Views July - President’s Letter
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
The Ridges is a wonderful place to live. We are surrounded by the natural beauty of the high desert: junipers, pinons, yuccas, blooming chollas, the Sandia, Sangre, and Jemez Mountain ranges, hiking trails, lovely pueblo revival homes and a respectful community of residents. What’s more, we are close to Santa Fe with its famed Plaza, museums, and restaurants.
Carol and I are late-comers to The Ridges, which was established in 1992. We purchased our home in February, 2013 and moved here full time in November 2016. We were drawn to The Ridges because of its beautiful homes, and well-maintained roads and properties. We were greeted warmly by our neighbors and by Victor Hesch, then Board president. We felt welcomed and at home.
These past few years I have come to really appreciate and respect the efforts of residents who have served on the board and the various committees to ensure the continuation of the look and feel of our community. All the residents, together, have contributed to make The Ridges a safe and beautiful place to live.
By now you have all received a packet by mail and email describing the condition of the gravel and paved roads with a suggested remedy. For more than a year, the Roads Committee and the Board of Directors has researched this issue on behalf of our community.
You all will have a say. In the coming weeks, we, as an association, will discuss and then vote on the way to restore the integrity of the gravel roads. We believe the Board’s proposal will protect, preserve, and enhance the lifestyle that we all enjoy.
This important action will affect the beauty and livability of our entire community for years to come. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
RIDGES ROAD MAP
This map shows the projected cost of re-graveling our dirt roads in The Ridges, if the work is completed this year. For more detail, please review your packet of information all landowners recently received. The documents in your packet outline the Board’s recommendations for a realistic, affordable strategy and budget to cover road maintenance as well as our regular annual expenses into the future.
GARDENING IN THE RIDGES - Assessing and Redesigning Our Landscapes for Sustainability
By Brigitte Philipp, MLA email@example.com
While we’ve had some rain in Santa Fe there is no guarantee that the “monsoons” have started or that they will continue. Regardless, the drought will continue. EAWSD Stage 1 water restrictions are in force and most likely will not be lifted all summer. Therefore, it is wise for all of us to reconsider the plantings in our landscapes and gardens in order to minimize water use as much as possible, while retaining a beautiful, aesthetic landscape. TREES & SHRUBS: First, and foremost on the agenda, is to make efforts to save the most valuable trees and shrubs. All trees and plants should be thoroughly inspected, dead or dying limbs properly pruned, any diseased trees assessed and, if possible, treated by a certified arborist. In order that rainwater does not simply run off, it should be directed toward trees, shrubs, and plants via berms, swales, and depressions or basins surrounding the plants. NOTE: No trees or shrubs may be planted during the current water restrictions! WEEDING & DEADHEADING: It is best to cut weeds off at ground level and then mulch heavily in order to prevent soil erosion and weed regrowth. Practice no-till gardening, in order to not disturb our fragile soils; mulch with compost as necessary whenever and wherever possible. Deadhead, cut spent blossoms of flowering plants to stimulate more blooms. COMPOSTING: Traditional hot or cold composting is difficult in the dry conditions of Santa Fe. Try burying kitchen waste in the garden, next to plants, or in trenches. That will help to retain moisture and feed the plants. Another excellent, much faster option for kitchen waste is using the ancient homolactic, anaerobic fermentation composting method known today by the Japanese name “Bokashi” (pickling). One of the biggest advantages of Bokashi composting is that you can put anything organic, including citrus, meats, bones, dairy, and cooked leftovers, into the system. The only things to be avoided are items that are already beginning to spoil or are moldy as these will interfere with the lactobacillus fermentation, also items that are too large such as whole fruits or veggies; those should be cut up into smaller pieces. The great advantage of Bokashi fermentation composting is the speed—about 4 to 6 weeks, compared to ordinary composting, which in our dry climate can take many months. The liquid produced as a byproduct of Bokashi can be used as a compost tea if diluted 1 to 100. A little goes a long way! With good compost, you will never have to purchase commercial fertilizer or other soil amendments. After all, composting is the way Mother Nature herself builds soil— only Bokashi is faster.
