a great trip for any locals in the Reno/Sparks area! Great price for a lunch and some eggs!

grow_for_me

Meet the Creatures of Grow For Me Sustainable Farm
Tour
Grow For Me Sustainable Farm -(Grow For Me) – (Reno, Nevada)

This is a reservation event limited to five (5) family groups each day so make your reservation early.

Our farm is located 25 minutes north of Reno, Nevada. We are within easy driving distance of most of the outlying areas including Sparks and Carson City – so come on, join the fun – no TV, no cell phones, no gameboys – a day designed just for you and your children!

This farm visit is an interactive petting tour beginning at 10:30 am and ending sometime around 12:30. It is appropriate for all aged children but geared for 2- 10 year olds, very small infants or newborns may be a distraction as we will require all the adults full attention to ensure a safety and a happy visit.

The children will see rare Jacob’s sheep and be able to pet the baby lambs, they will interact with the heirloom chickens and pet the black cochins, a very kid friendly chicken and extra silly with feathers on its feet! There will also be an encounter with the Jersey milk cow and a demonstration on how she is milked, and of course shorty the farm dog will be around to show everybody how to make sure all the other animals are doing their job -especially, zippy the wonder-goat who loves potato chips! Time permitting – the children will also get to interact with four horses – two are young former wild horses of Nevada. They have been adopted and are being trained to become excellent additions to the farm life.

You will need to contact the farm with either an email or phone number so we can ensure proper directions, procure the names of attendees, and be made aware of any food allergies. You will also be asked to sign a hold harmless agreement and farm rules paper so everyone has a great experience.

A shuttle to the farm from Bordertown is possible if prior arrangements are made.

An on farm sack lunch will be provided so pre payment is necessary and there will be no refunds.

The cost is 2.00 per family member including lunch. Each family will be also provided with a 1/2 doz. eggs to take home, seeds to plant in their own gardens and a small booklet with information about the farm and the animals. This is a walking tour so closed toed shoes and appropriate outer clothing is a must.

We think this is a great opportunity for children and their families to enjoy a beautiful setting, see up close and personal creatures that live on a farm, and learn something about their local environment. Bring your friends kids if you don’t have any – your grandchildren, or a child you think would enjoy the day.

Please purchase through our localharvest site catalog page or contact the farm directly for more information.

Start Date: Mar 28, 2009
End Date: Mar 29, 2009
Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM

Organized by: Grow For Me Sustainable Farm -(Grow For Me)
Web site: http://www.girlfarm.org

Address: 1400 Long Valley Road
Reno, NV 89508
Phone: 775-677-0636

girl_farm

DRIVING DIRECTIONS:

The road to the farm is dirt approx. 2.7 miles -so please consider the car you are driving, there will be a sign saying Farm Day Turn Here –

395 North to the Bordertown Exit

Left over the highway at the stop sign

Right at the next stop sign toward the Bordertown Casino (by the way they have a great cafe for plain good food!)

Pass the casino to the next stop sign. Continue driving North following the horseshoe over the railroad tracks (sounds like the beginnings of a country western song?)

You are now driving South on Long Valley Road -stay on the lower dirt road. You will continue south until you come to a crossroads Long Valley Rd/Green Gulch Ranch Rd.

Go through the stop sign staying on Long Valley Rd. You will then come to a small bend in the road on the right is a large hay barn and alfalfa field – look immediately after crossing the creek bed to the left and you will see the Farm Day sign, turn left here go up the road and park across from the the large faded blue barn.

Time to Plan Your Garden! ~ Sparks, NV

WARNING ~ LONG POST WITH LOTS OF GARDENING LINKS AT THE END! 🙂

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Even though it’s still January and in the middle of winter…I can’t stop thinking about my garden! I’m getting itchy and twitchy! I want dirt under my nails!

In between the rains last week and the snow over the weekend there was a brief break in the skies and the sun came out. I rushed out back and busied myself with my raised garden beds. Checked the soil, threw on some leaves, newspaper and grass that was mulching in a corner and some of Starbuck’s coffee grounds. Did you know that all Starbucks have a bucket near the door that have spent coffee grounds for free?! 🙂 If you’re anywhere near UNR…the Student Union Starbucks has more then plenty.

Last year was my first garden in the raised beds we made…and there were no wormies in the soil then. I dug around and found lots of wormies in my beds. 🙂 Eat and poop my little ones!

Here are the plans for and what the raised beds looked like before I took it apart and made it smaller. PLANS FOR RAISED BEDS

The BEDS BROKEN UP INTO TWO instead of one massive bed.

And THE BEDS ALL PLANTED.

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While over at ECLECTIC CULTURE FARM I found a great site called Local Harvest ~ Real Food. Real Farmers. Real Community!

LOCAL HARVEST ~ Nevada (I linked to the Nevada part of the site…it’s country-wide though.)

Here is a little closer to home ~ NORTHERN NEVADA & EASTERN CALIFORNIA

There are lot of local farms listed where you can buy from…also a shop page to buy seeds, gifts, and whatnot.

My mouth is watering over the HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEEDS! Are those the most beautiful lip-smacking things ever?! I’m all ah-giddy!

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I’m going to start my seeds soon…last year I planted most of my seeds right into the ground. But I think I’ll start my peppers and tomatoes inside this year…I harvested a bunch of seeds before eating them. 🙂 Hatch Green Chiles and Heirloom Maters….yummmmmie!

After some doing some online research I found that you can start your seeds in almost any type of container as long as it is at least 2 to 3 inches deep and has some drainage holes.

The seeds should be started in a soilless growing mix that is made up of fine, moist and spongy blend of sphagnum moss, vermiculite and perlite. You can mix your own, using 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 milled sphagnum moss. This mix hardly contains any, if any, nutrients. Start feeding the seedlings with a weak fertilizer solution several weeks after they germinate…they’ll need to be fed weekly until it’s time to transplant them into the garden.

After the wee plants are 6-8 weeks old, they can be transplanted into larger pots with a coarser growing mix with up to 20% garden soil or compost…that will help the plants get ready for garden life.

Here is a cool schedule I found ~ WHEN TO START YOUR SEEDS from The Gardner’s Supply Company online site.

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MORE HELPFUL LINKS FOR NEVADA GARDNERS!

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION'S HORTICULTURE PROGRAM

THE NEVADA MASTER GARDNER PROGRAM

WASHOE COUNTY CALENDAR ~ if you live in a different county than Washoe, just click on the drop-down menu and it will let you click on your county!

A Great Link for Teachers ~ SCHOOL GARDENS PROGRAM.

HORTICULTURE PUBLICATIONS for the State of Nevada.

SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE ~ Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange members have passed on approximately one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners. They are a non-profit organization of gardeners dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.

A great write-up on THE THREE SISTERS GARDEN
~ The Three Sisters garden is a special way of growing corn, pole beans and winter squash, and its first use can be traced back to the Iroquois Confederacy.

GARDENING IN NEVADA ~ The Bartley Ranch Series. FREE CLASSES on Tuesdays starting 3 February through 31 March 2009.