#1 Small Potatoes Garden

Subdivision: Rural Area North of 165 & West of the Village
Address: 26 Camino Del Torreon
Owners: Suzanne Maxwell and John Kail
Garden Type or Features: Permaculture; rural; large geodesic dome green house for three season gardening; shared food growing “Co Grow” project concept.

The following artists will be painting at this garden:

      • AM – Connie Falk
      • PM – Carol Ordogne

Description: Suzanne and John promote the principles of “Permaculture” or “Sustainability” in garden practice and philosophy through interaction with their landscape environment and other gardeners. They employ gardening practices that use water and other resources sparingly and yet manage to give back to the earth to rebuild. Their planted gardens co-exists with the area native and adapted plants and animals. They love the art of slow cooking using their organically grown produce.

A highlight of this garden is the predominant geodesic dome greenhouse with climate management for sensitive plants, raised three season garden beds, a worm composting farm, and an ingenious recirculating tank watering system. There is enough room for a small bistro table with two chairs in the dome. This is a favorite spot for Suzanne and John to sit, relax, and enjoy a glass of wine after gardening on nice evenings. Other garden features include a large kiva shaped, top view yin and yang outdoor garden designed with pruned plant growth, covered vegetable growing beds, a tranquil pond and garden pathways bordered by tall Chamisa and Four Wing Salt shrubs with vignettes of garden fantasy figures. Suzanne tends to several fruit bearing shrubs and trees planted on her property.

Suzanne, Vicki Peck and other volunteers from the CoGrow organization, a Sandoval County Master Gardener volunteer approved project, will be on site to inform tour guests of organic gardening methods and help in growing, harvesting, and trading plants and seeds. CoGrow currently represents an expanding group of growers who are working together in a cooperative manner to grow local organic produce. CoGrow members cooperate among themselves, share heavy tasks, tools, seeds and trade the produce that is harvested. CoGrow has four local sites: a two-acre farm in Algodones, plus two growing sites and an orchard in Placitas. This garden property is one of the Placitas growing sites.

Small Potatoes Garden Tour Features – RECYCLE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-USE

 All that we have done here stems from a conscious decision to re-frame the concept of wealth from accumulation of properties and things, to sustainability and thrive-ability.  We believe our world is crying out for this shift and that together, we are all responsible.

Household Energy

  • Passive solar designed home (adobe, interior mass, south facing windows and trombe walls); minimal northern exposure
  • Windows and doors on all sides of house for flow-through ventilation/cooling
  • Active solar tracker and photovoltaic panels (PNM program – and available from Positive Energy/Sun Power)
  • Energy efficient evaporative cooler – Breezair (rebate from PNM and available from TLC Plumbing)
  • On-demand domestic water heating – Rinnai (available from Brothers Plumbing and Electric)
  • Some low-flow plumbing
  • White membrane heat-reflective roof that cools in summer and holds warmth in winter (available from Lone Mountain Roofing)
  • Wood-burning stove
  • Water heater-based perimeter heating in addition
  • Good seals around windows and doors
  • Energy-saving light bulbs

Construction Materials in Home Addition

  • Recycled materials from Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store, other projects and original house (windows, doors, moulding, vigas, tub, sink, faucets)
  • Non-toxic paint, sealers and stains
  • Concrete floors stained and sealed with polymer instead of acid washing

Gardens

  • Raised growing beds use mostly a medium developed from existing soil, composting, straw bales, ground covers and local manures as well as organic fertilizers when needed
  • Most areas are watered by drip in the wee hours of the morning; others on-demand, but using low-flow delivery systems
  • We use organic, open-pollenated seed and collect/save seed whenever possible
  • Garden perimeters are constructed from re-purposed fencing, railroad ties covered with re-cycled pond liner to prevent creosote leaching and from lumber scraps found at local providers of vigas, latillas and construction beams
  • Benches were gleaned from local dumping in the arroyos (“rural dumpster diving”)
  • Bark ground cover/mulch obtained from the local county landfill

Greenhouse

  • Solar designed by Growing Spaces/Pagosa Springs, Colorado
  • Pond pump, airflow all operating on small solar panels
  • Designed with a 1200 gallon water tank to regulate temperature (warms in winter and cools in summer)
  • Bayliss windows that open and close automatically with the use of expanding or contracting beeswax in cylinders
  • Watered by timer and drip system

Water Catchment

  • Canales from the roof that provide water for perimeter plants and shrubs
  • French drain to direct water to tree/shrubs
  • Swales to hold water on the property and prevent further erosion into the arroyo
  • 500 gallon cistern to collect water from the garage roof

Community

  • Co-Grow Master Gardener sponsored project – collaborative, community growing practices, where our participants grow food and share the abundance with each other, as well as our successes, learnings and even failures
  • The most profound effect of this home/garden is as an example of what’s possible. When people see the site and ask questions, our hope is that they become inspired to find ways to put these ideas to work for themselves and for our planet.

 

 Plant Lists:  Small Potatoes

Attracting beneficial insects

Agastache/Hyssop

Artichoke

Baby’s Breath

Coral Bells

Chocolate Flower

Currant bush

Datura

Dill

Dragon’s Breath

False Indigo

Flax

Fruit trees

Goldenrod/Soldago

Marigold

Nasturtiums

Perky Sue

Rugosa Rose

Salvia

Sunflowers

Herbs/Medicinals

Artemesia

Basil

Catmint

Celery

Chives

Cilantro

Herbs/Medicinals cont’d.

Dill

Garlic Chives

Horseradish

Jupiter’s Beard/Valerian

Lamb’s Ears

Lemon Grass

Mint

Mullein

Oregano

Parsley

Rue

Sage

Tarragon

Thyme

Yarrow

Edible Greens/flowers

Arugula

Asparagus

Chard

Collard

Cosmos

Day Lilies

Egyptian Onions

Kale

Lettuce

Marigold

Nasturtiums

New Zealand Spinach

Natives/Wildflowers

Anil del Muerte

Cut Leaf Germander

Desert Penstemon 

Natives/Wildflowers cont’d.

Evening Primrose

Little Yellow Zinnias

Mallow

Mexican Hat

Snake Grass

Verbena

Wild (Desert) Four O’Clock

Winterfat

Wolfberry

Water Plants

Watercress

Water hyacinth

Water lilies

Grasses

Bush Muhly

Fescue

Little Bluestem

Muhly Grass

Rice Grass

Side Oats Gramma

Thread Grass

Ground Covers/Vines

Euphorbia

Mint

Plumbago

Sedum

Trumpet Vine  

Cactus

Claret Cup

Cholla

Prickly Pear

Yucca (narrow leaf)

Yucca (red)

 

 

Shrubs/Bushes (some native)

Apache Plume

Bird of Paradise

Chamisa

Currant

Dogwood

Fern Bush

Four-wing Saltbush

Juniper

Lilac

Rabbit Brush

Smoke Tree

Three Leaf Sumac

 

Trees

Apple

Apricot

Arizona Cyprus

Ash

Crabapple

Desert Willow

Locust

New Mexican Privet/Olive

Chinese Pistache

Russian Olive

Siberian Elm

Wild Cherry

 

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