The Mondragon Field progresses


Today we check the status of our garden in the Mondragon Field, or our plot behind Chrysalis Alternative School.  As with any field that is in its first year of cultivation, we had to figure out our soil quality, irrigation methods and orientation, shade effects, and other factors that might influence our production.  I always consider the first year on a particular piece of land as a learning experience rather than a means of maximizing production.  If we are going to work a piece of land for agriculture, then the intention is to develop a relationship over time with that particular piece of land and chart our growth based on the learning and relationship created than by the actual yields.  Part of the relationship is identifying seed stock that works best with the land and saving that seed for use in the coming seasons.  In this way, we grow together and create a system that has positive feedback loops as the years progress…

We can tell which plants are getting plenty of water and which ones are struggling.  Nevertheless we are going to bring in some nice calabasas (squash), potatoes, onions, dry peas, dry fava beans, maiz concho, and some dry beans.  The garlic and green peas were already harvested.   Advancements we can make next year is to orient our rows on the contour, improve our irrigation by hopefully connecting this field to the Acequia Madre, and being more aware of the shade effects of surrounding trees as we plan which crops go where…

About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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