Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Me, bikes, and the little Nikon Coolpix
So, this canyon, Black Diamond in the past but now called Wilson St., is where I live in Gallup and my garden is the local-est food I eat. It's still relatively small, an eighth of an acre, but it provides me with the conveniences of always having fresh or recently preserved cooking staples- herbs, onions, garlic, greens, squash, peppers- on hand, and more importantly, the health and timeless satisfaction I've felt with growing food on any scale. Though, with the harsh growing conditions and my lack of a barnyard of livestock and years of experience, I, like everyone, still need to buy food. This is my way of sharing my attempts to grow, buy, cook, and preserve seasonal local food- with an eye towards increasingly sustainable food choices when I can.
Local goat cheese and grass-fed beef
The foothills of the Zuni Mountains have sustained the Zuni, Acoma, and Navajo people for many, many centuries, and with a little planning and seasonal recipe-planning, locally sourced food can be a reality for the modern day residents of Gallup, Zuni, and Ramah. The open range of sage and blue-gramma still supports year-round goat-daires, grass-fed beef ranches, sheep herds, and plenty of back-yard poultry. Amongst all this protein are scattered garden-plots that produce a surprisingly diverse harvest that ranges from the first spring greens, asparagus, and garlic, to the squash blossoms, fresh herbs, and fruits of summer, that last well into the fall. I'll try to support these local growers with my purchases and by highlighting various seasonal recipes I make using majority local ingredients.
My first baby potatoes of the season
My current vegetable garden started in 2006 as a 3' x 6' patch of existing well amended rich soil amongst the scattered fruit and native trees of my recently purchased dream-house - the little 'cottage' at 322 Wilson St. Gallup's north-side. I've let the number of flower patches die back since I've bought the place, but in addition to the original 18 sq. foot plot, and a beautifully mature patch of asparagus I 'discovered' the first spring, my vegetable garden has grown to more than 600' of growing rows in a variety of designs. From my 1200 sq. foot roof, I can collect 1500 gallons of water in an above-ground plastic tank, and 400 gallons in my stock-tank/hot-tub cistern, yet unfortunately, my usage of the municipal ground-water, 'fossil-water', has grown each season. I'll post individual descriptions of each of my crops as I harvest and cook with each this summer and fall.
Again, welcome to Black Diamond Kitchen and please come back soon.