Thursday, December 30, 2010

Organic gardening: How to grow an organic vegetable garden

Organic gardening: How to grow an organic vegetable garden

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Go Green: Greening Your Home Basic Tips

We are now living in an era where pollutants are affecting every part of our lives. Our homes are longer a safe sanctuary from toxins in the air, household items, furnishings, and renovation products. Homes that are plagued by toxins and chemicals can significantly increase the risk of health conditions such as cancer, asthma, heart disease, skin conditions, allergies, respiratory illnesses, and reproductiptus, rosemary, or sage.
ve disorders. Chemicals may also end up in the environment where they pollute groundwater, contaminate the soil, and harm plant and animal life.

Millions of consumers are now searching for earth friendly natural products that will improve the health of their homes. When choosing an earth friendly and natural product, it is important to read the ingredient label. Any product that contains a chemical additive means that is has been chemically treated during processing Chemical additives can include:  Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate), Parabens (Methyl-, Propyl-, Ethyl-, Butyl-), and Petrochemicals (petrolatum, mineral oil, paraffin). Formaldehyde is another dangerous chemical added to many products. Eco-friendly ingredients include grain alcohol, coconut or other natural plant oils, and plant-oil sanitizers such as eucaly
There are many products that can significantly reduce the number of toxins and chemicals in your home while making your home healthy and efficient with green remodeling tips and clean air:

   1. “Eco-Friendly” Paints are manufactured to contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals found in regular paint that are released in the air. “Eco Friendly” paints are usually made from recycled paint or vegetable dyes and minerals. Some recommended sources are listed below.

      “Eco- Friendly” Flooring includes bamboo, cork and linoleum. These types of flooring are inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and highly sustainable. Linoleum is 100% natural and 100% biodegradable.
   2. Green Furniture means buying furniture that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Green furniture will not contribute to pollution and helps decrease deforestation.
      When choosing green furniture, always look for pieces that have been constructed with certified sustainable wood. This is wood that comes from a sustainable resource instead of the rainforest. Furniture made from reclaimed wood is another option. Reclaimed wood comes from excess wood left from industry and structures. Bamboo is another great green choice. It grows quickly and is very versatile. It can be used for bedroom furniture, flooring, tables, chairs, patio furniture… and much more. Vintage furniture, or second-hand furniture, is another green alternative
   3. Natural Air Purifiers clean the air in your home without the use of chemicals or manufactured items. Beeswax candles are known to clean the air naturally emitting healthy ions and do not contain any chemical additives. Household plants are a great choice because they absorb polluted air.  Placing Solay Salt Crystal Lamps throughout your home will ionize the air and keep it clean plus Solay salt lamps last indefinitely, reducing their impact and use an energy efficient 15 watt bulb.
   4. Organic and Earth Friendly Furnishings such as pillows and shower curtains. Earth friendly and healthy ingredients in such products include organic and natural unbleached cotton, organic wool, shredded rubber latex pillows, and organic hemp. Try to avoid foam products, platics and synthetic materials as much as possible as those not only have been treated with chemicals that pollute our air and water, but they off gas, so you, your family and pets keep breathing that in and reducing your air quality.



Because so many consumers are looking for natural products to improve the quality of their homes, many companies look for ways to claim they are natural when they are actually not. The key to understanding if the product you have purchased is truly natural is to make sure that you have done your research, read the labels and ingredients and talk with the manufacturers or representatives of the product, so they can further explain the process and why it is an earth friendly and sustainable product.

Going green these days is easy. You no longer have to settle for products or services that are not modern or hip. Many designers in the fashion world, furniture, and home décor are using green and sustainable materials and creating beautiful products.

More green tips for green living are coming soon.





Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shadow Mountain Quilters

Date:           Thursday December 23, 2010
Time:           9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Repeats:           This event repeats every week.
Location:           Varies, see notes and phone number
Notes:           The venue and start times vary and are subject to change, often. Call 1-775-910-2355 first for information.
1st & 3rd Thursdays, Ruud Center, 9 am, 160 and Basin
2nd Thursday, Pahrump Library, 9:30 am, 372 & East
4th & 5th Thursdays, Methodist Church, 9 am, 372 & Pahrump Valley Bl., across from Big O Tires

Purple Fruits and Veggies Protect Brain Cells

Purple Fruits and Veggies Protect Brain Cells

Friday, August 27, 2010

Villa Locale: seed to table dining

By CHARLENE DEAN

PVT

There’s only one word to describe Joe Muscaglione and it is enthusiasm. Muscaglione is one of the owners of Villa Locale, the newest restaurant to open at 670 W. Basin Ave.

He is enthusiastic about anything in regards to organic gardening, organic wine and beer, chemical-free meats, eggs and produce — and most of all — Pahrump.

Muscaglione, and his mother, Lucia Sangiorgio, have been in the restaurant business upwards of 20 years in New Jersey. Muscaglione, as a young man, worked in his mother’s restaurant and took it upon himself to travel to their native Sicily to learn the restaurant business. He returned to continue his career as a wine director, a restaurateur in his own right, and has experienced kitchens of the most famous celebrity chefs in the business.

Both Sangiorgio and Muscaglione had sold the restaurants back east, and relocated to Las Vegas where Muscaglione has co-ownership of a wine import and distribution business. He relocated his family here in 2007 and began sustainable, organic farming.

“The concept of the restaurant is to bring the product fresh and without chemicals to the table, and do it here,” said Muscaglione. “If roasted eggplant with tomato sauce is on the menu, we’ve picked the vegetables and herbs that morning and brought it to the restaurant. You will eat it either for lunch or dinner.”

“At home, everything we do feeds some other part of the farm,” said Muscaglione.  “Nothing goes to waste.”

Muscaglione said he doesn’t consider himself as a “go-green” person, but said, “If you take from the Earth, you have to give back to the Earth.”