Beginner’s Guide to Bokashi Composting // What to Expect Start to Finish
REASSESSING and REDESIGNING our LANDSCAPES: Ultimately, it would be wise to do some harsh assessments of our gardens by removing the struggling, less drought-tolerant, thirsty plants and replacing these with xeric vegetation such as grasses, and succulents including— Hardy sedums, sempervivums, agaves, aloe, aeonium, euphorbia, hawthornia, echeveria, yuccas, optunia/cacti and more. These plants look spectacular when placed into rock gardens and come in a multitude of varieties, colors and blooms—something for everyone and every garden. Succulents are easy care and, very drought tolerant. The main requirement for succulents is excellent drainage and full sun. On average, succulents should be watered once the soil has completely dried out. In many gardens that amounts to every 14 to 21 to even 30 days for optunia/cacti. Succulents like well-draining soils without too much organic matter. Regular feeding with a 15-15-15 fertilizer is best. Be careful mulching succulents and sedums because they are prone to stem rot. Keep light mulches a few inches away from the plant. Beautiful, colorful gravels make terrific mulches for sedums. For those who might want to do some replanting, here is a comprehensive resource of 180 succulent varieties, with photos, from which to choose:
CONTAINERS: Gardening in containers, especially self-watering ones, is a great way to control the use of resources and diseases in the garden. VEGGIE GARDENS: If you wish to try more drought-tolerant fruits and vegetables, here are some ideas: Bush Beans – White Half Runner, Snap Butter Beans – Jackson Wonder Lima Beans – Alabama Black-Eyed Butter, Carolina Sieva, Christmas, and Fordhook 242 Bush Pole Beans – Asparagus, Blue Coco, Garden of Eden, Romano, Louisiana Purple Pod Broccoli – Waltham 29 (when fall planted) Corn – Anasazi Sweet, Hopi Blue Flour, Hopi Pink, Painted Mountain Flour, Pinky Popcorn
Cucumber – Armenian, Lemon Eggplant – Listada de Gandia Melons – Iroquois, Navajo Yellow Mustard – Southern Giant Curled Okra – Gold Coast, Hill Country Heirloom Red, Jing Orange Pepper – Jupiter Red Bell, just about any chili pepper, Ordoño Quinoa – all varieties Squash – Cocozelle Zucchini, Costata Romanesco, Cushaw Green-Striped Dark Star, Iran Jumbo Pink Banana, Lebanese Light Green, Tatsume Sunflower – Skyscraper, Maximilian (can be invasive!) Tomato – Caro Rich, Pearson, Red Currant, Phoenix, Solar Fire, Pineapple Stone, Yellow Pear Cherry, Juliet Hybrid Watermelon – Black Diamond Not caring for our landscapes and gardens is really not an option. Neglect and improper use of land are some of the major failings that got humanity into the mess we are in today. As our species practices land stewardship so will Nature repay us with untold, incalculable rewards. Without soil and water, there can be no life on our blue marble. It is imperative that each and every one of us do our part!
By Sue Egan
On Monday, July 21st starting at 10:00 am – 11:00 am we are offering a fire prevention Zoom meeting presented by:
Wendy Mason, Wildfire Prevention & Communications Coordinator
Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department – Forestry
She will be talking about safety practices we can implement to protect our homes and properties. She will then answer any questions.
In the June issue of Eldorado Living, there is a good article regarding how to protect your home from wildfires. In the article there is a pdf you can download called: Ready, Set, Go! that is offered by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. You can copy this link in your browser and either print or save it:
Copies are also available at the Eldorado Fire and Rescue Services, 144 Avenida Vista Grande.
Topic: Robert Curry’s Zoom Meeting FIRE PREVENTION
Time: Jul 21, 2021 02:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 2998 7309
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Ridges Photo Submission
Photo thanks to Larry Ross.
Table of Contents
The Ridges Calendar
JULY 13 – BOARD PROPOSAL ON BUDGET AND ROADS MAILED AND EMAILED
JULY 21 – WILDFIRE ZOOM MEETING, 2 pm
AUG 8 – GENERAL RLA ZOOM ROADS MEETING, EARLY IN MONTH, 2 pm
SEPT 4 – HIGH DESERT RIDGES GARDEN TOUR, 10 am – 2 pm
SEPT 18 OR 25 – GEOLOGY TOUR OF THE RIDGES, 10 am
OCT 24 – ANNUAL RLA MEETING , 1 pm – Location TBA
Good Neighbor Award
WHO is that man under the sun hat, armed with nothing more than gloves, a stick and a big bucket? Why, that’s our Ridges GOOD NEIGHBOR of the quarter, Randy Kubes. Randy has taken it upon himself to clean up along our Ridges roadways. He’s picking up trash that’s been carelessly discarded by someone (surely not our Ridges’ neighbors?). Randy says most of what he finds is old cans, bottles and discarded utility flags. So a big thank you and our GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARD goes to RANDY KUBES!
