giantveggiegardener—An artisan farmer’s journey
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I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA where the growing season is short, the altitude is 7000 feet high and the soil is very alkaline, miserably hard and lacking organic materials. It is now in Zone 6A growing season after being in Zone 5 for years. Growing vegetables here is a challenge. I am also a Master Gardener who practices organic growing methods.
I’ve become a Jr. homesteader of sorts being as sustainable as is comfortable. I have KOKO the horse, goats down in the barn as friends and keep chickens for eggs. I became a topbar beekeeper to have pollinators and honey. I grow heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables on my micro-farm that I sold at the Santa Fe Farmers Market for 10 years. I’ve grown giant pumpkins and other giant vegetables and even have some state records.
I call myself an ‘artisan farmer’ because I like to create beauty in the gardens combining art, flowers and vegetables and because my gardens are not big enough to be called a farm but too large to be an urban garden. My vegetable gardens total 4000 square feet. I grow unusual varieties of vegetables. My reasoning is why grow something I can buy in the grocery store. I like all aspects of vegetable gardening from growing to harvesting to preserving to cooking.