In the Garden: Building raised beds.







It was summer-like this weekend. Warm and sunny with the occasional thunderstorm. I think we barely stepped in the house during the past three days. We've been in the backyard, pretending we live in the country.

When we moved here 4 1/2 years ago I didn't know how long we'd live here. And for the past year or so we've been feeling our country home coming to us. It's right there. We can feel it. Any day now we'll be packing our bags. So last year I didn't plant any garlic. And we still haven't planted those apple trees we've dreamt about since we moved here. It's a hard decision – how much do you do in the house you know you'll leave in the next few years, if not few months?

This weekend I realized that spring is upon us and yes, we still live here, so let's enjoy the good things that town living brings into our lives (walk to the library and the coop more often, for example) and while we're at it let's grow some vegetables.

So yesterday we started the work of putting in a 25 x 30 raised bed. It's big. Huge really, by the standards of what we have been working with. And I can hardly wait to amend the soil and get planting. This will be our first years without a CSA share since we've had kids. So bigger seemed better. I hope I can pull it off!

We use the no-till raised bed model and our vegetables are unreal. Huge, beautiful, and pest-free. I picked up a copy of Lasagna Gardening at a second hand store a few years ago and we have really run with it. I am also spending a good deal of my time daydreaming about chickens. A backyard coop is sounding pretty good right now as well.




After all that garden time we piled into the car at bedtime wearing our PJ's and drove to a local park for some frog song and bird watching. We came home tired, long after bedtime. As I type this my kids are still sound asleep, perhaps dreaming of geese and peepers; carrots and chickens. The promise of spring makes all of us swoon.

13 thoughts on “In the Garden: Building raised beds.

  1. amber says:

    We have the same dilemma! We bought our present house 4 years ago, with the intent of being in it for 3 years while we looked for property and a farm of our own. We live in a sweet little neighborhood in a very old house with a small amount of land. We have made do every single year with our gardens, making several different raised beds, and planning our garden very carefully. We have put off asparagus, apples, and pears, strawberries and blueberries for fear that we would soon be leaving. However, this year we decided, what the heck! lets just plant the asparagus patch and the berries! Since the right opportunity/land hasnt come to us yet, we might as well live in the moment and at the very least, provide the next inhabitants of this house with a little spring surprise! our city just passed an ordinance to allow residential egg laying hens inside city limits…. so that is on our present to do list! hoooraaayyy!

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    And being present and living fulling at your in-town homestead will manifest your country home that much faster. It is all about the joy of the now. For me that means living like we live here. Which, um, we do. 🙂 Chickens! A great book on the subject (and anything homestead-y) is the Encyclopedia of Country Living, if you dont have it already. Love!


  3. Danielle Grabiel says:

    We are 9 months away from moving to our family farm in Oregon (from DC) and I 100% relate to your post! We are doing a much more scaled back garden than I would have done if we were staying here for good and sometimes I feel like the daydreams are daily torture! So, we’re heading to the museums this week and visiting with friends as much as we can – embracing all we love about being here, now.

  4. Lisa says:

    Check out Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. We have two raised veggie beds. Each type/plants gets it’s own sectioned off square. It works for us.

  5. Rachel Wolf says:

    I have heard about it, Lisa. But my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants tendencies never felt like a match for careful measuring. Ill give it a read and see what I learn. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Bianca says:

    Having backyard chickens is the best! I didn’t realize how entertaining they would be. And the eggs are the absolute best ever!

  7. Tracey says:

    Rachel, Check out the magazine Mary Jane Farms if you get a chance. There is an article about have chickens that you might find interesting. I had to laugh as there is a pattern for making chicken nappies, which my husband says not happening here! Enjoy your day!

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    You know, I see that mag at the coop and am always drawn to it, thought Ive never picked it up. Maybe Ill grab this issue the next time I go for groceries. Thanks, Tracey!
    ~ Rachel

  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    Yes, one bed because we were short on scrap locust and cedar. But that one bed will be three long beds inside divided by two paths. Does that seem more reasonable?  🙂


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