Friday, June 29, 2012

Gardening in the High Desert with Straw Bale Raised Beds and More...

Straw Bale Raised Bed Garden

Straw Bale Raised Bed Gardening

So many plants grow well here in the High Desert in Southern California and especially in Straw Bale Raised Garden Beds.

We have Haogen Melons, Cantaloupe, Eggplant, Red and Orange Bell Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Habenjero Peppers and Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries planted in this Straw Bale Bed.

Squash and Watermelon in Raised Straw Bale Bed Garden

Squash and Cucumbers in Raised Straw Bale Bed Garden in Back

If you want to find out more about making straw bale raised bed gardens, you can take a look at the post I blogged about How to Make a Straw Bale Raised Bed Garden earlier this year.

Patio Garden Potato Planters

Potato Gardening

I planted organic sweet potatoes and yams in these Patio Garden Potato Planters that I blogged about earlier this year and they are doing really well.  We really look forward to harvesting them when they are ready.  I recently got some Korean Purple Sweet Potatoes that I'm preparing to plant as well.  They taste so yummy and I heard that they have a lower glycemic index...always good to watch that sugar intake no matter how healthy you are.

Tomato Gardening

Topsy Turvey Hanging Tomato Planters are a great way to save space and keep some of the creepy crawlers off of your tomatoes.  I made these using 5 gallon buckets left over from some of our horse feed.

My husband John, drilled a hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket for me to insert my seedling tomato into.  I used coffee filters  in the bottom to keep the dirt from coming out the hole and filled the bucket with composted soil and special nutrients like fish emulsion for growing healthy tomatoes and then topped it off with a little mulch and put the lid on it that John had drilled holes in to make it easy to  water them through.

I bought some burlap that I'm going to use to cover these hanging tomato planters with when I get a "Round To It".

Raised Bed Tomato Gardening

Here is another one of our tomato gardens that we made using another kind of a raised bed made with old bleached out telephone poles.  It is a good idea to make sure there is no creosote left in them if you are going to use telephone poles or railroad ties. It is not good to have creosote leaching into your plants.

We double dig the soil first and amend it with organic compost and then place the telephone poles.  Once we have the phone poles in place, we fill the center with all organic composted soil and special amendments that are great for growing the best tomatoes.  We use T bars and concrete wire running down the center of the garden so we can plant tomatoes on each side and tie them up to the concrete wire.  We used to make tomato cages out of the concrete wire but they take up too much space and we get a huge crop of tomatoes doing it this way.

I plant Marigolds among my tomatoes which helps keep some bugs away plus I put crushed egg shells around the bottom of each tomato plant. Most kinds of worms don't like to crawl on egg shells.

We also have carrots and parsnips planted among our tomato plants in this raised bed.

Gardening on  No Climb Fencing

Pumpkins and Runner Beans Growing on No Climb Fencing
We use all sorts of places on our ranch to plant things.  Of course we fence off the chickens, alpacas and horses so they can't eat our precious crops.

Antique Yard Art in the Garden

Antique Yard Art in the Garden Bed
It is always fun for me to add a little "Yard Art" in and around our various gardens.

Here's a few antiques among the black berries and a giant pumpkin plant we planted.  Be sure to visit my blog often for more garden photos and stories.

There is already a giant pumpkin forming on the backside of this fence in a catch pen area of our alpaca pens.  Be sure to check back for photos of this giant pumpkin growing.

I'll be blogging more soon about berries, fruits and other vegetables we've planted that grow well here in the High Desert in Southern California.

Feel free to comment on this post about Gardening in the High Desert.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Law of Attraction and The Bottle Tree

 We are Amazing Electro - Magnetic Beings when it comes to The Law of Attraction

I was getting ready to blog about my High Desert Day Trip to The Bottle Tree Ranch on Old Route 66 in Oro Grande, CA and I received an e-mail from The Bottle Tree.  I thought back to recall whether I had given a business card to Elmer, at the Bottle Tree Ranch the other day. That would be the only way he'd have my e-mail and I hadn't given him one.  But then again, I don't think he spends much time on the internet if even at all.

So who was this Bottle Tree emailing me and why at this particular moment?  I clicked on the e-mail and opened it up.  It was an email from a gal in Israel that I had purchased this wonderful lemon room fragrance from through her shop on Etsy about a year ago.

The Bottle Tree in Kibbutz Ein-Tzurim, Israel
Since I just blogged about The Bottle Tree Ranch in the Mohave Desert in Oro Grande, CA, I think I'll blog about this amazing shop in Israel that I highly recommend.  This photo would be their version of a Bottle Tree which is a whole lot different than Elmer's creations.  I think this is a fun idea to hang a collection of unusually shaped bottles from a tree and so I started making one in one of our Redbud trees on our ranch.  It makes for a great conversation piece.  I also have a collection of bottles hanging on wooden dowels in the corners of my wood lattice grape arbor that my husband, John built for me for one of my Mother's Day gifts this year. It looks very unique.
Lemon Growing in a Bottle
How the heck did they do that? If you ever go visit The Bottle Tree in Israel then you can find out how they do it in Kibbutz Ein-Tzurim at the Bottle Tree. When you visit,you can stay in their guest rooms right on the Kibbutz.  I have been to a couple of other Kibbutzs in Israel when I visited back in 1984 and 1986 but I didn't know about this one then.  They say they have all kinds of fun activities for children and adults and a beautiful refreshing pool.

