Update on November 5, 2017 Fall work party and Sunday Serve with Sunrise Christian Church 11am-2pm

We had a nice turn-out of family volunteers from the Sunrise Christian Church, gardeners and other volunteers who have provided technical assistance over the summer. The fall work party helped to continue to move on important tasks necessary to work towards a working future garden design, by making preparations for a larger growing area (led by Brenda, Paula & a resident) & associated soil working, and to make improvements to others aspects, such as, building up a chicken coop run (led by Bev M), building raised bed containers (led by Molly), building workable compost bins (led by Tiffany) and ensuring equipment/garden materials are maintenanced and stored for the next growing season (Jose & Jessica helped disconnect and stage the gated pipes off to the side).

Afterwards, everyone joined in to have light refreshments of fresh fruit, cheese and crackers along with some warm delicious homemade apple cider prepared by Jake and Molly.

A follow-up work party is planned for Wednesday-November 15th, 8:30am-11:30am, when we have a group of Navajo Prep students over to the New Beginnings Program to help with fall clean-up of the campus grounds and garden as part of Unity Day efforts.

Bev M.


November 1, 2017 @5:30pm – Weekly Community Garden meeting at HoJ

There is alot to discuss with a number of tasks happening simultaneouly, but we hope to make this meeting short-n-sweet!

Main discussion topic:

  • November 5th, 11am-2pm, Sunday Serve with Sunrise Christian Church volunteers & Farm Farmington
    – Three main tasks we will be working on: Chicken coop run, dismantling existing garden enclosure and building of a few raised beds

– Need help with some tools we will need on Sunday, please volunteer them if you                 have any, they are: wire cutters, pliers, power drills (cordless ideal), chop saw,                     extension cords, circular saw, measuring tape, hammers, staple guns.

Other updates:

  • Two Navajo Prep IB-CAS students desire to build cold-frames & see what cool-cold hardy vegetables could be grown over the winter & will be helping with other garden-oriented endeavors
  • San Juan College’s School of Trades & Technology’s Building Trades’ program has graciously extended help to build a winterized chicken coop. Work-in-progress pictures below. Thanks to Molly for helping coordinate this.
  • Program tractor repair strategizing discussion on-going keeping affordability as driving factor toward replacing back tire and battery. Jerry will donate an old battery for exchanging core to reduce cost toward a new one.

NBCG weekly meeting @ 5:30pm in HoJ – October 18, 2017

Greetings! Today is the day for our weekly garden meeting and will be talking about the following:

Discussion items:

  • Serve Sunday-Fall work party, November 5th, 12-2pm with Sunrise Christian Church. Priority projects will be
    • chicken coop/run setup
    • dismantling of garden enclosure/gopher-prairie dog fencing
    • building raised bed containers/retainers
    • take inventory of tool, materials, etc. needed for work party
    • invite additional group(s) for periphereal projects, 11-2pm
    • need at least two volunteers to work with Molly to help coordinate
  • Continue working on garden design layout

Hope you all have a nice fall warm day & hope you can make it to the meeting this evening

Fall pears still thriving-10/1717.


Bev M.

106th Annual Shiprock Fair Horticulture Exhibit entries

Ya’aht’eeh (greetings)!

On October 2nd, Molly, Bev M. and a program resident collected an assortment of presentable produce from the garden to enter into the Shiprock Fair horticulture exhibit-a highlight of the farming communities’ fair, for the northern Navajo reservation, for over a century.

As it turned out, it took up most of the day to collect, prepare, load-up and head-out to Shiprock in a minivan. We optimistically managed to fit the 7+ feet grain sorghum, which we dug up from row 9–soil & all, into the minivan. The rest was relatively east to load.

We entered four varieties of cherry tomatoes, at least five varieties of peppers, cucmbers, a striped zucchini Molly found hidden in Bev T’s row, cabbage, sunflowers, a floral arrangement of all the flowers still in bloom, tomatillos and pears.

We had jalapeno peppers place 3rd; the grain sorghum, floral arrangement & banana peppers placing 2nd and the cabbage, small stripped tomatoes and sunflowers placing 1st. All three placing 1st also received the Best of Show.

For all the placements and Best of Shows, there were premiums which totaled overall to $220.00.

Just want to extend an appreciation to all who have contributed to this growing season and for the community garden to be able to produce quality fruits and vegetables.

Nizhoni doo Ah’eeh’ee,

Ha’goon’ee…..Bev M.

Garden Meeting – Wed., September 27 at House of Joy @5:30pm

Ya’aht’eeh!   Some items of discussion:

  • Future garden design schematics & work plan (placing of compost area
  • Potential garden help from Navajo Prep IB/CAS program
  • Garden cover crop
  • Winterization & addition of Chicken Coop
  • Potential to schedule a work day with a volunteer church group (build raised beds, compost piles, build/improve compost bins, etc. & other suggested work)
  • Shiprock Fair Horticulture Exhibit
Ha’gon’ee,   Bev M.

Garden Update – 9/27/17

Tomato leaves frosted, but fruit ok. 9/25/17


Kneel-Down Bread Workshop: There was a good turn out for this workshop which was a success. We baked for about~45 mins. & removed the bread just after nightfall. Everyone who helped, residents & children, Toni & Bev M., Dorcas & Paul, special guest Evan Hoki & several of the gardners (to include Josey who stopped by to help briefly) shared in the baked goods. We are thankful for everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to help & learn how to make ground-baked kneel-down bread. As it turned out, we had enough fresh white Indian corn to make between 40-50 pieces of assorted flavored bread that included add-in ingredients to the corn mush of diced jalapenos, Sandia & cayenne peppers; slightly browned ground beef; extra sharp or mild cheddar cheese & ground beef with chili.

