In the Beginning!

20140511_130024In the beginning I drove in on this road and fell in love with this hillside covered in pinyon-juniper forest. This photo is taken from about 1/3 the way up my hill.  I have enough altitude at my house to have about the same view but the buildings look bigger.  This is a flat spot on the way up, and peaking over the edge gives me a little vertigo, but I like it from this far back.

The gravel road is at the end of the paved road, and I only have 3 neighbors past me.  We all have about 5 acres, but the valley properties are not wooded.  The gravel road is two lane and makes a right angle turn to the other street.  My trailerstead is about a half mile from pavement, straight ahead.

Raised bed under large pinyon tree

Raised bed under large pinyon tree

This is the 6×6 square raised bed I have been working on and which needs one more row of block.  Directly behind it is the stone berm I am extending and a large pinyon tree (as pinyon trees go).  This was existing concrete that I wanted to incorporate into my design.  To the left is a 10×10 pad that will have seating and I will plant both the lower and upper bed to the fence line, it is very shady.

The rocks lined up adjacent to the concrete are 1 inch or less thick and when I find enough, I will face the building to the left with rock.  The building is 10×12 and is kitted out as a workshop.  It is set into the hillside and the temp inside stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  I want to finish it out with insulation and walls.  It is already wired for 110, 220, and lights.  I will put shelving on the back wall and leave the workbench that faces windows that span the 12 foot front.

To the right is where I have started the 2×10 bed.  You can see the old carpet that will be covered with gray crusher fines and edged with stone.  It will meet the path that is winding through trees on my lower ledge.

Cutout To Be Sunken Garden

Cutout To Be Sunken Garden

This is the back of my “flat” building space.  It was dug out about 20 years ago and left bare, a common practice in New Mexico where erosion isn’t much concern.

At the top you see the start of the Food Forest.  Notice the holes in the dirt, I call this the Condo and I have neighbors living in them.  They have been pretty tolerant of me, I am the new kid in the ‘hood.  Last summer I schlepped the big rocks at the bottom down from the hillside.  I plan to make 3 levels and create my sunken garden.  This is the east side and curves into the north side.  It meets the building in the prior photo.  To the left it will meet my proposed home that will face south and berm into the east and north walls of this cutout.

In front is a huge pile of crusher fines that I have been using for my pathways.  It did overlap to where I have been putting rocks, but I keep shoveling around the edges as I complete areas of pathway.  I am glad I inherited this gravel, but it will have to be moved with heavy equipment before they can lay my foundation.

I have more and will continue in my next post.



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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5 Responses to In the Beginning!

  1. Helen says:

    Sounds like quite a project but worth it. The have a house which stays cool in summer and warm in winter would be great.

    • It has taken me a long time to get to know my weather and work everything in to a small space. To distill my needs and wants and keep it sustainable for an older woman.

      • Helen says:

        Yes, it will take time. My garden is very small, so it is more of an experiment/practice than any hope of being self-sufficient. But I’m into year six of developing the land (admittedly whilst teaching and looking after my daughter – and trying not to spend any money).

      • I have had lots of small gardens, and family and jobs. I know the drill! I have always grown perennials from seed, too. That whole budget thing. Now I don’t have those demands, but I am not as young as I once was. I think there is a country song about that.

      • Helen says:

        Maybe, yes 🙂

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