Randy Kubes, photographed by Kathy Kubes.
How many times have you looked up at our beautiful surroundings and thought, “I wonder what those mountains are called? And how they came to be?” Or looked down, maybe while attempting to garden, and wondered, “What on earth is this rock I keep running into?” We have a neighbor who can answer those questions and more. He is the authority on flood and earthquake risk, the impact of climate change, drought and monsoons, and more. Much more. Ridges resident Dennis McQuillan is the recently retired Chief Science Coordinator for the New Mexico Environment Department. He has prepared – especially for us – an illustrated, expansive report on the natural conditions of The Ridges. Don’t miss it!
Also, Dennis has offered to lead a field trip and a question/answer session in September for Ridges residents who would like to learn more. Please let me know if you would be interested and if you would prefer September 18 or 25th. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not a reservation; that will come later. This will simply help us get a preliminary head count and gauge everyone’s interest.
THE RIDGES HIGH DESERT GARDENING TOUR - THE CHALLENGE
Our first ever garden tour is coming up. We’re calling it THE RIDGES HIGH DESERT GARDEN TOUR – THE CHALLENGE.
Yes, we all know, water restrictions, brown and dried out land, etc., etc. However, we’re planning our tour from 10-2 on September 4th; hopefully it will be cooler by then.
And, yes indeed, that is Labor Day Weekend, but we hope the tour will be a fun activity to share with any holiday guests. If you’d like to get an idea of what people plant and create in The Ridges to complement their homes, especially in the face of adverse conditions, this will be a great way to get inspired. We promise you’ll be amazed at what your talented neighbors are doing down their long driveways and behind their adobe walls. We hope you’ll come out, say hello, maybe sip a lemonade, and have a fun and inspirational time.
Also, if you would like to participate as a host or to showcase your secret garden please contact Kathy Kubes at email@example.com.
- Velva Merrick
- Sue Egan
- Frank Welsch
- Judy Nelson-Moore
- Tamara Smith
A. Races to the hounds.
B. Professional harmonica player.
C. Born in Santa Fe.
D. International researcher on birth defects.
E. Maker of art pottery.
FOODIES AMONG US
Tabbouleh or not Tabbouleh? That is the question!
By Carol Curry
Clockwise from top left: Hummus, Eggplant Dip, Tabbouleh. Photo: Brigitte Philipp
Gina Hayes, resident of The Ridges, has answered the tabbouleh question with her recipe for this refreshing summer salad that is a staple of middle eastern cuisine.
The traditional grain used is bulgur wheat, which is a low-carb, high-fiber whole grain rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, B-vitamins and protein. Quinoa can be substituted, adding more protein, but decreasing the fiber.
Add lots of leafy green herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers to serve as an entrée salad or an accompaniment to your favorite middle eastern and Mediterranean dishes.
1/2 c. bulgur, prepared per package directions
1 c. diced tomatoes
1 c. diced cucumber
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. sliced green onion
2-3 bunches of parsley, large stems removed and finely chopped
1/3 c. mint, large stems removed and finely chopped
1 minced garlic clove
1/3 c. olive oil
4T. lemon juice
Salt to taste
Set aside prepared bulgur to cool. Combine tomato, cucumber and salt in a separate bowl while bulgur is cooling. Strain and discard the juices that accumulate. Combine all ingredients. Whisk dressing and add. Chill and serve. NOTE: salad is best served the day it is prepared as the lemon juice in the dressing will wilt and darken the herbs. OPTIONS: replace bulgur with quinoa, add cilantro in lieu of some of the parsley and mint, substitute lime for the lemon, add pine nuts for texture and flavor.
VIEWS JULY- EDITOR’S NOTE
Dear Neighbors –
Thank you for your comments on our first quarterly newsletter and especially for your participation. The Views will only be as good as we – together – make it!
Many people have told me they saved Brigitte Philipp’s gardening article because of all the great information she included, so I’m pleased to tell you Brigitte has agreed to write for us again. And this time she’ll be joined by Patricia Corres, writing about troublesome weeds. Speaking of beautifying our environs – Ridges beautification chair, Kathy Kubes is organizing our first-ever Ridges Garden Tour. She has details for us in this newsletter.
We told you last time that geologist and Ridges resident, Dennis McQuillan was preparing a survey of natural conditions in The Ridges. We’re including a link to his extensive report. It makes for a fascinating and educational read. Have you ever considered the risk of flood or earthquake in The Ridges? Dennis tells us what we need to know.
