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2019 FLOCK OF FIVE

Coco & Whitey, 2 Remaining Ducks The six ducks we’ve raised since August 2016 had dwindled down to two good layers, so we recently decided to get a flock of new ducklings to start raising while the two were still laying. As we awaited the arrival of the ducklings and began to raise them in the brooder, the two remaining layers became quite crabby and no fun to have around—perhaps they missed their friends or didn’t like being a flock of two. Since we had the new ducklings growing fast in ...

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WHAT GROWS HERE & WHAT DOES NOT

This will now be my 3rd year gardening at 9,000 feet. After some trial and error, I've chosen only to grow the things that will grow well in the outdoor garden, and use my limited greenhouse space in the summer for a few favorites while saving some room for early fall planting there. Some of the vegetables that grow very well have not been my favorites (kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, rutabagas) but since they do grow well here and are good for us I'm learning to like them more and cook them in new way ...

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2018 GARDEN RECAP

This year everything started with a lot of excitement and ended with a crash. Literally. The garden had been going well and kept me busy all summer until my participation came to a halt on August 23 when I fell from my horse. My injuries kept me out of the garden the remainder of the season. With a fractured left hip and right clavicle, I had surgery on the hip which kept me in a wheelchair for 11 ½ weeks before I could walk again. I couldn’t use crutches or a walker because of the injured clavi ...

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ORGANIZATION, PLANNING & RECORD KEEPING

I'm kind of a nut when it comes to organization and planning, and it may border on overkill. Sometimes I think I may spend more time with this than I do in the garden. I do most of this organization work during the winter when I have the extra time on my hands. When garden time comes, all I need to do is minor updates & notes. My methods for organizing and planning are not specific to high-altitude gardening, but are extra helpful when planning a garden that only grows in a short season, or ...

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GREENHOUSE CONSTRUCTION

In the planning stages of building our house here we had always thought we would eventually build a greenhouse. At our former location in Wellington we had a small, non-heated greenhouse, which provided us with cold-tolerant things like spinach, kale, chard, lettuce and beet greens throughout most of the winter. It also provided a place to finish and harden the seedlings I had started under lights indoors. It was attached to the south side of our house, under our deck, so the north side of the g ...

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LIVING OFF THE LAND

  Last night we had Venison Tenderloin for dinner, and boy was it good! One of the perks of living in the high country is being able to harvest food from our own land. In addition to the garden and ducks we keep for eggs, we are able to hunt game on our property. Recently, Tim was able to shoot a deer, which provides us with roughly 65 lbs of healthy venison to eat. This is all new to me. I do not come from a hunting background. I grew up in a suburb in Northern California—not a coun ...

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2017 GARDEN IN REVIEW

The 2017 Garden Season has ended and winter is on its way in.  The garden is in "hibernation" for the winter. Overall, we were very pleased with the garden in our first year of growing vegetables at this elevation. We were able to grow, eat and preserve many vegetables in this first year of gardening at this altitude. It was a lot of fun, a lot of hard work, and very satisfying. Some things did very well, others not so well, and everything we observed and learned will help us in planning for ...

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“EVERY YEAR IS DIFFERENT”

Before we started our garden we had seen a roadside stand not far from here and stopped in. We chatted quite a bit with the owner/gardener. One of the things I remember her saying was that "every year is different" and you just have to go with what you get, appreciating what does well and not fretting about what didn't. That's true in any location, to be sure, but especially in our high altitude. This year was rainy and cool, unlike the past couple of summers we've experienced. The photo abo ...

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LATE AUGUST PROGRESS: 2017

It's time to update the progress in the garden, which I have been putting off because: I’m too busy working in the garden to spend time writing, and choosing & editing photos. I’ve thought that what anyone wants to see is results. Results won’t fully be in until the end of the season. It's a big project and somewhat overwhelming. But, I have several observations to share near the end of our first season of high-altitude gardening. Some things have gone well, others have not. I ...

APRIL 2017 GARDEN PREPARATION

It’s springtime, and although there is certainly more snow to come, the garden process has begun! Tim is busy clearing the area where we will have our raised-bed fenced garden, and Laurie is busy planning and starting seedlings indoors, under grow lights. It's a big, exciting year for us, and we look forward to planting, tending & harvesting!   FIRST THINGS FIRST For the past couple of months, I (Laurie) have been planning what to grow, where to put it, and when to start each plant ...