Or another title for this post could be, what we did while the camera was broken.
The land our house now sits upon used to be a hog farm. We see the old original farmhouse every time we leave the neighborhood. But when the land was sold to developers, the rich topsoil was scraped off and sold - leaving a bunch of clay and rock on which to build the houses. Not the stuff great gardens are made of at all. So we needed to go up with some raised beds. That was certain.
I remember seeing this post from Krista last summer and dreaming about having a larger version of the garden we enjoyed in Wisconsin. But also knowing the blank slate of a yard and crappy soil we were coming back to. So the garden building begins.
This is the first of four raised beds that are planned for the North side of our yard. I know it doesn't look like much yet. But hopefully in a few short months our garden will start to resemble something of beauty.
You know the bi fold doors that come on the closets of houses built in the 80's? Well I absolutely despise them as they are always coming off track. And I am the one who has to struggle and fight to put them back on. When we first moved back in, one of the first things I did was to remove the doors from the laundry area and replaced them with a simple tension rod and curtain. I like it much better...and its prettier. The old bi fold doors had been sitting, useless, in the garage since last summer. Until I had the idea of screwing them together at the tops and bottoms to make our raised beds. This made enough vertical space for a good 12 inches of new topsoil and compost.
Currently this bed hosts all of the early spring veggies - radishes, butter crunch and red leaf lettuce, spinach, purple cabbage, broccoli, yellow and white onions and beets. We used the square foot garden method to maximize our space and so far it is working well. Peas have been planted in a pot near the back door and are starting to pop their heads up - ready to start their climb up a tepee of bamboo poles.
And the summer plants have been started indoors from seed. The above photo is of Pantano Romanesco tomatoes. The saved heirloom seeds were sent by Carl O'Melay as a Christmas present. Thanks Carl! I hope it makes you happy to see your seeds happy and healthy in Virginia? We will enjoy them thoroughly. We have four types of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, okra, pole beans, edemame beans and more planned for the other three beds. (Which I need to get on the ball and put together.) All these seeds we started are going to need to go somewhere when they outgrow their current homes.
But for now the Spring ritual of making coffee, heading out to the garden to water and gaze upon seedlings before the boys wake up has resumed. And it feels good.
More garden progress later. Its going to be in the 70's today and we're headed outside...somewhere, anywhere.