Up the Hill


uphill

Put on a pot of heirloom Bolita Beans this morning.  They are a marvel from my garden because they grow at 7500 feet in my short season on my monsoon rains without supplemental water.

I understand that they are a threatened variety of beans and will make sure I don’t just gobble them up thinking that I can pick up more where I got these in Moriarity, New Mexico.  Next year’s seed stock first!  I love the sound of that… getting more self sufficient here in my Food Forest.

Especially for easy crops like beans, once you have your first crop it is in your best interest to save seed.  Every generation is better adapted to your own location.  I will save enough seed stock for two years in case of loss and will not grow other varieties at this time as I prefer to develop a good strain from this local variety.

Trudged up the hill while the beans were cooking to see how everything survived the wet summer. I saw a lot of growth and some erosion.  The photo above is the view about 1/3 of the way to the top.  Most of my 5 acres is quite steep.

At the top right of the photo you can see the valley below and more hills opposite.  In the foreground is the bulldozed portion that I have not seeded yet, but have seeded up to this point.  I am amazed what a difference seeding has made on the lower slope because it is not bare soil anymore.

This is a flat spot before it gets very steep all the way to the top.  It has a stone front and has filled the center with sand that is as flat and smooth as a pond.  It would be a lovely view for a house but would tear the woods up gaining zigzag access.

While I was up the hill I dug a Yucca baccata offset.  Broke the root so I potted it on my patio to watch it closer.

Lower down, the proposed driveway/orchard had wildflowers this year, and my cherry tree died.  The Asian Pear next to it did not.  I pulled out the cherry and put in a Bartlett Pear.

I have heard locally that only apples do well here. If apples do well, surely pears will.  It is hard to plant a nice fruit tree and leave it to the Food Forest, sink or swim.  Once I am “homed” I may plant a few trees close to home inside the courtyard.

Of course it is not recommended to plant fruit trees close to your home if you have bears around.  I know at least one bear has wandered within 3 feet of my trailerstead; he left footprints in the snow.

Probably the same bear that took a snooze in my outbuilding during a late snowstorm last winter when I had 18 inches of snow.  Made me an hour late to work because the shed is only a few feet from my truck!  Had to get help to run him out of there before he decided it is his home and I am the intruder.

I am thankful he did run and didn’t turn and attack.  Bears always lose territorial disputes with humans and I do not want him put down because I moved into his Food Forest.

The boiled beans are now soaking up the flavor of the remnants of my Posole soup.  Gotta love New Mexico red chile in your Posole.

I did not grow enough chile this year to get dried red chile because I ate every single one as New Mexico green chile!   I have a lot of seed left from a ristra made from locally grown chiles.  I need a good south exposure for chile up here, I grew mine in a big pot, it did well enough that way.  My new patio enclosure will keep them even warmer next summer and will increase my yield.

Took a break and had a bowl of beans with a hunk of bread.  Maybe tomorrow I will bake cornbread.  Part of the bean pot will be frozen for another day.

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About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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