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 this farming community fair 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.

P/S: Pictures forthcoming….

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.

Well Pump Water Tank Arrived Aug 31

The water tank for the well pump, gifted to us by NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Farmington, arrived on Thursday, August 31. It’s a $2,900 water tank that the Agri Center managed to get for around $1,000. Brandon Francis from the Agri Center has been a core member and driver of our garden this year and this gift is a lot due to him. There’s Brandon below by the tank and leveling the ground (with Molly Jackson-Nielsen of Farm Farmington! San Juan Water Conservation District and Josey from the program out of view) before the tank is placed, for now, on the ground.



Scarecrows, Fencing, Compost Aug 30


Tomorrow’s garden meeting (Wed., August 30) is pretty special. We will be meeting at the Gazebo in the garden at 5:30 p.m. and working on the following:

  1. Putting a scarecrow in place.
  2. Putting pipes, survey tape, fishing line and flags on the perimeter.
  3. Feeding our compost.



Farm Farmington! Wed., Sept 6 — Everyone will be going to the Civic Center for the kick-off of Farm Farmington! (Molly’s San Juan Water Conservation District grant) at 6 pm, so there will be no garden meeting on that date.

Kneel-down Bread Workshop, Wed., Sept 13 – Beverly M will conduct a traditional Kneeldown Bread-Making Workshop over a traditional fire pit on Wed., Sept. 13. This is in place of a garden meeting. The workshop will require digging a 3 x 4 x 1 fire pit in the community garden the Monday before, pre-lighting the fire that day to cure the pit, then lighting it again and placing rebars, wood, cover come workshop time for baking. All gardeners and everyone on this list welcome. (UPDATE: This has been cleared with the City Fire Dept., we will need to pull a permit but the workshop is good to go).


Attendees:   Michaela, D.T., Sheri, Tiffany, Molly, Josey, Bev M and T, Don, and kids.

  1. Garden visualization. Bev T made blank garden pans for everyone to visualize at home. Molly loved it as she needs to conceptualize at home.
  2. Deer – Back in the days when the garden was the Mission Farm, people were more actively present in working the farm and probably had shot guns. We need other methods for warding off the deer, including sprays, fences, maybe simple fishing lines with flags will be effective for now and also cost-efficient. What do deer eat? Maybe we should plant those far from the production garden. Dogs again brought up. Residents suggested a scarecrow. After discussion, gardeners plan the following activities for next meeting:
    1. Molly to bring fishing line, PVC at corners for support, Molly or Bev T to bring survey tape and set it up next meeting date (August 30)
    2. Michaela and residents to build and install 2-3 scarecrows using program mannequins and donations !
  3. Compost Bins – Don, Molly, Tiffany and Sheri to work on compost bins next meeting, Sheri to bring coffee grounds and tea bags. Beverly M to bring pitchforks. Don to bring hoses to siphon water.
  4. Water Tank for Well Pump – Brandon, Molly and Jose will be finalizing purchase of the water tank this coming week. Brandon needs to spend $1,000 on this through NMSU Agri Research Center by end of August. (UPDATE: parts located, logistics of purchase and delivery being finalized).
  5. Kneeldown bread workshop – discussion.
  6. Oils and Soaps – Heather McCollaum of Unique Le Natural, who also gave us our composted manure earlier this season, has offered to teach our residents the making of oils and soaps and also how to skin a turkey when her new home comes beginning of September. Lots of enthusiasm but the issue is transport.

See you soon,