"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Way Out Yonder

in the middle of nowhere where the average annual rainfall is about 8 inches, is the Double Nickel Farm.  When we bought this property we began calling it a farm, although it did not resemble any farm I had ever known.  We had a dream and desired to make a go of things even if it seemed impossible.

When we began plotting a garden we realized that water would be key.  After a year of research and a few trial and error attempts, we settled quite comfortably in using old tires for raised beds for our plants. The tires, filled with soil and stacked a few high, would keep the water exactly where we wanted it.

 The plant roots would get the water needed.  

The first year we left the tires as is, no color, and bought potting soil from the local stores.  We planted about 20 tires.

The next year we collected more tires and I began to paint a few tires with the leftover paint from our house. 
We were amazed at the yields from each tire-more exact-each plant. Our squash plants were incredible. One tire held about 2 plants, and we collected about 70 summer squash per plant in a season!

We began expanding tires and had over 70 tire stacks used last year!  As we continue to garden in the desert we are experimenting with different seeds to see what we can grow here.
This is a photo from last year.  The bags are feed bags filled with our own blend of compost/soil to make the perfect potting soil.  The tires stack outside as we know we want all the tire stacks to be 3-4 high when we are finished. 
This is the view from this year, with a compost mixture in the center of our own blends with a few bags of soil bought from the store. As we live southeast of nowhere and north of the sticks, we have to protect everything from varmints, so we have this area fenced and the rocks are to keep the rabbits from burrowing under the fence(as we learned this from the first year).  It may seem bizarre to many as we are all about the perfect image and to be kind to the farm-this may seem eccentric to many. If you note the areas around the garden-there isn't any vegetation as nothing grows without watering, aside from Mesquite, which is what that stack is on the far upper left of the photo. We are constantly removing Mesquite and most likely will until we die!

We are planting trees for the farm, and our goal is for our pomegranate trees to take off so we can wind them around the garden  Pomegranate trees are like weeds out here and can grow several feet high, and spread like wildfire.  When the pomegranate spreads Bill and I will have a retreat from the blistering days of New Mexico weather in our very own oasis. 



Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I have been enjoying as you have made this place your own. Love and huggles.

kymber said...

i love, love, love gardening in tires!!! we must have 200 of the darn things decorating our yard - but yours are so pretty and painted! i would give my left leg for some of those pomegranate seeds - i'd be willing to trade for any seeds we have that you might be interested in.

your friend,

Anonymous said...

Great post and I love the colors on the tires! Totally get the fence - I have mine fenced and my only 'predator' is a 90# golden retriever! LOL
How did you settle on the height being 3 or 4 tires..was it related to water or convenience for the gardener or ???
also, i'm currently reading Gardening when it Counts by Steve Solomon. He's promoting gardening in such a way as to not rely on irrigation. you might enjoy the read altho' in NM you will need the added water,no doubt. cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

Gayle said...

That's amazing about the Pomegranate trees being like weeds. That's one weed I wouldn't mind spreading like wild fire. The "everything needs water" thing would be the hard part about desert living for me. I love grass for the kids and I enjoy mowing. I'm not sure I'd want to live without a lawn. Your garden is amazing.

Humble wife said...

Michelle-thank you so much ((( <3 )))

My Kymber- I do not know how to grow pomegranates from seed. They are like rose bushes and take a start to grow. And seeds I need to put together something. Did you like the mustard seeds I sent a few years ago?

SJ-The tire height was yes for the grower. Bill has back injuries that make bending very difficult so we wished to raise them for him. I like 3 or 4 high esp for squash as it flows over the side and not taking up so much space this way.I will look up the book you suggest soon and am such a conservator on as much as possible that the tire use makes our precious water last-even here in the desert.

Oh Gayle- I grew up in the midwest. I so so so so so so miss grass. We are planning on a yard in the upcoming years, but everything in its season. First we cleared the land, began raising our foods-livestock, poultry, then added growing our foods, with planting fruit trees, and soon we will be able to add things of beauty and comfort! I cant wait to walk barefoot on my very own yard!!

Susan said...

Such an amazing job you have done, and continue to do!!!

Humble wife said...

Susan- I am ashamed at times as I want to quit and profess to quit sometimes. Oh it is hard, and thank you for your kind words. I pray I can stand fast in times when I am weary of the constant work and battles against nature etc!

Moira said...

Jennifer this is such a great idea!

Humble wife said...

Moira-thank you! It works where we live because of our remoteness!!