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Friday, May 27, 2011

Ollas, seedlings and more

If you've recently viewed my page or have been following it you may have noticed that it's gone through a couple of transformations. What are those strange clay obtrusions that seem to be sprouting from the raised planter box in the picture? They're called Ollas, meaning "pots" in English. Ollas were brought to the New World by Spanish explorers and were assimilated into native gardens because of their water conserving properties. I recently purchased some Ollas after visiting a non-profit group called East Central Ministries located in the International District in Albuquerque. Ollas range from $3.00 for small slightly imperfect ones to $20.00 for the larger more "perfect" ones.

I also purchased some transplant ready seedlings, chocolate mint, beefsteak tomato, Italian basil, Big Jim medium and hot peppers, and Japanese eggplants. After leaving the seedlings out for several days and nights in direct sun they appear to pass the hardiness test. My own homegrown seedlings appear to being doing well! They are developing third, fourth and even fifth leaves. I turn them everyday and water them from the bottom so that the seedling get the maximum benefit from the sun and the roots absorb the water.

Seedlings at the East Central Ministries sell for $2.00 per plant. Larger, hanging pots with mixed herbs and flowers are also available for $6.00 per pot. All plants are grown on the premises and volunteers are eager to share gardening advice. A large variety of good quality organic, Genetically Modified Organism free, free seed packets are available inside the main office. East Central Ministries also sells plain and flavored honey, harvested from their bees.

For more information on Ollas and gardening you can visit East Central Ministries at 123 Vermont NE in Albuquerque or online at www.ollas.eastcentralministries.org . The office and gardens will be closed this weekend.




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