He said the family invested in worm farming, or vermiculture. The worms make castings which are added to the compost to enrich the soil, which feeds the plants that in turn, provide scraps to start composting again. In between, there are animals to be fed, which also contribute to the composting and nutrition of the soil. “I’m amazed at what we can grow here,” Muscaglione said. “We have herbs, flowers and fruit and nut trees, and heirloom vegetables whose seeds have been in my family for over 100 years, and it all does so well here.”

What the family farm can’t provide, Muscaglione said he either gets the product from Whole Foods in Las Vegas, or he buys from local, licensed growers.

He’s looking for certified farmers who make cheeses and can provide meats for the restaurant.

“The more I can get locally, the better I’ll like it,” Muscaglione said. “It’s a community partnership.”

Being well-connected from his travels and business contacts, Muscaglione has plans to take Villa Locale beyond Pahrump. Celebrity chef dinners, wine dinners and tastings and interactive media meetings are just some of the activities planned for the restaurant.

Starting Monday, and for the next two weeks, Muscaglione said the restaurant will be open for lunch only, gradually adding breakfast and finally dinner. He said reservations are three weeks out.

Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday right now.

Call 751-5830 for more information and to check on extended hours.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Villa Locale, New Restaurant In Pahrump Plans 'Seed To Table' Menu

Made in Pahrump is proud to introduce - Villa Locale

Mediterranean inspired, Italian focused and locally farmed:
Villa Locale opens on Basin Ave


Locavore: (New Oxford American Dictionary's word of the year) "someone who seeks locally produced food".

'Farm to table' restaurants are sprouting up sporadically around the country, but it is a new restaurant in the Mojave Desert that is taking the locavore concept one step further by planning a menu that will be 'seed to table' focused. The new Villa Locale, opening in July, is located in the midst of the desert, equidistant between Las Vegas and Death Valley in the town of Pahrump, NV.

The idea began in 2007 when veteran east coast restaurateur Lucia Sangiorgio, known for her award-winning Sangiorgio's and Foro Italico restaurants in northern New Jersey, took a trip out west to see her children. She decided to explore the region and became enamored with the nearby Pahrump Valley. She says, "I was visiting their Fall Festival and simply fell in love; I looked around and saw tremendous potential for something very special." Lucia relocated to Pahrump and became active in the local food community, racking up several first place ribbons for her home-baked breads and organically-grown Italian Long "Cuccuzza Longa" Squash, which she cultivates from heirloom seeds originating from Mezzojuso, Sicily.

"Within months of moving to the desert I knew that I needed to share this food with others" says Lucia. With two well-respected restaurants under her belt that generated a celebrity following during their tenure, the idea of starting a new restaurant exclusively focusing on locally grown and produced ingredients in a radically different location was a challenge she was ready to tackle. Lucia convinced her son Joe Muscaglione and family friend Michael Power to join her in creating a restaurant that would highlight the area.

It was this vision that inspired Joe to purchase a small homestead in Pahrump. The group began organic gardening - planting fruit and nut trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers - and sustainable farming. "I was blown away by the incredible diversity of what we were able to grow in the desert, the quality is superb with intense and complex flavors," explains Muscaglione. Power, who organically farmed and brewed beer as a hobby in his native Australia adds "Because of the extreme climate, the plants go through tremendous stress, which concentrates and intensifies the fruit. We are also using chemical-free, untreated artisan well water to nourish everything we farm."



"The menu will change daily according to what's in season and available" says Joe. "We have a very long growing season, so some of our crops are available year-round-making our supply far more consistent than in other locations."

The 1.5-acre homestead features multiple types of basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, lemon balm, dill, fennel, chamomile, sage, thyme, broccoli, broccoli rape, carrots, beets, celery, cucumbers, artichoke, cardoons, peas, fava beans, green beans, eggplant, zucchini, grapes, apricots, plums, apples, cherries, pears, figs, pomegranates, lettuce, cantaloupe, watermelon, olives and much more.



Any foodstuffs needed for the restaurant not home-grown will be sourced from nearby farms and businesses.

With a long history of restaurant successes and a passion for food and farming, Sangiorgio, Muscaglione and Power believe they are creating something very special that diners will want to experience. Villa Locale's proximity to Las Vegas, less than one hour by car, makes the restaurant easily accessible to tourists and locals alike looking for a true locavore experience.

Villa Locale will be located at 670 Basin Ave, Pahrump, NV. The restaurant will seat 24 inside and 24 outside.



About Lucia Sangiorgio

Lucia Sangiorgio owned and operated the award-winning Sangiorgio's Ristorante in Hudson County New Jersey from 1976-1985. After Sangiorgio's, Lucia opened Foro Italico which became known as one of New Jersey's premier Italian restaurants. Wine Spectator magazine honored Foro Italico with their "Award of Excellence" several years in a row. Among her loyal diners were Shania Twain, Whitney Houston, the cast of the Sopranos, players from the Giants, the late Abe Vigoda and many others. After leaving the restaurant business in NJ, Lucia continued to study and celebrate food by enrolling and completing a pastry course at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Today, Lucia lives in Pahrump where she works with her partners on the opening of Villa Locale.

About Joe Muscaglione

Joe Muscaglione started his love affair with food at Sangiorgio's Ristorante, working in the kitchen and dining room. Inspired, he decided to move to Sicily where he spent five years with friends and family intimately learning the restaurant business. Upon his return, Joe worked as the Wine Director at Babbo in New York City for his friends Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali. He has also apprenticed in kitchens with David Bouley, Charlie Trotter, and life-long friend, Zod Arifai chef/owner of the venerable BLU restaurant in Montclair.

Joe was the chef/owner of Trattoria Mezzojuso where he received New Jersey Monthly's "Best New Restaurant" award his first year and "Best Italian Restaurant" two years in a row. He relocated to Las Vegas where he was named Beverage Director for TAO Groups and opened TAO Asian Bistro and TAO Club. Currently, he is the Vice President of BEVI Beverage -a small importer and distributor of boutique wines and beers and is working with his partners on the upcoming opening of Villa Locale.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         















Monday, May 10, 2010

Now in our garden



Here are some pictures taken around our gardens on Saturday, May 8th, 2010



Apricots

Fava beans. These do better planted late fall for early spring crop.

