Raised Bed Gardening Blog


Holiday Gifts

How it happened so quick I don't know?! It was JUST Thanksgiving, but yes, its almost Xmas! There is still plenty of time to get something you haven't thought of- like a gift certificate for a Grow Y'own! Even though its the beginning of Winter, you can start now and get a long jump on Spring. Or, if you'd rather wait for warmer temps, then either get setup now and be ready, or give a gift that will keep on giving for years and years. You can put down 1/2 now, and the other 1/2 upon delivery, whenever! Free Food- how can you afford not to? And if not for yourself, then how about donating one to a worthy organization like Many Mothers, one of the shelters, or someone else in need? As Maya Angelou put it:

'When we give cheerfully, and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed'.

May everyone be blessed this Holiday Season with good health, a warm place to sleep, and a hot meal of nutritious food. Happy Holidays everyone!

Hot Peppers

Harvests are in, and peppers have been canned! HOT peppers that is! Its the one thing that I KNOW I'm always going to do in the Fall. With more vitamin C than anything in nature, its a must to put them away and have them through the Winter when we're the most susceptible to colds and flu. Whenever I start to feel sick, I sit down and fire down a few blazing pieces until I get a good sweat going- inside and out! This year it was 9 different kinds of peppers, 2-3 different kinds of carrots, onions, garlic, and oregano, mixed with Sicilian Lemon olive oil and Tahitian Lime vinegar. It made a great looking Xmas mix, and jars will go to those who can withstand the heat. I called it Fuego Mercado, or Market Fire. Bottoms up!


  1. Promotes a healthy nervous system. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which can help calm and nourish nerve fibers.
  2. Supports bone health. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin K and calcium - both of which help keep bones strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  3. Can improve energy, through its high levels of vitamin C.

The nutrients in broccoli may also help protect against cancer, heart disease, cataracts and birth defects, while promoting a strong immune system and supporting optimal gastrointestinal function. One of the healthiest ways to prepare broccoli is to lightly steam it, which can help to retain the nutritional components better than other methods, such as boiling.

This message brought to you by Dr. Andrew Weil!! We start our broccoli inside our Grow Y'own beds in March. By end of April, beginning of May, you can transplant them outside and get a 2 month jump on the season. Same with cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage. Why not be eating these vegies when others are just getting buds?!?!?

Swiss Chard 2

Swiss Chard! So prolific, and so good for you! This is another blog on chard after an earlier one I wrote. Just want you to keep in mind that it will be one of your biggest staples in your GYO beds. If you juice, then kale and chard are the things that will keep you in greens, year-round! Its SO easy to grow, and will more than likely have you trying to figure out what to do with it all. Friends, family, and your local food banks and shelters will be able to use plenty of your extra stash. Its loaded with vitamins and other minerals, and is a great choice to lower cancer risk. You can substitute it for spinach or collard greens, and the lighter the chard, the more tender, although all the varietals are delicious. Simple, simple to prepare. A little lemon, olive oil, and garlic will turn this wonderful green into something even more delicious. Plant it now for an abundant growing season!


3 best reasons to eat tomatoes!
1) Low in calories
2) Excellent source of Vitamin C, and provides vitamins A & K, as well as potassium, manganese, and fiber
3) Source of lycopene, which is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their color. Researchers have linked lycopene with a lowered risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as lowering high cholesterol.
To get the full benefits of tomatoes, including their anti-cancer potential, carotenoids are better absorbed when lightly cooked and paired with olive oil. 
I guess the fourth best reason is that they're FREE when you grow them yourselves in your own garden or Grow Y'own bed, and the most life force you get out of them is when you pick them and eat them within the first 30 minutes!

Springtime in New Mexico!

