In the last couple of weeks we have been breaking ground and getting prepared for the winter. Ryan, Josh, and Nico have all left on their separate journeys and we are down to four WWOOFers, Maggie, Sarah, ROB!!!!, and Kenny. We have been cutting, splitting, and stacking wood, but it seems like no matter how much work we do, it will never compare to the mountains of wood my neighbors have; probably a bit of foreshadowing as to how cold it gets out here. We are trying to conserve as much heat and have been winterizing the house as much as possible because the roof is poorly insulated.
The Sustainable Botany Class came out Wednesday and put in two raised beds and started on a third. We have garlic, onions, and asparagus in the soil and this week will finish the hoop house, which we broke down and moved to a sunnier place. Inside, we will plant carrots, endive, lettuce, radishes, leeks, kale, collard greens, and parsley. Thanks to everyone in the class for their hard work, Peggy for bringing them out, Kim for taking photos, and Todd Cislo, an extreme, master gardener for showing up and offering guidance and advice with our hoop house install.
In exciting animal news, Josh finished his chicken coop and Mary Ann Canning is donating chickens this coming weekend. It’s too bad Josh had to leave before he got to see chickens living in his amazing creation. He was able to convert part of the barn into a chicken coop for about 15-20 chickens which can be expanded on in the future if we need too. It has an inside run, and can be opened up to allow the chickens to free range in the front field.
We are collecting data on our water saving methods and will be posting this on the website. We are reusing the water collected from showers to flush the toilets and we collect dish water to water the trees, flowers, and plants in the yard. All sinks and showers have low flow faucets that are adjustable between .5 and 1.5 gallons per minute. The city of Flagstaff passed these out on Earth Day and has great resources for reducing your home water use in their utilities department.
As winter creeps closer, Flagstaff EcoRanch is going to be looking for grants, fundraising opportunities, and planning for the spring. More to come as they develop.