Lettuces

Mint

Artichokes. Off to a great start again



Garlic

Arugula flowering/ Snow-capped Mt Charleston in background

Plums

Spinach

Parsley

Grape Vine



Thursday, April 22, 2010

7th Annual Benefit Trail Ride

Spirit Therapies is hosting their 7th Annual Benefit Trail Ride:

Date: Saturday May 1, 2010

Registration: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Ride Begins: 10:00 Sharp

Location: Badger Pass Trail, Cottonwood Trails System, Red Rock Canyon OFF STAR ROUTE 160 (2nd parking lot to the left as you are going "over the hump to Pahrump")

Riders must bring their own horses, NO STALLIONS PLEASE!

Fee: $35.00 (tax deductible) includes breakfast, lunch, one raffle ticket. Free T-
Shirt for early sign-ups.

Fees may be paid on the day of the event but must be paid via cash or check. Fees may also be paid on-line at www.SpiritTherapies.org via pay pal.

Entry blank may be downloaded from the web site or contact Laurie Willmott, Executive Director for an entry blank or any additional questions you may have.

OR: just pay the fee as a donation to Spirit Therapies, enjoy breakfast, lunch, raffle and auction, some good company and a good time!

All donations are put back into the therapeutic horseback riding program for individuals with special needs, including our military/veteran hero program.

Hope too see you there!

Laurie Willmott, Executive Director
Phone: 219-1728
email: horsemom59@hotmail.com

TRIP OF THE WEEK: Pahrump offers several fall community events - Living - ReviewJournal.com

TRIP OF THE WEEK: Pahrump offers several fall community events - Living - ReviewJournal.com

Sunday, April 18, 2010

CHICKEN REVIVAL | City-dwelling poultry lovers have created a growing market

By Diane Dietz

The Register-Guard

Appeared in print: Sunday, Apr 18, 2010

________________________________

After 20 years in retail, Bill Bezuk didn’t need a market analysis to recognize a business opportunity.

Then-store manager at Barnes & Noble — after long management stints at The Sports Authority and REI — Bezuk was positioned to detect a topic of growing interest among his customers.

“It seems like every day or so we had people coming in and looking for books like The Backyard Farmer and how to raise chickens and organic gardening,” Bezuk said.

To Bezuk, 45, who was ready to try something new and something hands-on, selling chickens to city folk seemed like a lucrative niche.

So he pushed his “business casual” wear to the back of the closet, put on a bluework shirt and carpenter’s pants and began turning an old auto shop at 5th Avenue and Washington Street into a novice-friendly chicken supply shop: The Eugene Backyard Farmer.

He hopes to ride the urban chickenkeeping wave for four or five years, experiment until he perfects the merchandising formula, and then launch a chain.

“The timing is right for this,” he said. “The trends are obvious. It seems like everybody I know has chickens or knows somebody who wants chickens. Or wants to get chickens.”

Hatcheries confirm the trend that Bezuk detected.

Beginning in 2007, the demand for chicks in urban areas has increased as much as 20 percent a year, growers say.

“Historically, any time the economy has been bad, poultry has always been good,” said Bud Wood, president of the Iowa-based Murray McMurray Hatchery.

Murray McMurray is a leading shipper of retail-bound chicks, hatching 1.7 million annually.

Wood said he can’t stay ahead of the demand. “Right now, if you call in and place an order, it would be four to six weeks out before we could fill it,” he said.

In Oregon, Woodburn High school teacher Peter Porath started a hatchling wholesale operation, Oregon Peeps, after he lost his job in 2007. He sold 12,000 chicks his first spring, and he’s on pace to deliver 45,000 this year, he said.

Salem chicken activist Barbara Palermo said the chicken fervor is driven by economic fears.

“People are getting laid off, losing houses and losing jobs,” she said. “They want to hang on to what they have. A lot of them remember their grandparents telling them, ‘It’s chickens that saved us during the Depression.’ It’s much the same situation now.”

Backyard chicken raising may resonate with the public’s economic anxieties, and it’s certainly a hobby with a return. However the return is more likely to be nutritious than monetary — after the cost of equipping the urban flock is factored in.

“If you look at how much an egg costs you, it’s not break even,” said Mike Lengele, owner of Diess Feed and Seed on West 11th Avenue, who sells chicks by the hundreds through the spring hatching season.

The locavore movement

A spate of books and films is also driving the backyard chicken craze by raising doubts about industrial food sources, including “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” “Food Inc.” and most recently “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.”

“The urban chicken is rising because of the organic, healthful lifestyle,” Wood said.

Chickenkeeping appeals to people who want to be sure the hens that lay their free-range eggs have really seen the light of day. They want to know the birds are treated humanely and their food isn’t tainted with antibiotics or hormones, according to the clean-food literature.

And fresh eggs taste better, their advocates say.

Oregon State University Extension officials were shocked in March by the response to their “Backyard Barnyard” chicken-raising seminar. “Our first class got out-of-hand. We had over 75 people,” organizer Linda Renslow said. “We couldn’t accommodate all of the people.”

So the extension scheduled a May 8 repeat, and already has 47 names on the waiting list.

Chicken chic

In recent months, chickens have hit the nation’s trend centers. The September New Yorker featured: “The It Bird: The return of the back-yard chicken.” A top read this year is “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer,” about author Novella Carpenter’s spread on an abandoned lot in Oakland,

“Martha Stewart (on April 2) had an entire segment on raising chickens. So if Martha is doing it, everybody should be doing it,” Bezuk said.

Chickens exhibit sufficient varieties of color and form to give home decor fashionistas free range. In west Eugene, for example, Diess Feed and Seed offers 12 different breeds.

“One week (customers) have got to have Rhode Island Reds,” Lengele said. “The next week, oh no, they’ve got to have speckled Sussex or they have to have the black Australorp. We couldn’t keep enough buff Orpingtons for a while, now we’ve got 15 of them still here. Martha Stewart rants and raves about a certain chicken and everybody has to have one of those.”