I've been studying the Law of Attraction a lot lately so I'll take this as another unique way that we manifest things in our lives.  I'm learning to pay more attention to the "little nudges" in life these days.  We have a Meetup that we facilitate called Manifesting Your Dreams that you can read about on the tab at the top of this blog. It is limited to a small group of very committed people that want to create major breakthroughs in their lives and live the life of their dreams. 

Feel free to comment on this post or about something unique that you have manifested with the Law of Attraction

The Bottle Tree Ranch on Historic Old Route 66

Our Day Trip to the Bottle Tree Ranch

The Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande, CA
I heard about this amazing Bottle Tree Ranch on Historic Old Route 66 in Oro Grande, CA quite sometime ago and have wanted to go see it.

Monday, John and I were out and about doing errands and at the spur of the moment decided to see if we could find it.  We looked it up on the internet on our trusty cell phone and discovered it was down the highway from Linda Marie's Enchanted Treasures, another place I wanted to visit!

Off we went and it was even more amazing than I imagined.  I have never seen so many bottles in one place. He has over 500 bottles and is still collecting.

Not only does Elmer Long have zillions of bottles but he also has zillions of antiques and all sorts of things he has re-purposed.

Elmer Long at Bottle Tree

We were so fortunate that Elmer Long was home because he came out and visited with us for a very long time and told us all sorts of interesting history of the things he has collected and made.  What an amazing artist he is.

He invited us into his home and gave us a tour of some creations he has in there.  He showed us his kitchen sink that sits on an old gurney.  He says he only runs hot water to it because he gets enough cold water while he's waiting for the hot water to come through!

He showed us a beautiful lamp that is made out of apiece of drift wood he pulled out of the ground one day while on a hike.

He even has all these amazing things made out of buffalo jaw bones that he picked up on one of his trips out of state, one of which is hanging above this Ludlow sign with a bunch of old keys hanging from it.

Elmer Long in His Younger Years
Among some photos that he has below this large LUDLOW sign are a couple of photos when Elmer was younger and when he first started The Bottle Tree Ranch in 2002.

He says he's getting old now but that doesn't stop him from creating something new just about every day.  He showed us all sorts of things he is in the middle of creating.

He always puts interesting things on top of all of his bottle tree creations like old typewriters, old adding machines, old sewing machines and old milk cans.  One bottle tree is even topped with his old Lionel train set.

He pumps water into a large water storage container and lets it drip constantly to make sure the local birds and rabbits etc. get plenty of water to drink in his Mohave Desert location in Oro Grande, CA.

A Few of Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Creations

Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Creations
Bottle Tree Creations by Elmer Long
A number of movies have been filmed at this Bottle Tree Ranch and Elmer told us that he gets visitors from all over the world.  People find out about the Bottle Tree Ranch on the internet and make special trips to the US just to come see it!  Historic Old Route 66 has a lot of amazing attractions including The Bottle Tree Ranch in the Mohave Desert.  We had a great time and highly recommend going to see it.  If Elmer is there he will come out and spend time with you.  He is a treasure  himself.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Pajama Game Musical Comes to Phelan

The Pajama Game Musical

I remember when The Pajama Game came out as a movie when I was a kid.  Doris Day starred in it and she was one of my all time favorite movie stars back then.

The Pajama Game Playbill
My husband, John loves the theater and I noticed in one of our local tri-community newspapers that The Pajama Game was being performed right here in Phelan in the High Desert.  For an early Father's Day present, I treated him to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Phelan, Mexico Lindo, and then to The Pajama Game performance last night at Serrano High School Performing Arts Center. 

The Snowline Players did a marvelous job in this wonderful musical.  What a diversified cast of characters and very talented.  Some of the cast that shared the stage are even members of the same family.   

The Snowline Players are a non-profit organization dedicated since 1961 to providing quality entertainment, learning experiences, and scholarships in the theater arts to people of all ages in the tri-community. 


A page inside the Playbill
"The musical comedy, the Pajama Game was based on seven and a Half cents, a comic novel about labor relations written by Richard Bissell.  Babe Williams is an employee at the Sleep Tite pajama factory who becomes the spokesperson for her fellow workers when management refuses to give them a 7 1/2 cent raise.  Complicating matters is the fact that Management is represented by the handsome shop superintendent, Sid Sorokin, who happens to be in love with Babe.  A subplot involves Babe's freewheeling co-worker, Gladys, and her insanely jealous boyfriend, a factory-manager and efficiency expert, Hines.  The Pajama game won 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book.

The play takes place in 1954, in and around the sleep Tite pajama factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa." (from a page in the Playbill)

There is still time to enjoy a night out or a matinee of this light hearted play. Performances are on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00PM and on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00PM for the Matinees - this weekend and next weekend. The last performance is on Sunday June 24th at 2:00PM.

It is a great way to celebrate Father's Day and support our local community in the High Desert.  We look forward to going to more performances put on by The Snowline Players.

Did you know?

"Pajamas (or pyjamas) are often shortened to PJs, jim jams, or jammies.  the original pajamas are loose, lightweight trousers fitted with drawstring waistbands and worn in south and West Asia by both sexes.  The word originally derived from the Persian word (Peyjama, meaning "leg garment) was incorporated into the English language during British Raj.  They were introduced in England as lounging attire in the 17th century but soon went out of fashion.  about 1870 they reappeared in the Western world as sleeping attire for men, after British colonials brought them back when returning home." (from another page in The Pajama Game Playbill)