June Permie Meeting Notes

Pancake Planning Meeting #3

June 30, 2015

Sarah, Joseph, Peter, Tiffany, Lou, Michael, and Friend


  1. Permaculture Learning Garden

– Sarah reported that much of what is going to seed is seeding out real tiny and immature. May be due to water being off for a time and the hot summer. She sees this in other gardens throughout the valley.

– Hibiscus has replanted in herb spiral!

– Sarah will give irrigation parts receipts to Tiffany for reimbursement


Upcoming Workshops:

– Cob workshop to repair benches, mid-September. Talk to Ana about how to seal. Promote event to CCSD teachers that have shown interest. Request a modest $5 donation.

– Shade structures. Replace palm fronds on current shade structure and possibly put up more in October (see pinterest page for some ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/gbpermaculture/permaculture-learning-garden/)

– Murals —- Jessica is contact with the muralist again, this time talking about painting the principles on banners instead so they can be transported and stored. Will send principles to her again, waiting to her back on what kind of budget she’s looking for.


  1. Summer Events

– July 6 and July 18 Bug Hotel Workshops at Henderson Libraries with Ana and Tiffany

– July 11 date set for GBP group to harvest mesquite pods at Springs Preserve and inspect hammermill

– July 28 Seed Saving Workshop at GVL with Tiffany

– August 25 Pancake Planning Meeting at GVL with Tiffany

*Need to set date for mequite pod milling

** Joseph recommended a more informal approach to harvesting mesquite pods throughout the month of July so that we can obtain a yield in preparation for the milling date. Either organize it as a weekly Saturday thing or demonstrate one time and encourage people to do it on their own and then share the harvest with us on mill day.


  1. Harvest for MPB15

– mesquite pods at Springs Preserve on July 11

– prickly pears at PLG/Ahern on Bonanza late Sep-Oct

– pomegranates at Master Gardener Orchard late Sep-Oct (Joseph will ask about this)

– jujubes at Master Gardener Orchard in September (Joseph will ask about this)

– apples/pears at Master Gardener Orchard (Joseph has received permission for this, will communicate when)

– dates from China Date Ranch, last year’s harvest (Tiffany will contact Brian)

– pine nuts from Mt Charleston in September (someone will need to organize and promote)

– additional fruit (Ana and Tiffany)

– coffee (Ana said she’d talk to Owen)

– almonds (good thing to get from Trader Joes)


  1. Prep

– Peter will talk to Donald (vegan)

– Omni pancakes will be taken care of by Jon

– Slidin’ Thru, Peter will talk to them to schedule a drop off of trailer a full day prior so we can clean it out and have a pancakes and beer party for GBP the night before

– tables/chairs (Peter will arrange with Angela)

– Shade structures ( Marissa is talking to Whole Foods, will need to inventory collective shade structures and make sure we have enough to cover all seating areas this year)

– band (Big Like Texas is in, will need to talk to Fiddlers Group at library also)


PLG Summer Hours

Due to our seasonal summer heat, the Permaculture Learning Garden hours will be posted as an event on this website or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/greatbasinpermaculture). Typically, the hours will be Saturdays 8 am – 11 am, though not every Saturday, so be sure to check the event listings or contact us directly. You are welcome to visit any time you’d like!



May Permie Meeting Notes

Here is the prezi for the evening: https://prezi.com/afnddkk6w3ls/may-permie-meeting/

Summer Events

STEM Summer Reading Program with HDPL:

  • June 6 10:30-11:30 am GVL, Jessica
  • July 11 10-11 am Paseo Verde, Ana
  • July 18 10-11 am Gibson, Tiffany
  • July 25 10:30-11:30 am GVL

Permaculture Learning Garden Work Days:

  • Every Saturday 8 am – 11 am
  • Sign up on Doodle Poll if you can be a PIC

Monthly Meetings at Green Valley Library:

  • June 30 (MPB Planning), 6-7:30 p.m.
  • July 28 (Seed Saving Part 2 – Tiffany), 6 -7:30 p.m.
  • August 25 (MPB Planning), 6-7:30 p.m.