The loci of chicken passion in Eugene-Springfield is in the Friendly area, where the neighborhood chicken group has 36 members. The group is planning a second annual tour of coops on May 1.

“Just within the last five years, people have really started to consider growing their own food, raising their own chickens,” said Friendly resident Anne Donahue. “There’s always folks who have done it for much longer than that, but it’s really now become more popular.

“If you were out for a walk, you’d probably hear somebody’s chickens wherever you are in the Friendly area neighborhood.”

Chicken power

Urban chicken farmers are asserting themselves politically at all levels of government. They’re pushing for a bill in Congress (H.R. 4971) to create an Office of Urban Agriculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure that urban farmers get a cut of the agency’s $146 billion budget.

Closer to home, in Salem, legalizing chickenkeeping within city limits has become a major topic in the May 18 mayoral race — after the city council turned down urban farmer hopefuls last fall. Chicken advocates rate the candidates on a scale of chicken-friendliness.

“Our efforts made the front of the Wall Street Journal. You don’t get bigger than that, you just don’t,” said Palermo, who is spearheading the campaign for Salem’s chickens. “There are so many chicken lovers out there. You can’t believe.”

The Gresham City Council legalized chickenkeeping in December, but the Beaverton City Council has declined to do so in recent months. The to-keep-or-not-to-keep debate was settled some time ago in Eugene-Springfield. Springfield allows residents to keep four hens; Eugene allows two.

Eugene chickenkeepers, however, say two hens is not enough to feed a big family, and the city should raise its limits.

They have the ear of Mayor Kitty Piercy, who sees urban homesteading, including “micro livestock,” as a way to increase food security.

In the meantime, city nuisance officials enforce the number only when neighbors complain.

Golden eggs?

Bezuk wasn’t the first to see a business opportunity in the urban chicken niche.

Landscape architect Robert Litt opened his Urban Farm Store in Portland, offering garden and chicken supplies, in February 2009 — and he outgrew his space within a year. The demand for chickens took him by surprise.

“It’s become pretty common here in Portland. It’s become a movement with staying power,” he said.

Since then, entrepreneurs from other cities, including Bezuk, have visited the store to get his advice.

Bezuk initially sought outside funding for his Eugene start-up.

He wrote up a business plan, figuring he had the retail trends on his side. And he knows retail: How to produce a 50 percent margin and increased inventory turn rate and reduce shrinkage; how to manage customer relations, merchandising, conflict resolution, budget management, display, inventory control, profit and loss; how to how to hire, train and motivate staff.

In his view, it was an impressive package, Bezuk said, but bankers didn’t buy it.

“I was turned down four times,” he said. “I know how successful I’m going to be, but I can’t quantify it for a banker.”

Two months ago, Bezuk quit the top job at Eugene’s Barnes & Noble store to give his around-the-clock attentions to the new venture — now funded by his life savings. He declined to disclose the sum.

Since then, he has barely had time to sleep as he transformed the old auto repair shop, filled the shelves, built a demonstration chicken coup and nursed a wholesale order of 100 peeps — White Rocks, Production Reds and Cinnamon Queens

Although bleary eyed, he was cheered by the passersby who stopped to chat when his sign went up, even before the store’s April 10 opening.

“They’re passionate about chickens,” he said. “They love them. They give them names and they take care of them. They feed them well.”

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eco Indoor Gardening – A Fun and Healthy Pastime

Indoor gardening is becoming a popular activity worldwide. Indoor plants not only detoxify the air, but also provide a charming and decorative addition to any home or apartment.

ORGANIC PLANT FOOD – A HEALTHIER CHOICE

Derived mostly from non-renewable fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers are used to fertilize soil. The widespread and excessive use of chemical fertilizers has increased air, soil, and water pollution. As well, these fertilizers have increased the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. More scientists are coming to the conclusion that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can adversely affect people, especially children. Studies have shown that people exposed to toxic chemicals while working on farms often develop various forms of cancers later in life. Also, these chemicals are dangerous when stored around the house, contaminate the soil, and are difficult to dispose of properly.

Many of the fast acting fertilizers can stunt, burn, or kill your plants. When you choose eco organic gardening, you are helping to protect the environment. Natural organic plant food can restore healthy soil, improve seed germination, stimulate root growth, and reduce the need for synthetic chemicals. Natural plant foods such as Solay Simple Biodynamic plant food mix, is formulated with ingredients that come directly from nature. Nothing has been chemically altered or synthesized.

BEST PLANTS TO CLEAN INDOOR AIR

Certain plants are excellent in ridding the air of pollutants and toxins. Plants that rate highly as an indoor purifier include: Chinese evergreen, Areca palm, Reed palm, Dwarf date palm, Boston fern, Janet Craig dracaena, English ivy, Australian sword fern, Peace Lily, Rubber plant and Weeping fig.


EASY TO GROW PLANTS AND HERBS

When growing indoor plants and herbs, it is important to have knowledge of each plant’s needs for survival and success. For some plants, a sudden change in temperature, drop in humidity and too much or too little water, can hinder its growth. The following is a list of plants that are easy to grow indoors:

1. Weeping Fig Ficus benjamina: one of the hardiest of the indoor plants because it can survive during long periods of inattention.

2.  Braided Ficus Tree:  one of the most popular plants grown by indoor gardeners because it is easy to care for and adaptable

3.  Cactus Combo Bonsai:  with its unique plant forms, temperature and moisture adaptability, cacti are an attention-grabbing group of plants.

4.  Chamaedorea Palm: this plant will add a tropical decoration to any part of your home.

5.  Chinese evergreen: an excellent selection for beginners because it is a low-light lover and requires little maintenance.