Springtime is around the corner! Even though those March winds are about to start blowin' on a daily basis, they just can't keep those warm days from comin' on! Its time to start clearing out your Grow Y'own beds of all the old or withered plants, trim back the ones that are growing of any dead leaves or long and straggly runners, boost the soil with a little Yum Yum mix, Earth Magic, Protein crumblies, Age Old Growth, worm castings, or compost, and get ready to start your early peas, (St. Patty's Day), and new lettuces, chards, kales, sorrel, herbs, radishes, and leeks. You can get a 2-1/2 month jump on the season with Grow Y'own covered beds, and be eating baby greens salads in March instead of May! Today, with the chill winds blowin outside and temps in the 30's, we just had to throw a French cassoulet together in the slow cooker, pull out a frozen tupperware container of last Fall's Asian pear harvest, and start rolling out the pastry crust for a pear and walnut galette, for dinner tonight with a couple of close friends. So nice to have a larder of fruits and vegetables that we put away in the Fall from our own property, and can enjoy them now in these late Winter times!


Garlic! An impressive seasoning as well as a delicious vegetable. And, it has amazing health benefits! It reduces cholesterol, its an antibiotic and an antioxidant, and by increasing circulation it is reputed to be an aphrodisiac! We make a simple pasta with olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper called Pasta Aglio e Olio (eye-o-oo-lee-o). Very quick to prep, and OH so healthy! 



Mushrooms in the Forest

Many years ago, I would make an annual pilgrimage to Breitenbush Hot Springs, south of Portland, Oregon, for the annual Mycology Conference. For 4 wonderful days in the woods, about 150-200 of us would gather, listen to lectures, watch slide shows, and...eat!! Paul Stamets and Dr. Andrew Weil were there every year, as well as other select teachers. On the last night, armed with pointed bamboo chopsticks, we would take turns spearing shiitakes, matsutakes, and many other delicious species off the grills, and feast! The memories have stayed with me all these years, although some of the mycological details have slipped through the cerebral cracks. However, I have retained enough to enjoy foraging for chanterelles and porcinis here in the mountains of New Mexico. One of my favorite recipes that remains is Fettucine in a Porcini Mushroom Cream Sauce....

Put 1/2 cup dried porcinis in a bowl, and cover with 1 cup hot water. (For the addicted mycrophiles, you can put more, as long as its in a 2 to 1 ration with the water.) Let soak for about 15 minutes, and then drain, reserving the liquid for later. Roughly chop the mushrooms, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a bowl, and cook the fettuccine until al dente- about 7-8 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil, and 2 tbsps of butter in a skillet. Add 1/4c minced shallots, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 2 tsps minced garlic (we put more!), and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chopped mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom liquid, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated- about 2 minutes. Add 1-1/2c heavy cream, 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, and simmer 4-5 minutes, till the cream is thick and reduced. Add 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley, and stir all.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce, tossing well to coat. Add 2 tbsps grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, toss, and remove from heat.

Divide the pasta between 2 bowls, garnish each with 2 tbsps PG cheese, and serve.


Early Spring Planting

Spring is almost springing! Get started in March for a 2-3 month jump on the season. Even though those Winter storms keep rolling in, intermittently, you can start planting loads of veggies and herbs that will not only make it, but be going great guns when other folks are just starting to get in the ground. For those people who's beds have been growing all Winter, the beginning of March is when everything in them will start to take off. You can even put in your squash, eggplant, cukes, melons, and other vining plants, if you've got a heat setup, and then transplant them to the outside after May 15th. Its never too early or too late with a Grow Y'own double cover system. And, you can start watching your food bills go down!

School Gardening Programs

Its only the beginning of February, but elementary schools in Santa Fe are lining up and starting their own sustainable gardening programs. Four more, plus the dozen or so other schools, will be growing and learning about sustainability, horticulture, math, science, and more. I am trying to complete a Kickstarter project, which will be a documentary film, and a step-by step primer on how to do such projects at institutions around the country. I have 10 days left to meet my goal. So please go to:


pledge your support, and then watch students lead the way in this educational agricultural revolution!

And, network this to all you know who would like to see this happen, nationwide!

Thank you!