I am not a patient women.
The seeds have sprouted. They have been transplanted into 4" peat pots. You know this. What you don't witness is the amount of time I look, talk, and coo at the sproulings sitting on the window shelves in the kitchen. I'm ridiculous.
The high altitude desert is not an easy place to grow things. Many things are against me: intense sun, scarcity of water, poor soil, incessant wind, high altitude, swinging temperatures, insects, small critters (mice), medium sized critters (rabbits and hares), large critters (deer), extra large critters (elk). You get the idea.
I decide to prepare things so I can transplant the sproutlings outside. Raised beds (check). Plan for watering using passive, active, and redundant systems (check, check, and check). Things to protect from and deter critters (check and check). Soil and enrichments (check and check).
The weather is still a little dicey. It’s been warm during the day, but another cold front is supposed to move in. The sproutlings are hardening. The wind sees to that. I decide it’s time to transplant.
I start the process by preparing the raised beds. After settling the moisture barrier, I put stones in the bottom of the raised beds to hold heat and water. I then layer straw over the rocks as it will reduce the amount of soil I need to use and it will compost down over the season. I enrich the soil with organic mushroom compost and compost tea from my Bokashi Bucket. Then I put my homemade ollas in place. Then everybody gets transplanted. To offer additional protection from critters and the elements (sun and wind), I use sun cloth. The plants are so happy - the squash and melons are starting to flower and the peas are already producing little pods! I'm cautiously excited - things are going well, yet harvest time is far away. Eek! More patience!
Dr. Christine Girard is a physician and educator. Prior to medical school, she worked as a sous chef and baker at a vegan, macrobiotic restaurant. She lives off-grid in Northern Arizona.