While I was in Florida I gave my younger brother (Matthew) 3 days. On those 3 days we would do anything and everything he asked. On one of those days, Matthew decided he wanted to build a fire pit or raised bed garden for a friend (they had mentioned wanting to do both at some point). So we headed out to my Dad's office to try and find some leftover stone from another project some family member had done to build the fire pit. While doing so we ran into our uncle who mentioned he had hundreds of Ytong blocks (ytong is a lightweight alternative to concrete) out on his property that he was trying to get rid of. So we headed out there to get a truck load of them to build the fire pit. We stopped back by the office and our uncle said, "Is that all you got? You could have had all you wanted." We explained that we got more than we thought we needed for the fire pit but were back to look for wood for a raised bed garden. "Why don't you use the ytong blocks for the garden?" he asks. Great idea uncle. No cutting or drilling needed.
We got to Matthew's friend's house and began to plot out the garden. We decided to do one long row along a chain link fence. This would allow them to use the fence for climber plants and would all plants easily accessible via one row. So we got to it. It took about four hours for the three of us to dig out the sod (and tough tough roots), and then lay the blocks. It turned out that we only had enough blocks for the first row (the garden would need two) but it was still a good day's work and the hard part was done.
I am proud to say that I have now been a part of two raised bed garden builds and that neither of them have cost a penny. Not one cent. I just think that is so cool. We used an old fence for the first one and leftover ytong blocks for the second, stuff people were literally trying to get rid of. I filled the first one with horse manure, again, stuff people were trying to get rid of. I love it.
Also, on Sunday I ate the first harvest from our garden. A juicy cherry tomato. Praise God.