POPULAR HERBS

Basil is a unique herb because it requires moist and rich soil. Cilantro, or coriander, a strong herb originating from tropical Asia, requires plenty of water and a warm environment. Mint is a flavoring herb with many assortments, tastes, and scents. Popular varieties include apple, spearmint, and peppermint. Oregano and marjoram are very similar and have often been mistaken for the other. Marjoram has a much milder taste than oregano. Sage, particularly common sage, is a main cooking herb, but most other members of the sage family have been used for cosmetic purposes.

Herbs need at least six hours a day of full sun as well as good drainage. Many scented herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, and thyme, originated on rocky hillsides in the Mediterranean where their roots escaped the hot and dry environment in cracks under large rocks. Although most of these herbs are not too dependant on soil fertility, the beds should be enriched before planting.

A HEALTHY AND REWARDING HOBBY

Eco indoor gardening techniques are less costly, easier to handle, and environmentally friendly. Indoor gardens not only provide health benefits to your home, apartment, or office, they are also an enjoyable and rewarding hobby.

Eco Gardening Products

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Birds in Pahrump

Nevada has over 450 species of birds that been registered as seen. Amazing when most think of state as a massive arid desert.


The State bird  is The Mountain Bluebird


Nevada State Bird


The Pahrump Valley is an amazing place for bird watching. Here on our homestead we have identified over 50. 
Will be posting them randomly as seen. There are six different feeders on property,  2 are filled with black sunflower seeds 2 with thistle (niger) and the other 2 are for hummingbirds. 

There are several hummies now nesting on the property. The best hummingbird feeders are the ones with red glass. Purchasing this kind saves money as you wont need to buy the red 'nectar" that is sold everywhere for like $5.00 bucks for a small bottle.

Amazon has a great red colored humming bird feeder for under $10.00 bucks

Here is the recipe for the 'nectar'

1/4 cup sugar 
1 cup of water
( you can double recipe and store remainder in fridge up to two weeks)

Bring water to boil. stir in the sugar and keep stirring until completely dissolved. Take off flame and let cool.
This sugar water must be completely chilled and stored in fridge for 3-4 hous befor using. You dont want it to ferment. That would turn to alcohol and be dangerous for birds.

Place feeder in shade. During southern Nevada's hot summers, changes solution very 5 days or so;

There are also several vines, shrubs, flowers and fruit trees growing that supply plenty of feed to our visitors.

Three watering stations set up which are simply  - buckets with the same irrigation line attached that waters our goats, 
ducks and chickens


Here are birds spotted on property this week this week:
Anna's Hummingbird, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, Phainopepla, Gambel's Quail, Great-tailed Grackles, White-crowned Sparrows, Say's Phoebes, Northern Mockingbird, Western Bluebird, Brewer's Blackbirds
Red-winged Blackbirds, Verdin, Yellow-rumped Warbler's, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch, Cooper's Hawk, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Common Raven, Red-shouldered Hawk,
Northern Flicker, Blue-gray Gnatcher, Black Phoebe

For more info on local birding visit




Friday, April 09, 2010

Growing business: More people buying veggie plants

Barbara Soderlin Journal staff | Posted: Friday, April 9, 2010 6:00 am

Brad Wilburn of Chadron, Neb., stopped by Nachtigall’s Greenhouse in Rapid City on Monday, ready to shop for the tomato, squash, Swiss chard, pepper and basil plants he hopes to grow in his garden this summer.

The only problem was he got there a little early — by about three weeks.

Inside the greenhouses, staff members were getting dirt under their fingernails transplanting the tomatoes, barely 3 inches high, from propagation trays into individual pots, where they will continue to mature before the greenhouse officially opens for the season.

Wilburn knew it might be too early, but said when the sun starts to shine, “The juices start to flow.” The contagious itch to garden has been a boon to area greenhouse owners, who say an increase in the number of home vegetable gardeners has boosted business during what have been slow years for other industries.

“I think I’m in one of the fortunate industries where the recession is actually helping,” said Carol Hallock, owner with her husband of Rockingtree Floral & Garden Center in Sturgis. “Last year was significantly more than the year before.”

That’s what Sid Nachtigall said he’s seen in Rapid City the past two years.

“There was a big pickup on vegetables last year,” he said, with people especially looking to grow staples such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers — relatively easy to grow compared with the expense at the grocery store.

Greenhouse owners say the recession has more people gardening because of the perceived cost savings at the supermarket and because of the resulting desire to stay home and cultivate their own gardens.

“I think in times of uncertainty, people tend to do things that make them feel more secure,” Hallock said. “One of those is being more independent. I think it has something to do with feeling secure and knowing you can grow your own food.”

That desire is showing up in places other than the vegetable garden, she said. People are also beautifying their lawns, adding landscaping and generally “making their house a home.”

Wilburn said he gardens just for the pleasure of it.

“It’s just enjoyable,” he said. “Some stuff just tastes so much better out of the garden.”

Greenhouse owners also say increased attention to health and food safety, such as first lady Michelle Obama’s organic White House garden, brings people outdoors.

“They know what’s been applied or not applied” when it comes to pesticides, said Tim Sime at Jolly Lane Greenhouse.

Sime said it’s not fair to count the home gardener’s labor in the cost of growing produce.

“That’s sort of a part of life, and if you’re enjoying doing it, then the time element is not a factor,” he said. Plus, think of the benefits. As experienced gardeners know, “It’s like therapy.”

With another boom year predicted for home gardens, Sime said Jolly Lane works to make sure new garden customers become repeat garden customers.

“That’s our job in the business, to make sure that the people that are new at it are successful enough that they don’t feel like, gee, that was a waste of time, I’ll just go back to getting it at the store.”

That means being  helpful with answers to questions about the right varieties, soils, sunlight and more.

“We try to get them all off and on the right foot so they have a good experience,” he said.

Contact Barbara Soderlin at 394-8417 or barbara.soderlin@rapidcityjournal.com.

Posted in Business, Local, Agriculture on Friday, April 9, 2010 6:00 am Updated: 5:30 pm.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Pahrump Nevada Hot Air Balloon Rides

Ballooning is becoming popular here in Pahrump and for good reason. The views of our valley from above are breathtaking.


