Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dormant Moringa Trees

These Moringa Trees are alive even though they look dead. They will bud out here soon, when it gets warmer. These are the only two remaining trees not budding out yet. People make the mistake thinking they are dead and discard them. They are not pretty in the winter. These love warm sunny weather folks. 

Challenges of Growing In the Nevada High Desert

Good Morning,

I hope you all will have a great weekend. Here instead of the surf being up, the wind is up again today.

The winds blow from all directions here and the wind severity have been the worst here in 25 years. I learned that from one of the locals. There is wind here but normally it is not constant, day after day.

I have started my straw bale garden between the house and the 20 by 60 foot shed that is parallel. We are going to cover the area between the two structures with a frame covered with heavy duty clear plastic. This was a great idea except we realized yesterday we must block off both sides from the nasty winds. If we don't we will have one great wind tunnel, which is already a problem. We have the hay bales in between the two structures for some wind protection. Only three are planted in at this point. The rest of the bales won't be ready to plant in until the 10th of the month. We had to alter the method he instructs, because of the winds. Each plant must be protected initially from the wind.

Since I have a ton of moving boxes left over. I decided to use those. You set the box with the bottom cut out down over the hay bale, then make a large hole in the bale for the plant and set the plant in. You then fill in with potting soil, then a layer of straw to conserve moisture. Using packing boxes does not look fancy to say the least. If this method works, we will build wood boxes for this purpose next year. This is a first year experiment.

I have put some pictures up to show you what I have been discussing.

Kate Freer , the Herbladyisin

How the Plants Are Protected

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Straw Bale Gardening

This is the beginning of our humble garden and nursery. As you can see the haybales are placed between the trailer and shed. The one side gets some shade and the other sun. This method is called straw bale gardening. Joel Karsten developed this method for people who could not dig because of disability or where the soil is hard rock. It saves time and effort over other raised bed methods. We got the straw bales for free. My only concern with his method was the fierce winds we experience. That is why the plan was altered with the plants enclosed in the box protection.

The first three bales are planted. You condition the straw bales with nitrogen fertilizer and water for 10 days until they decompose. You then dig out a hole in the bale large enough for the potted plant, set it in the hole, fill it in with potting soil, and then mulch it with straw to conserve moisture.

In this case with heavy nevada winds, the plant is set over with a box to protect it from the wind. If this method works, we will build nice wood boxes. This is all an experiment.

Behind where the old truck is has to be enclosed with a wall to stop the heavy winds that blow from the North. The area between the two building will be covered with a frame and clear plastic to make a greenhouse. This old truck which was here on the property and does not run, will end up as a unique chicken coop. There will be two rabbit cages against the right wall. Our goal is to be self sufficient for the most part. Both the chickens and rabbits will be protected by the carport walls. My goal on this property is to be functional and survive with the winds. Wood boxes next year will improve the visual appeal. This is the rustic first steps.
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Better Picture of the Moringa Babies

I am reposting this picture. I have to say that the Picasa program is very easy to use. I have always been intimidated by these kinds of programs but this is the only one to use easily with this blog site. Its a free download, then you can upgrade to get more options. I want to add pictures of herbs, my straw bale garden as it progresses, and this was not too bad. Enjoy the better picture. Morninga leaves are easy. You just pick them off and make your tea. It then rewards you by producing more leaves.
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Moringa Tree With Its First New Leaves

Moringa Tree on our enclosed back porch. These are its first new leaves for the year. This tree is a year old being grown in a 20 gal container. As you can see it looks like a dead stick with a green branch. It will sprout buds all down the trunk as it goes along. It will sprout new growth from the root ball as well. This one looked very dead but look at it now. They are not pretty in the winter.
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Moringa Growing In Our Sunny Windows

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Help, My Moringa Tree Looks Dead

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Good Morning,

I have received two calls this week by people who think their trees are dead. The Moringa tree loves hot weather. It thrives on temperatures in the 80's and above. It does not like cold and they will freeze.

Moringa Trees Are Warm Weather Trees: If your winters get below 70 degrees, they will lose all their leaves and look like dead sticks. They will stay that way until the weather is warm. Then you will see tiny buds emerge out of the trunk. I have 4 big ones in 33 gallon trash cans, 3 in 20 gal containers, and several babies in 5 gal containers. The babies are in the house and in front of our sunny windows. They have all leafed out and are growing slowly. Two of the biggest trees just now have buds, and two in the 20 gal containers have buds. Three have no sign of life yet.