Permaculture Learning Garden Summer/Fall Design

New summer hours are in effect, 8 am – 11 am. If you sign up at PLG PIC, you need to post the event on Facebook. Please add a blog post on this website with your log. Thank you!

Planning for summer heat, summer harvest, and a showcase worthy garden for MPB15
* Plants (perennials/annuals)

  • pumpkins
  • corn (check with Olivia/Roz about planting corn so there is no cross-pollination issues)
  • gourds
  • hibiscus
  • calendula
  • replace dead fig tree (in fall)

* Infrastructure (maintenance/new additions)

  • replace palm fronds on shade structure
  • repair cob benches (invite Ward ES garden teacher Fran to event)
  • more shade

* Soil (compost/mulch)

  • need more food waste (FNB)
  • need to screen mulch and spread fresh screened mulch throughout garden

* Irrigation

  • increase frequency in all zones during summer
  • replace batteries (please note in the log!)


Seed Library

154 people have interacted with the Seed Vending Machine since setting it up 6 weeks ago! 

Replaced 4 speciality seeds with an assortment of seed. The specialty seeds (ones that were harvested from the PLG and we would like to see saved and returned at seed swaps) will be saved for workshops where we show attendees how to plant, maintain, and harvest seed.

Now that we have an assortment of seeds, we need to update the poster. For now, the vending machine will have a flyer pocket on it with information about seed workshops. Will need to put our brand on the machine somehow. Jessica will look into getting a sticker made for the globe.

A fun way to involve the library patrons would be to include an “easter egg” style hunt, where if you are the lucky recipient of a special kind of seed (for example, borage) then you can get something special from the reference desk. Will need to think about this some more.

Also, had a fun idea about finding our new mascot, the Cuddly Cactus, in the shelves.

Since this has been a success, would like to duplicate this in other locations (other library branches, schools, farmer’s markets, etc.)

Talked with Jennifer Brusven about merging our Seed Library efforts. She will continue on as the organizer and GBP will function as an educational and seed source for the Seed Library of Southern Nevada.

Mesquite Pancake Breakfast

Why host a MPB15?

  • brings community together (farmers, neighbors, etc.)
  • people know us for it, good branding
  • a unique local cuisine/foodie experience for LV
  • educational opportunities for harvesting, milling, and sharing new food sources
  • broad scope of participants/effective outreach

Ways to improve MPB15:

  • Food needs to be out quicker (better prepared with proper materials, ingredients, prep time, etc)
  • Long range planning needs to be thought out and really done!
  • Better promotion so we can plan more efficiently
  • In short…we need a chef, or chefs, to help us plan out this large event
  • Test run 2 nights before to feed the crew (does the recipe work? is the timing correct? etc)
  • Apply for proper event permitting
  • Live band plugged in with a longer set covering start to finish
  • quieter generator (Hondas at Rockin Rio)

Rough outline penned out at May Permie Meeting:

June 7

  • contact potential sponsors (chefs, ingredients, materials, farmers)
  • plan mesquite bean harvest and milling
  • plan educational workshops to go with harvesting and milling
  • promote workshops

July 7

  • harvest and mill mesquite beans/host workshops

August 7

  • sponsors lined up
  • begin promoting event

September 7

  • promote

October 7 

  • promote

November 7 

  • 5th Annual Mesquite Pancake Breakfast at Permaculture Learning Garden

PLG Log 5/2/15 (evening)

What we did tonight:

  • Reset irrigation clock for hot weather.  Program A starts at 1:15 a.m. all days but Sunday.  Program B starts at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  Are watering days, number of watering days, and length of watering times okay?
  • Sunken bed was dry (see note re: irrigation adjustment above.)  Ran drip system in sunken bed on manual setting for 40 minutes.
  • Sowed seeds of ‘Crimson Sweet’ watermelon (GF/HM) under west jujube.  Sowed ‘Delicious 51’ cantaloupe (GF/HM) under east jujube.  Sowed seeds of ‘Black Beauty’ zucchini (Martha Stewart Organic, retail) under almond tree.  Sowed yellow crookneck squash (S.O.C., retail) under pistachio tree.  Sowed white icicle radish seeds (GF/HM) with all of these seeds to see if the radish plants would have any effect on squash bugs later in the season.  (Radish plants are said to deter squash bugs.)
  • Earlier in the week, put floating row cover over chichiquelites (NSS), hoping it would keep critters away so seedlings could grow back from stubs.
  • Added many bags of garden waste to compost