Take note of the Zoom meeting on fire safety, coming up on July 21st. Essential information for all of us.
We’re pleased to highlight a new feature this quarter, Foodies Among Us. Carol Curry is shepherding this project and she begins this month with a recipe for a refreshing summer salad from Gina Hayes.
And, of course, we can’t forget our roads. President Roc Curry has the latest. Roc and the RLA have devoted many hours and much brain power to developing a solid plan to maintain our varied roads at the best price possible. Roc lays it all out for us this month in our newsletter plus a packet of documents to be sent to all residents.
And do test your neighborly IQ by checking the Who’s Who quiz.
Till next time,
By Patricia Corres
Two years ago when we moved to New Mexico, I met many new people and also many new-to-me weeds. In fact, I found so many new weeds that I took photos of them to learn their names and how to identify them. This process of ‘getting acquainted’ was helped by programs like Inaturalist or Picture This or by useful websites such as these: USDA National Invasive Species Information Center: https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov USD Forest Service Invasive Species: https://ww.fs.usda.gov Colorado Weed Management Association: https://cwma.org NM State University in Las Cruces (Noxious and Troublesome Weeds of New Mexico (updated in 2020): https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs
Here in our area of New Mexico, there are nuisance weeds that are often non-native plants which have evolved successful ways of reproducing and discouraging the growth of other plants around them. Here are a few that you may have encountered and a little about their habit.
Puncturevine (Goathead) (Tribulus terrestris) is a summer annual broadleaf plant that grows flat along the ground and whose fruit is a woody burr with sharp rigid spines. It has small yellow flowers and is native to southern Europe. A typical plant can produce 200-5,000 seeds during one growing season and can grow in mats.
Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) is a common native plant with prickly leaves and a beautiful purple flower with yellow center. It has yellow berries. Every part of the plant is poisonous, so it is best to pull it out early or treat it with a weed killer.
Kochia (Bassia scoparia) is a large annual broadleaf weed native to Eurasia. If uncontrolled, it can become a tumbleweed and disperse seeds over a large area. Nitrate, oxalate, sulfates, saponins and alkaloids found in kochia can cause poisoning in cattle and sheep, particularly when drought stressed. Kochia starts out as a gray-green fuzzy-leafed plant and can grow in mats. Its flowers are inconspicuous.
Russian thistle (Salsola tragus ) is a prickly non-native summer annual weed with many- branched stems that usually have red or purple striping. It also has inconspicuous seeds and can become a tumbleweed when it dries, scattering the seeds as it is blown around. This thistle can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates and oxalates that can harm animals.
Filaree (common stork’s-bill) (Erodium cicutarium) is a European native that out- competes native grasses. It grows flat and has fern-like, delicate leaves with small 5- petaled pink to purple flowers. The seeds have a long tails that coil into a spiral when dry and are launched from a beak-like projection. Each plant can produce between 2,000 and 10,000 seeds.
Field bindweed (Convovulus arvensis) is a Eurasian native in the morning glory family with spade-like leaves. It is an herbaceous perennial. It is drought tolerant and very difficult to eradicate. The seed can be dormant in the soil for 60 yrs!
Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is also known as foxtail grass. It is a non-native annual grass which has become very invasive and is on every hit list. It grows quickly in the spring and dies in early summer, making it a big fire hazard. It also sports finely barbed seeds that by mid-June attach themselves to clothing and puncture skin, clothing, and pets’ ears and skin. I would refer you to the article written by David Salman that details several ways to get rid of this weed. (Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/7/20 and 4/12/21)
ELDORADO COMMUNITY CHURCH
By Roc Curry
Eldorado Community Church has contacted the Ridges Landowners’ Association (RLA) about plans to move from its space in La Tienda to Lot 17 in Cimmaron and build a sanctuary. The commercially zoned Lot 17 is on the corner of Alma, Highway 285 and Chamisa. The Cimmaron commercial zoning covenant limits commercial space to 5,000 square feet does not include allowing a church, only commercial businesses. The RLA and businesses in 17A, B and C would have to agree to change the Cimmaron Covenants to include a church and expand the space to 10,000 sq ft. . Also the 1992 agreement with the Lot 17 owners and the Cimmaron Corporation grants the Ridges ownership and responsibility for the fifty foot wide easement that runs from highway 285 along Alma and throughout the Ridges. This raises potential liability issues, as well as cost of maintenance of Alma. The Board will seek legal counsel as we enter discussion with the Eldorado Community Church.