Dorcas monitored the fire to keep the oven heated safely & we had just enough wood with several pieces left over that Bev T. brought earlier & staged by size. Jerry added some dried cottonwood he found in & around the program campus.

As it turned out, the metal plate was purchased via the Farm Farmington urban gardening grant—Thank You!, Molly. The fresh corn was covered by the NB program. Bev T. donated 2-lbs. grass-fed ground beef, peppers came out of garden, cheese & juice  provided by Molly. Corn grinders were provided by Toni, Aunt Mary, NM program & Micheala’s mom.

We are thankful to Micheala, Tiffany, Desiree and Wilson for helping clean-up.

Outstanding effort by all!

P/S: Garden plants held up to early frost despite some frosted leaves & few zapped curcubit plants. Several of the plants were covered the two nights of predicted low 30’s temps. & uncovered the following days.

Bev M.

FYI: Insect/Ant talk at San Juan College, Thurs.-Sept. 21st @4pm

What: Informative presentation of Insects 101,

Formicoxenus hirticornis
What is an insect?

also what museums have to offer for education & research (Museum of Comparative Zoology-Harvard University); and a bit on the Ants of the Navajo Reservation.

Location: The session will be held in the Henderson Fine Arts Building, RM 9012.   The best parking lot to park is Lot B, located in front of the Henderson Fine Arts building (name is on front) on the College Boulevard entrance side.  The room is located down the hallway from the Performance Center Auditorium.

Time: 4-5pm with some time for questions & answers.

Light refreshments will be provided, courtesy of Farm Farmington (Molly).


Update: Kneel-Down Bread Workshop, Weds.-Sept. 20th (4pm preparations begin)

I’ve been calling around to price metal plates ( need 4’x5’x1/8”) to cover the ground kneel-down oven this morning and it looks like Custom Machines at 1601 W. Murray Dr. #B is quoting the least. The 4’x5’x1/8” plate is a 10 gauge metal at $99.55, but they also have a 12 ga. and 14 ga. thinner metal plate for the same pricing of $80.51 (incl. tax).

I haven’t received any feedback from the garden group on this metal plate cover — if anyone has one of this size or about this size that we can borrow for this workshop that would be . It must be metal and not galvanized due to its toxicity when heated. Jerry, our maintenance person, will be checking if he has one, but I want to extend this out to the group to ensure we have it on site today or tomorrow-9/19.

The program has one hand grinder which I set up on the table in HOJ, so that is ready to go. Toni, here at the program, has another grinder, but she said it is a small one, but she will still bring it. My paternal aunt has one and I will be borrowing it from her. So we should be set for the corn grinders.

Bev Todd brought some dried fruit wood and Russian olive pre-cut wood and will be bringing a bit more. We staged it near the ground oven in the garden. Jerry will check over the program grounds for some dried cottonwood and cut them to size. Hopefully, this will be enough firewood to heat oven and cook with. Bev T. also will check to see if she can help with a tarp to lay on floor as it can get messy with the corn silk, husks, cobs and when shaving kernels off the cobb. Bev also donated 2-lbs grass-fed ground beef as an add-in to corn mush option.

Molly will be helping again to get a burn permit for Wednesday so this is set.

Brandon will be checking at the research station for some fresh Indian corn. And Bev M. will be shopping around Shiprock for some fresh ones as well to ensure we have enough.

We can use some of the peppers growing in the garden as an add-in ingredient option.

Grated cheese is another option, if someone wants to bring some.

Again, we will be getting a head start about 4pm in the HoJ and about this time we should also get the ground oven heating up. If someone can help watch and stay with the fire that would be good. I have to also ensure we have a hose extending out to the fire as a fire safety requirement by the fire dept.

Ha’goon’ee, Bev M.


Garden Meeting Notes from Wed.-Sept. 13th at the gazebo…

  • The group discussed what an inspiration Josey has been to keep us going since Spring and into late Summer/early Fall — we are forever indebted to her enthusiatic visionary leadership & her passion on collectiveness/community. A’hee’hee! Josey Foo- many blessings as you go forth toward Hozho’..
  • Tiffany is looking into obtaining vegetable scraps from a cafeteria for our composting efforts.
  • Encourage continued efforts to generate garden designing schematics and sharing your ideas for our future community garden look…this includes the kiddos ideas.
  • A bit of information from Molly on her talk with Jose on the placement of the new water tank; tank supplies for foundation & needed work by Brandon–possibly getting some inexpensive blocks per JFoo; talk on what water to use to put in new tank–well or canal; discussion of well water coding & potential expenses related to it dependent on usage type…updates to come; discussion of well flow/recharge rates, and End-of-season maintenance work: flushing gated pipes of sediment using a trash pump before canal is shut-off (Molly will check with canal operators on when); disconnect metal bonnet on alfalfa valve for storage & other necessary tasks.
  • Start working on a source/or designing thank-you signs for past & future donors to the garden, e.g., Four Corners Electric, Basin Pump…etc.
  • Concern on long-term access to east parking lot (Squeak’s). Perhaps have JFoo ensure it will be accessible in the future as it figures into our future garden design.
  • Ideas & thoughts on painting new tank with some cool designs.
  • Continued discussion on possibly applying to NRCS’s EQUIP program to build-up hoop house & other options on obtaining building materials. Jose will bring forth new info. to group as we progress.
  • Get in touch with Navajo Prep’s IB coordinator if there are any interested students in doing a senior project related to the garden…perhaps work on hoop house, etc.
  • Discussion on where/how to get fresh Indian white corn for Kneel-Down Bread workshop for Wed.-Sept. 20th and other necessary supplies/equipment.