What we observed:

  • One Jericho Romaine (GF) seedling is coming back.  No longer any sign of life in Chichiquelite (NSS) planting area.  It looks like the floating row cover did not help.  Seedlings may have dried up in the heat.  Irrigation clock should have been reset before this week’s heat arrived instead of after.
  • Bisbee Black cowpeas (PLG saved) and Purple Yeome string beans (NSS) are performing well.
  • Artichokes (particularly the one on the southeast rim over the sunken bed) continue to host aphids and ever-growing swarms of flies.


What to do next time:

  • Continue spreading screened compost.
  • Thin/transplant Bisbee Black cowpeas (PLG Saved.)
  • Plant Armenian cucumbers and tomatillos.  Plant okra, the dried pods of which can later be used for kids’ crafts.
  • Plant sunflowers?
  • Install dried sorghum stalks (stacked by north wall) to support purple Yeome beans if needed.
  • Observe and record what is germinating, what is being eaten by critters, etc.
  • Continue weeding (mostly grassy weeds, dandelion/ sowthistle/ prickly lettuce-like weeds, and bindweed.)
  • Screen wood mulch before spreading.
  • Transplant artichoke from sunken bed to top of sunken bed.


Water meter reading: 269,731

PLG Log 4/18/15

What we did today:

  • Cleaned up after this week’s high winds.
  • Planted artichoke from 4” container (Star Nursery) on top of sunken bed.
  • Watered
  • Weeding: False barley (Hordeum murinum), silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum), tumbleweed/Russian thistle (Salsola), common rye (Secale cereale) or wheat, annual bluegrass (Poa annua).  (Tentative IDs)


What we observed:

  • April brings winds.  How can we harvest this energy?  Look to plants that use wind for pollination and seed dispersal. Pay attention to air patterns.
  • Pollinators are very active now.
  • Many seedlings planted 3/28 have been eaten by critters [Jericho Romaine (GF), Daikon radish (source?), Chichiquelite (NSS), etc.] In some cases, leaves are gone but stems remain. These seedlings may survive with intervention.
  • Bisbee Black cowpeas (PLG saved) are performing well.
  • Amaranth varieties (NSS) planted 4/2/15 around top of sunken bed are germinating.
  • Basil transplanted from 4″ container (from Sprouts Market) into herb spiral is doing well.
  • Cowpeas, hibiscus, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, herbs, and flowers are performing well. Looks like amaranth will thrive, too.  Update:  Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
  • So far, it looks like we will be able to count on these crops for saving seed: Amaranth, hibiscus, cowpea, artichoke, arugula, cilantro.  Update:  Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
  • Ready to harvest (Note:  Do not harvest if saving seed):  Strawberries, hibiscus flowers, artichokes, sorrel, chicory, lettuce, thyme, sage, pansies, calendula.  Update:  Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
  • What’s in bloom:  Hibiscus, aloes, brittlebush, mesquite trees, snapdragons, daisy in herb spiral, pomegranates, alfalfa, ocotillo, some opuntia cacti, globemallow, calendula, pansies.  Update:  Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
  • Weeds: See above, and Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), lambsquarters (Chenopodium berlandieri), filaree (Erodium cicutarium), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), sowthistle (Sonchus ssp.), prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola), and common mallow (Malva neglecta).  (Tentative IDs)
  • Can any of these weeds become our allies in the garden, or is removal the best option?
  • Critters: Lacebugs have arrived and are found mostly on sunflowers. Weevil seen on shade structure. Large rust-colored dragonflies are present. Cochineal scale continues to infest prickly pear cactus in southwest corner of garden. Mockingbirds are very active now (with fledglings.) Small perching birds are very active (sparrows, etc.)
  • Artichokes continue to host aphids and swarms of flies. Pay attention to this seasonal mini-ecosystem. What can we learn from it?
  • Think about a long-term management plan for the bindweed growing in the northeast corner near the jujubes. One expert (source?) suggests a 3-year plan involving tilling every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. This will eventually starve out the roots. Is this a course of action we want to take?
  • Think about a management plan for the Bermuda Triangle.


