Quick and Easy Raised Beds

Our first order of business was to grub out the hundreds of little elm trees that had come up in the previous tenant’s garden. Once they were out and we were back to dirt, the building began.

It seemed simple enough, we wanted to copy the previous tenant’s design for simple raised beds:

The basic layout:

A simple jig to help get the spacing right made assembly much easier:

Ta-da! Really not that difficult, made much easier with a capable assistant at your side.

It started out orderly enough.

But by mid-summer, chaos had prevailed. It was a wooly jungle of tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, beans, peppers and more.

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Mother Nature humbles….

So Mother Nature must be following this lowly blog. My excitement of this weekend was tempered by a northern blast, bringing with it a bit of snow. Sigh. Spring is mostly here.

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Time’s a wastin’….

I’ve decided I need to balance my posts between current happenings and catching people up on the projects we’ve been undertaking over the last two years. Here’s what greeted me this morning:

I’m not the biggest fan of Bradford pears, it’s just a big tease since you can’t eat ’em. But it served as an immediate reminder that spring is here and time’s a wastin’. Here’s what’s popping up in the garden this weekend:

Radishes! We’ve not grown them before and chose a couple varieties. One is a French Breakfast radish and the other Cherry Belle.

Lettuce is starting to come up, it’s much-anticipated. We’ve been good kids the last few months, eating salads 4 nights a week. It’ll be nice to be able to abandon grocery store greens.

Snow and sweet peas have popped their heads up:

Like most people, I’m a fan of re-purposing things. This stretch of hog panel found laying in the back pasture makes an excellent trellis for the peas to climb:

And last and most exciting of all is the asparagus patch. It was already established by the previous gardener, then abandoned for years. We’ve added to it over the years and plan to add more this year as well. Haven’t seen any crowns for sale though! We’ll have to look harder….

This looks like the last year for this raised bed, it’s coming apart at the seams. We’ll make another one this fall that’s just a tad bigger to slip around the bed, retiring the previous gardener’s bits.

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A little backstory….

So my parents have dueling blogs documenting their adventures in homesteading. It might sound like North and South are squaring off, but it’s more a his and hers rivalry. He’s got his projects and she has hers, though they tend to intersect often.

My wife and I decided today we’d dip our toes in the waters of the blogosphere, if for no reason but to prod my parents to post more often on theirs.

We’ve been homesteading just a scosche longer than them, having purchased our parcelĀ  two years ago. Not to say we’re the experts, but they definitely got the idea from us…. Ha!

Anyway, we’ve taken our foreclosed and forgotten property from an overgrown tangle to something a bit more respectable, and it’s taken some doing. It wouldn’t have happened without work weekends with friends and family — here’s a video recap of our first year’s progress:

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