Author Archives: Stephanie Smith

About Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith trained as an architect and is also a developer, entrepreneur, and orchardist. She designs greenhouses, outhouses, yurts, tipis, tent cities, campsites and homesteading products under the mantra "Lighten Up!" Her 'Cul-de-sac Commune' project is a new model for resource sharing in the city, the suburbs and beyond. Read her full bio

ENRICHING THE HABITAT

The folks at Native Seeds/SEARCH are the real deal. Amazing selection of desert adapted seeds of all kinds, including rare kitchen garden edibles cultivated by Native Americans in the southwest. A nonprofit with a mission of crop diversity and regional … Continue reading

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DATE PALMS FROM MIGUEL

Our neighbor Miguel just gave us 3 female Date Palms, volunteers from his mother tree that have already started producing fruit. What a special gift as only 1 in 10 Palms are fruit-bearing females. Date growing is very science-y and … Continue reading

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FRUIT TREES IN THE HI-DESERT

Here’s a bit of info on the fruit trees that are doing well for us. We buy online from Bay Laurel Nursery: baylaurelnursery.com They are fantastic. We order in fall and they ship bare root trees in February. I usually … Continue reading

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FIRST FRUIT

FIRST FRUIT. The ‘food oasis’ is officially live. A super-sweet Pakistani King Mulberry. Note: Not just live for the first time this year but for the first time E V E R #desertfood #foodforest #foodoasis #droughttolerantfarm #mulberry #springfruit #joshuatree

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TEMPORARY GREENHOUSE ZONE

I rigged up a temporary greenhouse sitch while I await construction of the real thing. It actually works pretty well and fun (drought tolerant, edible/useful) things are already popping up — Chaste Tree, Hopi Tobacco, Red Fairy Duster, Mojave Aster … Continue reading

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WORKING FOR THE FUTURE

Shoot. 60-mile wind blew down my yurt greenhouse. Yeah it was meant to be temporary but still, bad timing as we’re below zero most nights. Got all my little babies inside the house til Feb. I say: 2016 be gone! … Continue reading

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Good morning Western Banded Gecko

Spotted the other morning outside our house in the potato patch… More info: http://www.desertusa.com/reptiles/western-banded-gecko.html

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SEED GATHERING IN THE WASH

May Day! What a beautiful morning wandering through nearby washes gathering seeds. I’ve never seen this much abundance. While gathering native seeds for propagation or other uses, I’ve been working on a new approach I’m learning from folks in the … Continue reading

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AT THE WATER AWARENESS GARDEN IN LUCERNE VALLEY

When I die bury me under a ‘Royal Purple’ Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria). As seen at the Water Awareness Garden (created by the Desert Crossroads Garden Club). One of the many secret pleasures you’ll find in the very small farming … Continue reading

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PRO TIP: VEGETABLE GARDEN SEEDS FOR THE ARID SOUTHWEST

We’ve decided to order all of our kitchen garden seeds from Native Seed Search (nativeseeds.org). They only do crops for arid lands, southwest growing, many are heirloom and/or native American. We’re ordering warm and cool season collections, $30, with 12 … Continue reading

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