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Happiness is a red wagon full of dirt

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We are a yard-challenged family.  In the 9 years we’ve lived in our home, we’ve had two successful tomato plants.  Our front landscaping was a fancy 3-foot thistle-scape until I finally threw down a thick layer of newspapers under mulch last fall.  The door-to-door poison-peddler who offered to kill all the weeds in our lawn for $100 quickly retreated when I asked him why I’d want to kill everything green in the yard.  The brick “patio” out the back door has been sinking at a rate of 27 inches per year since we’ve lived here.  Do the math, and then step carefully – a misstep could result in a fall through the Earth to the Indian Ocean.

But we’re slowly moving in a positive direction – a mason repaired our crumbling front stoop, a painter will put a much-needed coat on the house this summer, and we are executing a Plan.  Vegetables 2011 is underway.

I have managed to make the addition of 2 raised vegetable beds as labor-intensive as possible.  This isn’t entirely my fault.  We wanted to put brick around them so Kyle we can run a mower along the edges.  We also needed to save the sod to fill in the former patio area, which is also the origin of the bricks and sand we’re using.  I’m hoping that at least the placement of the boxes will make life easier – with them so close to the house, they should be impossible to forget about and easy to water.

We’ve spent multiple days digging and moving sod and shoveling sand and leveling bricks.  Every muscle I have aches in a most wonderful way.  Kyle made two 4′ x 8′ boxes out of 1″x8″ cedar.  We filled the first one with 10″ of mushroom compost tonight.  Half of the grass in the foreground of the photo was moved there by me (not the dead sections – those are Punkin’s contribution to the yard).  The boys have delighted in days of playing in the yard – thank goodness for the playhouse!  We still have a long way to go with box #2, but I can almost taste the tomatoes.  I can already tell that this is going to be our decade.


4 responses »

  1. Yours are exactly like my raised beds, only mine are in the front yard (for sun)…you’ll love them and you should get a good supply of veggies out of them. I hope you also have a plan for making compost and maybe finding a source for some kind of manure; it really helps. Good luck with your garden!

  2. Yay for the raised beds! Don’t you just love reusing materials for new projects? Good luck with your garden this year, and finishing the second raised bed!

  3. You are a genius, putting your garden as close to your back door as possible!!!

    I find it ironic that I tucked mine out of sight, behind the barn, in mosquto territory next to the woods and find myself either having to spray DEET on myself in order to harvest the organic vegetables or letting all the produce perish due to neglect because I get eaten alive out there. Now, I refuse to spray DEET, so that means that last year most of my harvest was lost…hmmm…what to do? After days and days of constructing a bunny proof fence (putting wire down LOW) and a deer proof fence (putting wire up HIGH) I’m not sure how happy Dave would be if I ask politely if we could just move the whole thing right next to the house! But it is tempting!

  4. Your decade, indeed. I can just feel it. 🙂 The raised beds look lovely and totally know what you mean about your muscles hurting in the best way. Spring sore muscles are the best.

    Not to equate your lovely new garden beds to our kitty litter boxes, but ever since I moved the litter boxes out of the storage room and into a place I walk by every day they get cleaned much more often. So I think your placement of the garden is perfect.

    Now, the big question, have you planted your peas? 🙂


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