Thursday, June 24, 2010


Today, I took a day off work to begin building a raised bed garden. My friend Ryan Kennedy will rent my house next year while Abby and I live on Asbury's campus and we have talked a lot about planting a garden in the backyard and sharing the produce. Well, Ryan came up for a visit, arriving yesterday, and we hit it hard today. (I know it is late in the year to be doing this but Ryan has done a lot of research and there are veggies we like that we can plant late in the year.)

We hit it hard starting at 9 am. We found a pile of wood on a curb in our neighborhood last night and asked the homeowners if we could have it. It was pieces of an old fence. So we cut it to size and used it as the frame for our box. We measured out the box (8 ft x 15 ft), dug up the grass, and then dug down just another inch or so of the dirt/clay that was under the grass and piled it up to mix in with the top soil we will buy tomorrow. We also laid two rows of wood at the bottom of the box. Apparently the wood will absorb water when there is too much and release it when the ground becomes dry.

Ryan wants to fill in around the wood with gravel. This is supposed to act as a natural water table. I had a large pile of rocks from a landscaping adventure gone wrong, and I broke those bad boys up. It was so fun. I would just toss them in the air and let them fall to the concrete, breaking into smaller pieces. I scattered these throughout the bottom of the box, which means we will have to find less gravel to finish it off. (Sure, we could just build a box and throw dirt in it and stuff would grow, but we are taking the time to do this in the best way possible.)

Tomorrow while I am at work Ryan will research some more, try to find and lay gravel, go buy top soil, and the lay the top soil/clay mix in the box. Done and done. When I get off work Ryan, Abby and I will discuss what we want to grow and when we should plant. I am so excited to be growing my own food for the first time.

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