A Great American Balloon Company located at 681 South Highway 160 provides thrilling rides. 

Rates are around 200 bucks per person and the offer sunset and sunrise trips

Call 877 WE DO FLY
(877) 933-6359


This seen from our homestead Saturday, April 2nd



Las Vegas Balloon Rides

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Growing Your Own Garden from Open-Pollinated Seeds and Heirloom Seeds

Growing Your Own Garden from Open-Pollinated Seeds and Heirloom Seeds, TransWorldNews.de

Atlanta, Ga. 4/02/2010 12:05 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)
With the recent upheaval in the global financial markets there has been growing concern over the direction the world is heading. Every day we hear about another government bailout to aid a troubled company or industry and this push for continued government control has many people concerned over the level of involvement they are prepared to take.

As the financial crisis continues to mount people can expect to see the government’s involvement in other areas of life increase. One such area is in the government’s push to control the food supply and this involvement could not only result in critical shortages but also a dramatic rise in prices.

Now more than ever individuals are realizing that they must be prepared for a scenario in which grocery stores and markets will have empty shelves. Many of these people are uncomfortable with the idea that the government will take care of the problem, they want to know they will have the ability to take care of themselves as well as their families.

That ability lies in preparation and this comes in the form of a survival garden, something that will produce nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables during a severe food supply shortage. Understanding the importance of a survival garden is just one aspect of self-sufficiency though, you must be planting the proper seeds, seeds that are not readily available from most outlets.

Today’s food supply relies heavily on hybrid seeds, a genetically modified type that produces a crop but does not have the ability to reproduce itself. During a food crisis these seeds provide little assurance that you’ll be able to remain self-sufficient. That is why many people are turning to non-hybrid seeds and open pollinated seeds for their survival garden. These non-hybrid seeds have the ability to produce a crop and the seeds from those plants can then be used for the next planting.

These non-hybrid seeds are not genetically modified in any way and by saving some of the harvest seeds from year one you will have more than enough to plant for year two. Each “survival seed bank” produces thousands of pounds of nutrient-dense food for pennies per pound. Also included are detailed growing instructions for each variety which includes helpful information on harvesting of seed stock for the following year in a survival situation.

FEATURED: Mexican Miniature Watermelon -Melothria scabra

This plant is a native of the southern part of North America, where it is called "Sandita" (little watermelon). It is believed to have been a domesticated crop before western contact began.



The fruit is very tasty. They have the sweet cucumber flavor, followed a mouth-watering sourness that is almost addicting.

The plant climbs any trellis and are an addition to your lanscape.

Fruit can be pickled like a cucumber.

Take 50 days to harvest. They fall off vines when ready


 
 


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekly Feature: Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce

Cos lettuce also goes by the name Romaine. Cos is at the top of the list when is come to taste, texture and nutritional value. It is also very easy to grow and a must have for every gardener.Parris Island Cos, named after Parris island, South Carolina, NOT the French capital spelled wrong, was developed by the USDS and Clemson in 1952.


You can grow Cos in almost any type of soil as long as it isn't too sandy or too rich. A soil type that holds water is better. Add peat moss to clay soils. Do not mix in rich compost or fertilizers. Too rich of a soil will probably cause rot.

Sow every 14 days to have continuous harvest. Here in Pahrump, Nevada we grow all winter long in wooden wine boxes with glass covers. Begin sowing outdoors 2-3 weeks before the last frost date.
Use a trowel to dig out shallow drills 1/2 inch(1.3cm) deep, each hole being 12 inches (30cm)apart from the next. Sow three or four seeds every 6 inches (15cm)
Cover the seeds with soil, firming it down with gentle pressure. If the soil is at all dry, water well. The seedlings should begin to appear in 7 to 14 days time. Gradually thin out the seedlings until they are 25cm (10in) apart.
Cover the seeds with soil, pressing gently slight pressure. If the soil is dry, water well. The seedlings should begin to appear in 7 to 14 days time.
Thin out gradually so they are 10 inches (25cm)apart. As for maintenance,ample water and weeding are most important. What we do here is place cardboard around the plants to prevent weeds from popping up. The cardboard also breaks down slowly adding nutrients to the soils and feeding the plant through the roots. Use plain colorless corrugated cardboard only.
Besides the obvious reasons you will want to use organic - heirloom seeds only. Collecting seeds to plant following year is a wonderful experience and makes one feels good. The practice of saving seeds has been done by every culture for 1000's of years. Hybrid, GMO or non-organic seeds have been genetically altered to NOT produce crop again. Sad but true.

I found 275 certified organic heirloom seeds for only $1.89 here
Saving lettuce seed is easy. After the flowers die, the plants will eventually form seed heads. They look similar to dandelion seed heads. When these seed heads form, remove the whole seed head from the plant. After the flowers die, you will want to check this regularly before the seeds blow away. Take the seed heads indoors and pluck the seeds from them. You can also remove the white chaff that lets them get blown around, but it isn't absolutely necessary. Set them to dry, and leave them for at least two weeks before storing in a glass jar




Lettuce gone to seed



Shopping from home not only save gas, time and money, but also reduces our carbon footprint, improves the quality of life for everyone by not adding to our traffic problem and allows you more time to do something more important than driving,parking, browsing, waiting in line, walking back to the car and wasting more gas to get home. Imagine how nice it would be if only ups, fedex and us mail trucks were the only ones on our roads...Just sayin' ;)


Monday, March 08, 2010

Food fight: Genetic modification vs. Organic

New alfalfa seed limits roundup use

The Times should be applauded for its evenhanded article covering genetically modified alfalfa [“Monsanto’s altered alfalfa on verge of a new season,” Business, March 2]. The modified alfalfa seed Monsanto wants to market has their popular weedkiller “Roundup” built into it, enabling farmers to avoid massive spraying of Roundup on their farms.


READ MORE

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Seed Starting Tips

Spring is in the air here in Pahrump. The Almond and Peach trees are in full bloom. Spinach, Broccoli, Broccoli Raab, Swiss Chard, Arugula and several lettuces are abundant.





