Bandelier National Monument is a fantastically beautiful place (especially on a weekday in spring when there are not a trillion people mulling about) and has been “calling” me back for the past couple of years. We finally made the short drive yesterday (the beauty of following the public schools calendar it that, when they are closed, I get to take a day off!!!) and walked around for an hour or two, snapping photos, enjoying the sun and reflecting on the not-so-distant past.
Any time I think about native farming I think about the Three Sisters
and irrigation. We have a short growing period here in northern New Mexico and are prone to drought. Natives came up with several ways to address these problems and have left me wondering (yet again) about our current (collective) pre-occupation with instant gratification and an insatiable appetite for water. It’s very easy to just turn on the hose and water water water until everything is drenched (or take a 30 minute shower, wash your car, spray down your driveway, or leave the sprinkler on the lawn all night long just because you forgot to turn it off).
Now, do I live next to a stream from which I can divert any run-off from the snow melt? No. However, I can (and will) purchase one more water catchment container (the 50 gallon guys work well in our yard). The water catchment is contingent, however, on water falling from the sky so you can actually catch it! Given this, I will continue to pray for rain. I can also combine my plantings so they will protect each other and then I can mulch mulch mulch!
The Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash) are fun to watch grow, however, I have found myself wondering if the time and water that are required for beans are worth the output (last year we only harvested about 2 burritos worth (3 cups +/- of dried beans)? Especially since yummy, local, organic, dried beans can be purchased at a great price at the Farmer’s Market, the local Co-op or through our CSA!
This year I am excited to plant 3 types of corn (Sweet being the old stand-by which makes for a heavenly calabacitas when added to squash and garlic from the garden and some freshly roasted Hatch green chile in late summer…recipe to come soon) and some squash (as well as zucchini), however, I think I’ll nix the beans and stick to peas instead 🙂