What to do next time:

  • Can/should we acquire more seeds and do a follow-up planting of crops sown on 3/28/15?
  • Increase water to sunken bed? It may not be receiving enough water to sustain seedling growth.
  • Put floating row cover over seedlings to stop critters from eating them.
  • Continue spreading screened compost.
  • Plant melons, cucumbers, squash under fruit trees.
  • Plant sunflowers?
  • Install dried sorghum stalks (stacked by north wall) to support purple Yeome beans if needed.
  • Observe and record what is germinating, what is being eaten by critters, etc.
  • Continue weeding (mostly grassy weeds, currently.)
  • Screen wood mulch before spreading.
  • Transplant artichoke from sunken bed to top of sunken bed.


Water meter reading: 268,192

PLG Log 4/11/2015

What we did:

  • Planted luffa seeds by shade structure.  (Seeds from Springs Preserve spring plant sale, Bernie.  Seed source?)
  • Started Planting tier 3 of sunken bed:  Purple Yeome string beans (NS/S)
  • Planted basil from 4″ container (from Sprouts Market) in herb spiral.
  • Watered garden
  • Spread compost
  • Volunteers Jeremmy and Allene returned for more spring planting.  Many thanks to you both!

What we observed:

  • Artichokes are producing their crop of edible flower buds.
  • Germination of seeds planted 3/28/15:
    • Sunken bed, Tier 1:  Bisbee Black cowpeas (PLG saved) (high germ.,) Jericho Romaine lettuce (GF) (some germ.), Daikon radish (source?) (some germ.)
    • Sunken bed, Tier 2:  Chichiquelite (NSS) (high germ.)
    • Some seeds may have been planted too far away from drip emitters.
  • Germination of seeds planted 4/2/15:
    • Top of sunken bed:  Amaranth (NSS) (just coming up)
  • No germination of gourds yet.  Heavy, damp mulch with lots of roly polies may be a factor.
  • No germination of flowers around shade structure yet.
  • Sunken bed is on the dry side.  Adjust water?
  • Mesquites are blooming.  So is desert buckwheat.
  • A mockingbird–a fledgling?–was walking around, stretching/rolling wings.  Many small perching birds were sighted.
  • Fly population continues to increase around artichokes.  Many are about 1/4″ long, iridescent.  Multiple species, maybe.
  • Trees and grapevines continue to leaf out.
  • Jeremmy and Allene proposed the idea of egg-painting and an egg hunt for kids in the garden next spring.
  • Water meter read: 267,498

What to do next time:

  • Plant 1-gal plants from Springs Preserve spring plant sale?
  • Continue spreading screened compost in planting areas.
  • Plant artichoke on top of sunken bed.  Sunflowers, too?
  • Install dried sorghum stalks (stacked by north wall) to support purple Yeome beans if needed.
  • Observe and record what is germinating.
  • Continue weeding.
  • Screen wood mulch before spreading.

Volunteers Allene and Jeremmy plant purple Yeome string beans in the sunken veggie bed.




PLG Log 4/2/15 (Thursday)

What We Did Today:

  • Planted birdhouse gourds (PLG saved seed) where fig tree died, and under one mesquite (southwest corner of garden, by covered swing.)
  • Planted amaranth varieties along north and northwest rim of sunken bed (Paiute, Mano de Gato, and New Mexico varieties, all from NSS.)


