Front Yard Farmacy Summer 2015

First Do No Harm Front Yard Farmacy, Summer 2015

First Do No Harm Front Yard Farmacy started in 2003 when a move from a big house in California to a little house in Southeastern Arizona seemed necessary to restore a sorely depleted soul. There was a huge yearning for a simpler life, one as far away from the dependency of a wrong livelihood as could be afforded. A right livelihood is one that isn’t dependent on cheating or harming any one or any thing.

This little house, built in 1945, is situated close to town. All amenities are within walking distance. There are blue skies and wide open spaces. Traffic is easily navigated and there is a bus that makes the rounds. Population in the 2010 census was reported as 5,105. The house itself has many deficits, or challenges one might say. Leaks like a sieve, so it’s hard to cool and heat. Plumbing, well, let’s not talk about that for fear it might break the spell.

The initial plantings were mostly ornamental as the goal of finding a right livelihood was embarked upon. It became ever more clear that growing food was an essential tenet.

It’s a desert here, zone 8b. We’re high enough, about 3,586 ft, that we get freezes, but for the most part, the weather is lovely. Some complain of intolerable heat, but I’m a heat seeking flower. And of course, “it’s a dry heat”. The freezes are good and bad. We can grow some things other desert areas can’t, but we can’t grow some things that they can; citrus being among them. The heat makes it near impossible to grow cool season crops. Perhaps an eventual poly tunnel or greenhouse configuration will allow for that. It’s all part of the long range plans.

In the mean time, composting, ground covers, and Hugelkultur, strategies are being evolved to help with soil building and water retention.

So far, this little plot of paradise, which will often be referred to as #TheCompound, includes the:

#NorthFacingFrontYard, which maintains the


#SouthFacingBackYard, which includes the


#SouthFortyTriangleLot, which is home to the

and outside the fence there are the:

For the most part, it all started with this raised bed that has been improved and expanded over the years.

The #RaisedBed

Here the cinder blocks were removed to build a surround for the #AcaciaTreeBed, the remainder of blocks reconfigured and #2Hugelbed formed on its west end. Straw on the foot path and #UnderTheScragglyTree to abate weeds/Bermuda grass and build the soil microbiomes of all areas.


In the interest of permaculture principles, doing no harm is first on the list of to dos or rather don’t dos. Don’t till. Don’t hurt any critters, they all have a purpose. Of course there are times, but ideally a row cover to keep white butterflies from laying their eggs is preferable to having to try to find and squish all of the little green caterpillars. The white butterflies help pollinate. Of course DON’T use chemicals. If you kill one bad bug, you kill good ones too. Not to mention the toxicity all-round.

Let the butterflies fly

Let the butterflies fly

Diversity is key. Having as many plants and companioning ones that benefit each other goes a long way to thwarting invasions that might otherwise conquer your endeavors.

Community is the new New Deal. If we are all to thrive in the coming chaos, we are going to need to help each other and we are most assuredly going to need to be growing food, as many as can.

Living in a little town like this, especially one as low on the economic totem pole, food markets are inadequate. Finding organic food is getting easier, but the diversity is shallow and the quality…well, not what you can grow for yourself not to mention the externalities of shipping, packaging etc., etc…and the prices!!

So the goal here at First Do No Harm Front Yard Farmacy is to continue to utilize permaculture principles toward helping Mother Nature build a little food forest that can sustain one person, two dogs, two cats (the #Kiddies,#WildGirlsandaBoy) and hopefully benefit, or at the least, encourage/inspire my neighbors and friends.

For A Simple Life of Abundance and Peace.

Blue Skies and Wide Open Spaces

Blue Skies and Wide Open Spaces

The #Kiddies aka: #WildGirlsandaBoy. Left to right, Little Red-Haired Girl/LRHG, Gertie, Lucy, MickeyMouser (whose bigger than Lucy now).


A side note, the “Ms. SpoolTeacher” tab is a direct link to the blog I started years ago to write about sewing. It is written in third person. Ms. SpoolTeacher is a moniker I chose to allow me to keep from having to say I, me, my and mine so much and to somewhat get out of my own way to be able to write. It includes short stories often, many times depicting the evolution of Ms. SpoolTeacher’s life and how sewing was always a key player. Sewing, gardening and writing have long been my foremost interests. An affinity to all things fabric has been the anchor to a career as an Interior Designer, and now as a means to support a “Simple Life of Abundance and Peace”. Because I am using one YouTube account for my future goals of posting videos for gardening and sewing, it seemed prudent to inform the readers here of the association.

So glad that you have clicked on to this site and read down to here. You are highly valued, highly valued indeed.

Thank you.

Ms. Jackie of all Trades SpoolTeacher