For those of you who are starting your summer veggies from seed - here are some neat tips to get you off to a great start





1) Use only non hybrid,  organic/heirloom seeds. There are a number of reason, most importantly you will be able to  collect huge amounts of seeds from a single plant you will never need to buy seed again. Hybrid seed has all been genetically modified to NOT make fruit. It will grow up into a plant, but a sterile one that cant produce fruit. So again, use good non hybrid seed

2) There is no reason to use 'seed starter potting mix", most contain so much peat moss that its actually harmful to seedlings. Instead use a normal, fine textured potting soil just as long as its organic.

3) Keep records of what, where and when each seed was planted. Record germination date also. Its a very good idea to also plant in succession - repeat plentin every two weeks to prolong/extend the season.

4) Cover trays ( or pots - the organic peat pods are great! ) with plastic wrap to keep the moisture level consistent.

5)  Keep seeds warm for quicker germination. 65-75F is ideal

6) Most seed will not germinate with out sun. 12 hours or more is best. Keep in a sunny south facing window. You should also turn the tray, peat pod or container 1/4 way around clock wise each day to provide even sun exposure and prevent the seedlings growing up leggy.

 7) once 2 "true leaves" emerge, feed with liquid compost.  Liquid worm tea is even better. If you don't have access to these teas, an organic all purpose fertilizer is OK.


8) Introduce gradually to the outdoors. I suggest you move outdoors for a few hour of early morning sun and gradually let them stay out longer and longer.

9) Prepare you area outdoors. Ideally this was done a few weeks prior, its not too late if you haven't yet.
I always dig a whole 3-4 time bigger and wider. I sprinkle 1/2 of a teaspoon of bone meal at bottom, add some rich compost, the other 1/2 teaspoon bone meal
Then the last layer before adding transplant -  mix 1/2 compost with1/2 half native soil, another 1/2 teaspoon of bone meal, gently place plant and fill with 1/2 compost/native soil. Leave a "well" around each plant. This will hold water and let those roots goo deep. The bone meal nurture roots. The deeper and healthier the roots, the healthier and tastier the produce!

10) Enjoy!



Saturday, March 06, 2010

Growing tomatoes in Las Vegas

Growing tomatoes in Las Vegas

Posted using ShareThis

Community Calendar

Saturday


Men's Bible study -- 7 a.m., Pahrump Community Church Fellowship Hall.
Seventh-day Adventist Church -- 9 a.m., Sabbath School; 10:30 a.m., Worship Service; 477 N. Blagg Road, 727-6655.
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church -- services at 5 p.m., 650 S. Blagg Road, 727-4096.
Youth Church -- 7 p.m., food served at 6:30 p.m., 727-5242 or 764-1096.
Experimental Aircraft Association -- 10 a.m., Calvada Meadows Aeropark. Call Glenna Wagner, 537-1097 for information.
Pahrump Friends of the Library -- 9 a.m., Pahrump Community Library, Second and East streets.
Poetry Group -- 10 a.m.-noon, Pahrump Community Library meeting room.
Reiki healing -- 10 a.m.-noon, Universal Wisdom Church and Center, 1230 S. Loop Road, Suite 2, 727-0999.
Pahrump Valley Coin Club -- 11 a.m., UNR Extension Office, coirner of Dandelion Street and Calvada Boulevard, 513-1109.


Sunday


VFW breakfast -- 8-11 a.m., VFW Post 10054, Homestead Road, $6, $7 or $8 donation according to menu choice. Open to the public.
Pahrump Community Church -- Worship services at 8 and 10:45 a.m., Sunday school for all 9:15 a.m.; Intercessory prayer, 6:30 p.m.; 1061 E. Wilson Road. Call 727-5384.
Sunday school -- 9:30 a.m., Heritage Bible Church, 3061 E. Heritage Drive (at the white cross on Homestead Road and Heritage Drive).
Worship service -- 10:30 a.m., Heritage Bible Church, 3061 E. Heritage Drive (at the white cross on Homestead Road and Heritage Drive).
Sunday services -- Sunday school, 9 a.m.; worship, 10 a.m.; fellowship following services, Pahrump Valley United Methodist Church.
Sunday services -- Pastor's Bible Study 9:45 a.m., traditional service, 11 a.m., children's Sunday school, 11:30 a.m.; contemporary service, 6 p.m., Central Valley Baptist Church, 3170 S. Blagg Road, 910-9995.
Jewish Messianic Fellowship -- 6 p.m., Yakin B'racha Service, 2570 Idlewild St., 751-6106.
"The Truth" Youth Group -- 4-5:30 p.m., grades 6-12, The Way Baptist Fellowship, 2301 E. Winery Road, Suite 105, 727-5242.
"The Life" children's church -- 10 a.m., The Way Baptist Fellowship, 2301 E. Winery Road, Suite 105, 727-5242.
AWANA Youth Group -- 6-7:30 p.m., youth ages 4 through eighth grade, Choice Hills Baptist Church, 340 W. Mesquite Ave., bus service available, 751-1417.
"The Way" Baptist Fellowship Sunday service -- 9:30 and 11 a.m. 2301 E. Winery Road, Suite 105, 727-5242.
Sunday service -- 10 a.m., Universal Wisdom Church and Center, 1230 S. Loop Road, Suite 2, 727-0999.
Covenant Lighthouse Church -- Sunday service, 9:30 a.m., 720 Buol Lane, 751-6906.
DAWGG Youth Group -- 5 p.m., (ages 13-19), New Hope Fellowship, 781 West St., 751-1867.
Sunday Service -- 9:30 a.m., New Hope Fellowship, 781 West St., 751-1867.
Healing Room -- New Hope Fellowship, appointment needed, call Carole, 751-6898.
Sunday service -- Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church , 9:30 a.m. 650 S. Blagg Road, 727-4098.
Sunday school -- Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 8:30 a.m. 650 S. Blagg Road, 727-4098.
Cowboy Action Shooters -- 8:30 a.m., range behind LongStreet Inn and Casino, Amargosa. Safety meeting 8 a.m., side matches at 7 a.m.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church -- 4 p.m. mass, on California Highway 127, Shoshone, Calif.


