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Greetings from the dry dry mountains

Posts: 20
Location: High mountain desert, Northern NM
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Hello to everyone here!  I am happy to have found this community!

I live in the mountains of northern New Mexico.  I live at about 6300' and the dewpoint is usually below freezing.  The benefit of that is that I don't need to own coasters.  However, it makes gardening hard, but this plateau has been farmed on and off for 800 years, so I ought to be able to make it work to some level.  

My way here was perhaps unique, perhaps not.  I received an email from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds a few weeks ago that they were donating all of their proceeds from one day to different beneficiaries each hour.  I looked up some of the groups and was immediately struck by the person of Joseph Lofthouse.  That led me to reading about his ways of plant breeding (the fact that he is at a similar elevation and similar high desert conditions piqued my interest).  Reading his articles on landrace farming really resonated with the scientist in me, and more internet searching on the topics pointed me here.

Many of the ideas here have been running about in our heads for about a year.  We've felt convinced that we needed to re-evaluate some of our life (always a useful practice!) especially with regards to waste and consumption of things and how we want our boys to view the world.  Then came the lockdowns and the work-from-home and the legitimate concerns that the grocery store might not have the things we were used to being able to buy.  This caused us to focus much more on waste, of food, of things, etc., and will be (hopefully) a positive outcome of all this strife and disruption.

I also had started a garden, as I have in years past (with admittedly little success, my first bean crop at this house produced maybe 25 dry beans).  But, I had to empty my drawer of partial seed packets because I wasn't going to be able to order seeds in time with our limited growing season.  I ended up planting everything (including those 25 beans, which were still in their pods hanging on the vines on the trellis).  And, all of our plant nurseries were closed by order of the governor, so my normal source of tomato plants was not to be.  This meant co-opting egg cartons as seed trays and other similar things I found in the garage (it was both amazing and perhaps disturbing that I found SO many things that I could re-use for this purpose available that otherwise would have been sent to the trash or recycling).

All that is to say: we have a long way to go.  I am convinced that independent of whether the path we are going down as a society is sustainable or not, it sure doesn't seem right.  Change is hard, and I can't change society, but I can try to do better in my home and on my little patch of dry dust, and maybe that's nothing in the grand scheme of things, but at least I tried to do what was right.
Posts: 856
Location: Piedmont 7a
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Welcome, Chad!  Looking forward to hearing your adventures with developing landrace varieties!  And yes, Joseph is awesome - he has a lot of great posts here at Permies.
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Posts: 4338
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Thank you for sharing, I am looking forward to hearing more about your gardening adventures.
Posts: 54
Location: CA - Soon 2B in NM! USyA!
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I have been lurking Permies off and on for about four years or thereabouts.
The place I have been living wasn't mine and I wasn't allowed to do too much with respect to permaculture.
A little experimenting here and there.

But very soon - I too will be in northern New Mexico, I am currently in the process of a purchase, including a "hippy house" made primarily of straw-bale, small amount of solar power, a separate solar powered private well, and of course - a beautiful view.
So I will begin my own permaculture education by living with the help of permies.com and other resources.

I'll have a large pavilion that currently has a semi-transparent/opaque covering that I hope to modify into a more transparent covering on its sunnier side (not oriented either N/S nor E/W).
That may end up being cost prohibitive so I have backed the recent kickstarter campaign for the truly passive greenhouse in hopes of gleaning sufficient info to build that or a loosely similar styled greenhouse.
My well tests have not been completed yet (the original test results are not too promising with regards to yield).
However, the large surface area on the pavilion should make for reasonably good rainwater harvest - once the broken, missing, gutter system is replaced with a better solution.

Therefore - I look forward to reading all about your experiences and successes with food production.
I'll be able to post my permaculture experiences soon as well.

Thanks for sharing.
Anderson gave himself the promotion. So I gave myself this tiny ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
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