Sunday, August 14, 2011

Over the Fence, or, in My Case, The Wall

I live in Las Vegas and we don't have lot of fences that separate our homes from our neighbors. We have ugly gray cinder-block walls. They help with the wind we have here, last nearly forever, require absolutely no maintenance (except to over-paint the occasional graffiti artists' latest works) and divide us further from our neighbors.

My neighborhood is no exception. Since my subdivision is built on an alluvial fan of rock and sand debris from the nearby hill, my neighbor to the east is 3 feet higher than I am and my neighbor to the west is 4 feet lower than I am. It gets worse. My neighbor to the north, the one directly behind me, is 16 feet higher than I am. This is what gave me the berms where we built my garden beds.
The garden beds when they were first built. The one on the right is 2-feet wide, all three on the back are 3-feet wide.
These walls give us a sense of permanence and a feeling of isolation. I'm not a big fan of them at all. They hold heat in the summer and radiate it back to you at night. Not fun. (Kinda OK in the winter because it gives you more frost protection, creates an warmer micro-climate and assists in year-round growing.)

Recently, I was chatting over the wall to one of my neighbors about gardening and fruit trees and such and happened to causally mention what I've got growing and what my plans were for the fall seasons' gardens. I also happened to mention that I was thinking about raising garlic this fall. We talked about putting in some pomegranate bushes and he said that he was visiting his family in a rural town north of us and he would bring me back some cuttings.

The next day when I got home, my kids said that my neighbor had stopped by and brought some things. I expected to find some cuttings to root but he had brought some pomegranate jelly he made last year and a big bag of locally grown garlic bulbs. Nearly 5 pounds of garlic!
A most fragrant and wonderful gift!
I am so excited. I have been given nearly all of the garlic I will need to plant this fall. And since it has been locally grown, it has adapted to our climate and knows what to expect. Some of these bulbs are softball sized, nearly the size of elephant garlic. I'm not sure of the variety; looks like a porcelain soft-necked variety, but no matter. I'm very excited.

I can't wait for my sweet corn to ripen so I can return the favor.

Our block walls may keep out a lot of things, dust, wind, the neighbor's dogs, but they don't stop kindness and generosity.

Now, isn't that a great by-product of Stealth Farming?


  1. Ohhhhhhh garlic!!!! Isn't it wonderful to have great neighbors? I am SO happy for you!!! I know it's kinda early to ask but what are you going to do with all of the garlic you harvest?

    How was the pomegranate jelly? My mouth is watering reading about it!

  2. That's awesome, Dad! Which neighbor was it?

  3. DivaGardener: Hopefully, I can grow enough for our use here, my kids' use in their homes and still have plenty to give away to my neighbors and friends as well as one of the shelters here in town.

    Rachel: It was from Dale and Judy. He also sent over some limes from his tree. Love those folks!


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