Weekly News Round-up: November 12-19

As a reminder to the public, Harmony and Health extends a standing invitation for visitors on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are community work day and in the evening we enjoy a sweat in the Harmonic Chapel followed by a casual community potluck. All are welcome, but please email us ahead of time: harmonynhealthtoday@gmail.com.

Here are updates on the most current projects at Harmony & Health.

ANTS ON ALERT

Garlic is all planted and growing very well. There’s a little ant problem in a couple beds, so we’re discouraging them with cayenne pepper, a chemical-free pest-deterring alternative. As of today, they have dispersed. If they return, we’ll try a vinegar application.

Garlic greens damaged by ants.

Garlic greens damaged by ants.

Cayenne pepper will (hopefully) deter the ants without adding chemicals to our soil.

Cayenne pepper will (hopefully) deter the ants without adding chemicals to our soil.

WORKING THE ROOT ROW

We’ve been working diligently in the garden to prepare two rows for winter vegetables. The root row is planted with carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, beets, and two varieties of onions. The second row will be full of leaf and green vegetables: kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, and two varieties of lettuce. We are also going to plant several pots with parsley. All of our vegetable seeds are non-treated, non-GMO varieties, most are USDA certified organic, and all but one are heirloom varieties.

Our root row planted and labeled.

Our root row planted and labeled.

Our greens row being prepared for planting.

Our greens row being prepared for planting.

CREATING COMPOST

Next on our list of projects is compost! The compost project has three prongs: a traditional composting ring, a composting toilet, and composting with worms to produce worm castings. For now, the second two are just plans on a page, but the composting ring has been started. We still need to fence in the ring to protect it from pests. Eventually, we envision beautifying the ring by planting ocotillo cuttings around the outer circle.

The beginnings of our compost ring.

The beginnings of our compost ring.

PYRAMIDS

Jack, Stefan, and Mike have chosen a site and designed a pyramid for algae cultivation. The ultimate plan will be to have three pyramids aligned east-west, just like the pyramids of Egypt. More information from them will be forthcoming.

NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Our neighboring community, Terra Sante, continues to work on ferrocement cisterns, water storage, and native plant projects. The exciting news this week is that the architect has completed the plans for an Earthbag living space, and the blueprints can be submitted to the county for approval.

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