One way to tell if they are dead or resting is to feel the root ball. If the root ball is hard, its alive still. The trunks toward the root will have a green tinge to them and if you cut the limbs, you will see green. Do not give up on them until another two months when warm temperatures are consistent.

Don't Let Their Feet Stay Wet:   Here in Mina, it snowed the other day. The temperatures have been up and down. Give them time and water them even when they look dead. Don't overwater them either or leave them with wet feet. They are subject to root rot. Make sure they are in well draining soil or in a container that drains well. That is extremely important.

Protection During A Cold Spell: If you get a cold spell, wrap the truck with newspaper and mulch the root area. Put a plastic bag over the top. They can be frozen down to the root and sometimes come back. If you are in an area where it freezes, they should be grown in a green house or sunny porch or in the house. If you have had hard freezes, your tree may be dead. They are warm weather lovers.

The pictures above is what my sleeping Moringa trees look like. They had a real rough time moving up here in the back of our truck. The winds were so bad it was pulling them up out of the containers. I will know in two months if these are ok. The roots are solid so that is a good sign. You will have to be patient with me. I am learning how to use Picasa to upload these pictures. This is my first try.
Kate Freer

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mina- A Micro Culture Of Life and Flavors

Hi Folks,

Knowing Your Neighbors is pretty cool!

This morning when walking our dogs, we met some neighbors who offered us some advice on keeping young plants from being ruined by the fierce winds. I might add we were told today the fierce winds are the most intense in 25 years. It goes along with all the strange weather patterns all over the world. She had some wonderful bushes that she offered me cuttings for. This is one of the gifts here in Mina is people who share with you willingly their knowledge and skills. We went to another neighbor who had some left over straw bales for my garden. He didn't charge me and helped us load them. Here is this tiny town, people help each other. Its part of Mina's personality. There are many diverse personalities here, all seeking to find freedom to be themselves. They just want to live their lives quietly. They want you to move in with a quiet footprint. They don't want you to change things, or tell them how to run their lives. They don't want you to ask too many questions, unless they feel like talking. They want you to blend in, not change their world here.

Lots Of  Life In Mina!

There is lots of life in Mina. There is a VFW that you can have fun with even if you don't drink. There are neighbor get-togethers at times. People meet for coffee at the one restaurant in the mornings. One neighbor works everyday in the Mina's graveyard to weed, put flowers out, and water. There are no funds to have it done by the county. Mina is a mix of old mining building that are old and falling down and new property being developed. There is one side of town that has some really nice new manufactured homes and wonderful, creative yards. You have to see all of Mina, to really understand it. Even the old buildings are unique and interesting. They give a rustic, old world, flavor to the town. What you see with driving through is not really Mina. It is your preconceived idea about it. You need to live here for awhile. You can take your high rents, water bills, and malls and we will take Mina. I will put some pictures up soon so you can see some of its unique flavor. Today we saw the wild horses for the first time, that frequent the area. There was a beautiful, striking black one in the herd of 5. I was too far away to get a picture. We have wild burros that visit as well. I am told they will be more visible in town in the fall. Life is very present in the Nevada mountains.

The next post will be on the Moringa trees and their dormant nature. I have had two people write, that they thought their trees were dead.  I will address this issue in the next blog.  Have a great Wednesday evening.
Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hi Folks,
I am selling this product by way of Amazon right now. The last shipment I bought from India was held up by the FDA and cost me $1000 in customs charges and FDA red tape. The FDA said that because the Indian websites put health claims on their websites, that Moringa powder was then an unapproved drug. Their compliance demands would have cost thousands. In the end there was nothing I could do to comply with their complaint. I lost the package and could not take it out of the customs office. I know the product is a great product. It is also cost effective. It does not have organic certification. It is almost impossible to get organic certified product through the FDA system. Again, I have taken this product myself and it is quality. This is why I am offering it through Amazon sales. I don't have to deal with the FDA. I have been asked often, what is a good product and this is the only one I know personally about.