  • No germination from 3/28 spring planting yet.
  • Sparrows or sparrow-like birds very active in the garden from 11 a.m. to noon.  Dive-bombing sunken bed and its upper rim for seeds, including fallen sorghum seeds.
  • Should we cover the sunken bed with floating row cover or other material when seeds are planted, to protect seeds from birds?  How can we protect seeds from ants?  (See below.)
  • Mound or mounds of tiny golden ants (about 1/16th-inch, Pharaoh-ish, ID?) on western end of north rim of sunken bed, where ‘New Mexico’ amaranth was planted.

What To Do Next Time:

  • Spread screened compost in planting areas
  • Plant remaining spring seeds–1 artichoke on rim of sunken bed; purple Yeome string beans in 3rd tier of sunken bed
  • Install dried sorghum stalks (stacked by north wall) to support purple Yeome beans if needed.
  • Observe and record what is germinating
  • Continue weeding
  • Screen wood mulch before spreading

Water Meter Log:  266, 624

PLG Log 3/28/15

What We Did Today:

  • Planted spring veggie seeds in sunken bed
    • Front tier:  Red-cored Chantenay carrots (NSS), Bisbee black cowpeas (PLG saved), Creole red onion (NSS), purple orach (NSS), white icicle radish (GF), French breakfast radish (GF), Jericho Romaine (GF), Astro arugula (GF), Daikon radish (source?)
    • Middle tier:  Chiltepin (NSS), chichiquelite (NSS), Bulgarian carrot peppers (QHF), Queen Ann’s Lace (JP’s grandfather, Reno), tomatillo (NSS)
    • Back tier NOT YET PLANTED:  Will  plant purple Yeome string bean (NSS), glass gem corn (NSS), Magdalena Big Cheese squash (NSS).
  • Planted coyote gourds under mesquite trees.  (Seed source?  Collected in Las Vegas?)
  • Around the shade structure, planted wild red poppies (QHF), showy penstemon (P. pseudospectabilis), and Happy Hummingbird Mix combo (Wildlands Restoration) of showy penstemon (P. pseudospectabilis), Parry penstemon (P. parryi), Palmer penstemon (P. palmeri), firecracker penstemon (P. eatonii), Gooding’s verbena (V. goodingii), lemon beebalm (Monarda citriodora), and hummingbird bush (Beloperone guttatus)
  • Weeded under mesquite trees (the weed looks like barley grass) Update 4/4/15:  Tentative ID:  Hordeum murinum
  • Watered
  • Big thanks to volunteers Jeremmy and Allene for all of your time and effort today!


  • Ladybugs, bees, and flies are still all over artichokes
  • Trees and grapevines continue to leaf out, looking very healthy

What To Do Next Time:

  • Spread screened compost in planting areas
  • Plant remaining spring seeds
  • Observe and record what is germinating
  • Continue weeding
  • Screen wood mulch before spreading

Water Meter Log:  266,271

Volunteers Jeremmy and Allene plant seeds of dryland-adapted vegetables.


PLG Log 3/21/15

What We Did Today:

  •  weeded sunken bed, under nut trees, around sign and herb spiral
  • cleaned out sorghum stalks
  • added greens to compost pile #2
  • planted hibiscus and Jerusalem artichoke
  • watered
  • gave a tour to a group of teenage girls with a group home


  • Loads of ladybugs throughout garden
  • Ladybugs and bees and flies all over artichokes
  • Jujubes are sprouting

What To Do Next Time:

  • continue weeding
  • spread screened compost in planting areas
  • plant spring seeds
  • screen wood mulch before spreading
  • bring hummingbird food and hang feeder
  • add steer manure to compost bin #2

Water Meter Log:  26,556


Freshly screened compost made on site! Ready to spread for spring planting.


Multi-generational ladybug love fest on the artichokes.

sorghum stalks

Dried sorghum stalks ready to be repurposed as trellising poles for summer beans.


Getting ready for spring planting at the PLG by weeding and brewing sun tea.

PLG Log 3/14/15

I’m very glad we have a timer back.
I sifted a little bit of compost so please spread it out where need be or let me know where it needs to go. If we need some more the other one may be ready to sift as well. The one I did today needs some green, it’s mostly all twigs and pine cones now. There’s quite a bit of brown on the outside that can be added.
– Joseph