All the Way to the Rabbit Gate!

This morning I finished the path to the Rabbit Gate! More to do on the outside, but that’s another day.

Pathway to Rabbit Gate

Pathway to Rabbit Gate

I dug enough to level the path for comfortable walking and the uphill side rocks are bigger than the downhill side, to hold the hill back.  I did leave some slope to encourage water to continue downhill to raised bed 8 and not settle in the pathway.  I will eventually add another layer of rock on the uphill side and even that much helps slow water runoff, but it is rare that I have enough rain at one time to “run off,” the sandy soil soaks the little moisture up.

Rabbit Gate

Rabbit Gate

This photo shows the curve to allow the gate to open wider.  The rocks behind the fence help hold the hill off the path.  This needs more work but will keep the soil from covering the path for now.  Looking through the open gate gives you an idea of how much needed removal to allow the gate to open.  I have removed some on the outside, but it still encroaches.

To the right and downhill is the pathway to raised bed 8, which will berm up about 8-12 inches and soften this slope.  I will fill it in.

Raised Bed 6, uphill side

Raised Bed 6, uphill side

This photo shows where I put some of the dirt dug from the pathway.  To the right was a steep drop from the hill, and I placed the stones a bit away from the drop to not dig more soil away from the Pinyon Pine far right.  I filled in to make this less treacherous to walk on.  Once it settles, I will add more.  Pinyon seems to have survived the bulldozing done for the concrete pad (now a potager), I expect it will survive covering its roots again.

Bed 6 is ready to plant again, since I pulled most of the onions and dried them, including tops, during the Dog Head Forest Fire scare.  Gave me something to do inside while avoiding smoke inhalation.  Plus I figured dried onion is better than burned away.  I only have a few to let mature.  Oops.  I don’t normally cook with dried onion, but I will this winter.  I need to plant something rabbit proof.

Back to making a pathway to the Southwest Gate.  I have removed a lot of gravel from my cabin-in-dreaming living room, but there is a substantial amount left.

I will branch the Southwest Gate pathway to the right and meet up with the pathway on the lower terrace.  That’s where I saw the Horsetail Milkweed and where I have Horehound.

It is wild and overgrown and I have to remind myself that I planned it!  It was one wizened plant every 6 feet when I moved in… dead!  No pathways needed.  I have gotten biomass to grow and the soil, not great yet, is certainly improved and with better water retention.

So I get to hew my way through, and carefully transplant any precious plants before covering with gravel (or shift the path).  I laid carpet strips for the path when I ripped it out of my house the first year, so it is under the “biomass” that I have been clearing out while building the pathway to the Rabbit Gate.

A good morning in my slowly developing food forest.  It seems little every day, but over time I see progress.  I transplanted a tiny prickly pear that came up in the path uphill.  Easy to step over now, but that would pass.  A friend in Albuquerque has another load of compost materials for me, more biomass and more progress.

It is clouding up and I hope I get the forecasted rain.  Inside chore time.  I started buying fruit in small 10 ounce glass barrels.  As they empty I lightly sand, then spray paint the lids black.  Now that I am increasing my dried materials for the Pharmacopia, I think these jars will serve nicely for saving medicinal herbs.  I plan to make a 1×4 open rack with scrap wood to hold them and these are prettier than my canning jars.  I count them almost free since they are less than a penny per ounce more than fruit canned in metal and taste better.  I

have been looking at labels, too.  This year I will have a lot more to store and track since it isn’t just food and tea.  The big dehydrating push will come in late summer and early fall but a few things can be done now.  One project that does not involved rocks and a shovel.  😉



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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6 Responses to All the Way to the Rabbit Gate!

  1. Helen says:

    How will you dry your onions?

  2. Helen, I have a dehydrator with 5 levels. The humidity is so low here I dry some of things like Scarlet Globe mallow on a tray… not during monsoon, though. Vegetables and such go in the dehydrator. I dried the greens on a tray and sliced the white part and used the dehydrator. I bought the dehydrator at the thrift store for $5. No thermostat but I have dried lots of vegetables with it. I still have a couple pounds of jersey I made last year. I love jerkey in soups in the winter. I like dehydrated vegetables in soups too. This year I want to try sun dried tomatoes, yum. If I grow enough grapes, I want to try sun dried raisins too.

  3. Rebecca: you clearly do quite a lot of heavy lifting on your land, so you must be very fit, but even so – what sort of equipment do you use, just a shovel? Do you have anyone to help you lift rocks around? I admire your application and stoicism. I have some really heavy work to do in my garden in New Cairo, but in the summer the climate makes it virtually impossible.

  4. Sylvia
    I move one or two rocks at a time. If possible, break the heavy tasks up into smaller increments. If it takes a strong man one day and me a month, oh well. I cannot compete with a man’s strength and speed. I can break the task down and persist.
    Seems like I would be in great shape, doesn’t it? I lifted weights 20+ years, so had basic strength for a woman. After injury, I stopped lifting and doc said I would never lift again. Now I am working on my property and seem to have healed pretty much. I ripped adhesions from abdominal surgery, for sure. Most days I use a shovel and 5 gallon bucket. Because I have to get the rocks down a steep and uneven hill, it is hard to use force multipliers like carts. Even the appliance dolly I use occasionally is not stable. It is not as hot here, and I uusually go out around 7-11 am in the summer…. and inside 11-4 pm.
    I no longer have the strength of my 20s and now rely on persistence and taking it in smaller increments. I am feeling stronger and better all the time.

  5. Of course it would be awesome if I had a partner to help. Maybe someday.

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