Monday


Pahrump Valley Motorcycle Riders -- 8 a.m., Terrible's Lakeside.
Women's Bible study -- 10 a.m., Heritage Bible Church, 3061 E. Heritage Drive (at the white cross on Homestead Road and Heritage Drive).
Spanish-speaking Bible Study -- 6-7:30 p.m., Trinity Assembly of God, 750 Big 5 Road. Call 910-9302 for information.
Adult Bible Study -- 7 p.m., The Way Baptist Fellowship, 2301 E Winery Road, Suite 105, 727-5242.
Pahrump Town Clean Up Committee -- 6 p.m., commissioner's conference room, 1510 E. Basin Road. Call 209-4390 for more information.
Nye County Democrats -- 7 p.m., Bob Ruud Community Center.


Tuesday


Boy Scouts -- Troop 748, 6:30 p.m., VFW on Homestead Road.
Boy Scouts -- Troop 808, 7 p.m., Moose Lodge on Basin Ave.
Hockey -- 5:30-7 p.m., Skate Zone, 1261 E. Calvada Blvd. Call 727-4386.
Women's evening Bible study -- 6:30 p.m., Pahrump Community Church, Earl Hatfield room.
Water From the Rock soaking prayer -- 10-11:30 a.m., 1370 E. Matthew Lane. Call 513-2850.
High Desert Beaders -- 9 a.m. Call 751-8896 for more information and location.
NTS Retirees breakfast -- 9 a.m., Terrible's Lakeside.
Salvation Army Board -- 7 a.m., the Manor. 727-6111 to volunteer.
Pahrump Elks Lodge No. 2796 -- 7 p.m., 2220 E. Basin Road.


Wednesday


Bible study -- 7 p.m., First Southern Baptist Church, Highway 160 and Fehrs Way. Classes for all ages.
Family night -- 6 p.m., The Way Baptist Fellowship, 2301 E. Winery Road, Suite 105, 727-5242.
Adult bereavement support group -- 4 p.m., Nathan Adelson Hospice, 1480 E. Calvada Blvd., Suite 900. Call 751-6700.
Bible study -- 6 p.m., Salvation Army, 921 S. Buol Lane.
Bible study -- 7 p.m., South Valley Southern Baptist Church, Homestead Road and Kellogg Road.
Women at Prayer Bible study -- 9:30 a.m., Pahrump Community Church, Earl Hatfield room.
Bible study -- 4-6 p.m., Church of the Harvest, 1670 W. Vondell Drive.
LDS Pahrump Homeschoolers -- meeting for field trips, co-ops, social activities and more. Call Veronica at 751-9324 or Jeanette at 751-2958 for places and times.
Tops NV No. 116 -- 4:45 p.m., Desert Greens, 350 Wilson Road, call Teresa, 751-2836.
Nurturing parenting class -- 1-3 p.m., Family to Family Connection, 621 S. Blagg Road., 751-1118.
Pahrump Valley Rotary Club -- noon, Pahrump Nugget Banquet Room, Highway 160.
Bible study -- 6:30 p.m., Central Valley Baptist Church, 3170 S. Blagg Road. 910-9995
Co-ed Bible study -- 5:30 p.m., Heritage Bible Church, 3061 E. Heritage Drive (at the white cross on Homestead Road and Heritage Drive).
Pahrump Community Choir -- 7 p.m., choir rehearsal, Rosemary Clarke Middle School, 4201 N. Blagg Road, 751-6957.
Prayer meeting/study -- 6:30-7:30 p.m., Adventist Building, 477 Blagg Road, near the dairy, 513-6202 or 727-6655.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service -- 7 p.m., Emergency Management Office, 1501 Siri Lane, 537-6226.
Pahrump Youth Center Development Council -- 6:30 p.m., Room 121, Great Basin College.
Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce Business-to-Business Luncheon -- 11:45 a.m., Terrible's Lakeside.
Pahrump Valley Amateur Astronomy Group -- 7 p.m., K-7 Pizza, 6050 E. Thousandaire Blvd. Contact Dave at 751-6615 for more information.
Alzheimer's Support Group -- 10-11:30 a.m., UNLV Extension Office, 1651 E. Calvada Blvd., 702-248-2770.


Thursday


Playgroup -- 1 p.m., Family to Family Connection, 160 S. Emery St., 751-5898.
Lightsource Youth Group -- 6 p.m., Teen Care, 41 N. Highway 160, Suite 7.
Kiwanis Club -- 6:30 p.m., Salvation Army Church, 721 S. Buol Lane. Call 751-3879 for information.
Awana Club -- 6:30-8 p.m., The Pahrump Community Church has an ongoing club for pre-school through high school, 1061 E. Wilson Road. Call Bryan, 727-5384 or Ladiana Talley, 727-6383 for more information.
Men's Bible Study -- 6 p.m., New Hope Fellowship, 781 West St., 751-1867.
Women's Bible Study -- 6:30 p.m., New Hope Fellowship, 781 West St., 751-1867.
Bible study -- 7 p.m., The Way Baptist Fellowship, 5501 E. Cansano St., Mountain Falls, 727-5242.
Pahrump Peggers, ACC Grassroots Cribbage Club -- noon., Wulfy's, 1101 S. Highway 160, 209-4444.
Volunteer Meeting -- 4 p.m., Nathan Adelson Hospice, 1480 E. Calvada Blvd., Suite 900, 751-5601.
Shadow Mountain Quilters -- 9 a.m., Business meeting at the library.
Valley Cruisers car club -- 6 p.m., Wulfy's, Highway 160, call 751-8912 or 751-0994.
Nathan Adelson Hospice Golden Monarchs -- 5:30 p.m., hospice office, 1480 E. Calvada Blvd., Suite 900, 751-5601.