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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Fail-Safe Gardening GROW Y'OWN

Stephanie Cameron

A winter cover for a four-by-eight-foot bed is $75; a gopher-resistant screen is $35. I have gardened every year since I moved back to New Mexico in 2007—with some successes and some failures—but this was the year I threw my hands up and said no more. After investing hundreds of dollars in plant starts and soil, I got four small Japanese eggplants before the pests demolished every plant in my yard. With everything from tomato worms to weird slug bugs eating my tomatillos, and rabbits and mice munching away every last Sandia chile pepper, every day this summer was a battle. A pastime that I had enjoyed for many years and that had proven very fruitful was coming to a hopeless end. Then I had the good fortune of meeting Ken Kuhne of Grow Y'Own. I shared all my woes with him and he grinned and said his cover technology could take them all away. As he flipped through his book of success stories, my hope slowly resurfaced. “Covers are the key to the success of Grow Y'Own hooped raised beds,” said Kuhne. With his beds, anyone can grow at any elevation, in any temperature, under any condition the elements throw at you. 80

edible Santa Fe | FALL 2016

After thirty-six years of designing and building custom homes, Kuhne decided to build smaller boxes and help the planet cut down on the carbon footprint of shipping food thousands of miles. The inspiration came from Deborah Madison, renowned cookbook author, chef, and multiple-award winner, who suggested Kuhne build grow beds as a way she and others could produce their own crops year round. On the eve of retirement in 2008, Kuhne chose to stay in the game a bit longer to help schools, young mothers with infants, restaurants, shelters, youth centers, the elderly, pueblos, colleges, individuals, and families learn to grow their own organic, healthy, and free food supplies—locally. Now, after eight years, with beds in thirty states and Canada, Grow Y'Own continues to aid and educate.

WHAT IS THE TECHNOLOGY? Nobody else in the US has a system quite like Grow Y'Own, with summer and winter covers working in tandem during the coldest

Fall 2016: From the Earth  

Lucky for us, New Mexicans are a hardy lot, and our state benefits from a multitude of dedicated farmers, composters, home gardeners, viticu...

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