Why Do People Move To Mina, Nevada?

Hi Friends,

This blog comes from sunny, windy, rugged Mina, Nevada!

Interestingly enough, their are more former California residents here than from any other state. Perhaps it is the high rents, rules and regulations, water restrictions, political atmosphere, traffic, and general annoyances.  People were tired of California and its high price to live there, so they moved to Mina for freedom.

How People End Up In Mina: Most people found Mina when they were on vacation because of the hundreds of miles of space to explore with their 4 wheelers. Since most of the population is middle aged, they wanted to retire where they could keep some of their savings and live within their means. I know that is a odd thought. Most Americans are living above what they can afford. Most people now cannot afford to retire. So Mina is a place to move to that is affordable. One of the reasons we are here. My husband is retired. You have to have a certain mindset to move and live here. If you are a shopper, Mina is not the place. The nearest Walmart is three hours away. The nearest grocery store is in Hawthorne, 33 miles away. You learn to be efficient when you shop. It is amazing how many things you think you need until its three hours to buy it.

Living Slower with Less Stress: When I grew up in the small town of Julian, in the local mountains above San Diego, we went to Escondido once a month. We went to San Diego, 60 miles away, twice a year. I grew up living that way. Mom kept a store of extra food in the bedroom closet of all the essentials. She shopped with a list and a complete one. I loved growing up in Julian. I did not grow up shopping at the malls. I rode my bike, my horse and worked on writing stories and science papers. I did not feel deprived at all.

Living in Mina is like it was when I grew up. We have no traffic, no freeways, very few town rules, no water rules. peace and quiet, very little crime, no murders or rapes, and we can safely walk the dogs after dark. Nevada has low property taxes, no state income taxes, and less red tape. What is best is people let people be here. People who come to Mina just want to live their life without a lot of interference and problems. They cherish their freedom. They cherish their right to have a nice yard, a messy yard, collect cars, collect heavy equipment, or raise chickens within the city limits. I have the right to have a business out of my home here with very low business permit fees. People here work in Hawthorne, Reno, and Carson. Some of them do odd jobs, work on the roads, or mines. You don't realize any of that until you live here. Most of the internet articles portray Mina as a ghost town with no life. A hole in the desert where no one would want to live. That is not so and its sad, that is not represented in its true light. So in these first posts, I want to give you a different view. After two months here, we will stay and get a nursery going. To stay will be our choice at this point.

Signing Off from beautiful, Mina, Nevada! God Bless you all! Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mina? Is This Really Your Will God

Hi Friends,

Today I will continue the story of our journey here to Nevada. The first two weeks here was overwhelming. Junk everywhere and everything needed to be cleaned out, reorganized, and redone to move our stuff into the house and 20 by 60 shed. The shed was to become my husband's workshop and part green house. In the far end of the shed is where our worm beds will be raised. It is dark there, warm, and a good place for them to be protected. I still deeply missed the green hills and landscape of our old property. I missed all the trees and natural growing herbs. There were huge natural growing elderberries all over the property. I still felt devastated inside with the move.

We all have choices in life ---to feel joy despite our circumstances or to be sad. 

One day, I asked myself,  am I going to be mad, bitter, and angry or make our dreams work here. I had a choice. I decided I would redo things here even with the challenging winds and desert soil. We did have cheap water and no restrictions which was a great blessing. It was a turning point in the journey.

We have become better friends with Jeff and Susan. As we walk the dogs each day, we met new people who are so very nice. I began to see the beauty in the stark mountains with their colors of brown but I was still holding on to the past.

It took another two weeks, but one morning I looked up and to my shock, I said these mountains are beautiful. My husband laughed at me. How far I had come in a month from crying to appreciating the gift of Mina. Some places hide their beauty initially. They wait until your mind and eyes are ready to see the gifts. This was the awakening of certain realizations of why we were brought here. None of it was accident or chance

In the next blogs, I will put up the now pictures before we create our dream here. I want you to see what can be done with faith, patience and work. I want you to get to know Mina and the many gifts this town does have to offer. I want you to realize with faith, God does provide for your needs. I am starting a straw bale garden. I will have pictures of the steps and the results. Its all a grand experiment in this new land. It is a journey of faith and growth.

God Bless you,  Kate Freer