Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fah-harm Living is the Life for Me...for about a day...and a half...

It is official. I have an addiction.

Every spring I get the undeniable desire to plant a garden.

I grew up on a farm.

My parents grew a garden the size of a city block.

My Dad worked in the farm supply business. I spent many afternoons surrounded by the heady aroma of potash and anhydrous.

No wonder meth is so addictive.

I am pretty sure this is the root of my problem.

Ever since we moved into our house, nearly 30 years ago, I have had some sort of garden. There have always been herbs in the tiered beds beside the house. One year we dug up 2/3rds of the back yard and planted all the vegetables. Problem is vegetables require sun. Our back yard is all shade.

The only truly sunny patch is the strip of yard between our house and the neighbor's. One year we hand dug a garden there with moderate success. But the following year, with the prospect of re-digging the area...well, let me tell you, if meth-heads had to cultivate a 10x10 patch of yard, now covered in violets and creeping charlie, they would think twice about cooking.

This year, thanks to Dad-the enabler, we decided to try the newest fad in gardening – the RAISED GARDEN BED!

(Of course, this is not really anything new. Raised beds have been around forever. In fact, Martha Stewart herself has a number of them. We have just been too cheap to bother. Because hand digging a YARD is so much easier.)

Just look at the dirt. You could almost bury a body without breaking a sweat.

I did a little research and settled on a 4x8 bed, which according to Rob is much easier to construct as the boards needed are actually 8feet long, thus requiring a minimum amount of math to cut. Plus this size bed, according to various container gardening sites, allows me to plant enough vegetables to feed a family of 4 plus most of the Duggars for a year.

It only cost us approximately $45 for the lumbar that should be 'lumber' (it seems I have been working the back surgery recovery a little too much!) and weed retardant under-cloth. But no worries, I can spend that much on vegetable in a month. 
Of course, filling the frame is it's own project. You can fill it with plain old dirt but seriously? I live in the land of clay. Digging clay is similar to stabbing a shovel into a bucket of concrete. I have watched a fair share of Martha Stewart and her gardens are never difficult to dig. In fact, with one delicate gloved hand she dips her trowel into the rich black dirt and in the next two minute segment has planted an entire row of heirloom butternut squash. So...we bought fancy dirt with fertilizer. And topsoil. And peat moss. I could bury Martha Stewart in the bed with my bare hands that soil is so light and fluffy. (But I won't. I love Martha. Please don't put me on a list.)

The dirt was another $80. So, that's another two months of veggies. I break even this summer and next year I will actually be MAKING money off this bad boy.

Of course, this does not take into account the money I will spend on seeds for the 47 varieties of vegetables I plan to plant.

Or the plants I buy when I get too antsy waiting for the seeds to sprout.

But, think about all those fresh vegetables, warm off the vine and straight to my table...Take THAT you locavores.

The raised bed only took about an hour to construct. (It took three hours to purchase. At Lowes. On the nicest Saturday in April thus far.) And with all the extra time, and a little left over dirt, I did the prep work on the herb beds. And weeded the shade garden. 
Imagine this filled with flowering plants, ferns, hostas...

The shade garden is my white whale. I have been in this house forever and finally, FINALLY, have the super shady side of our yard almost looking like a lovely, shaded fairy-friendly landscape. Except for the grass. Which does not grow in shade. Unless it is in the GARDEN part of the yard. Then grass grows like crazy. Just like those damn violets.

There has been much research done on plant's ability to communicate with one another. I am here to tell you, this ability exists. And those conniving little violet bastards are experts at telling each other where to sprout because the nice lady sometimes lets one of their adorable brethren bloom in the shade garden. 
Sometimes in my sleep, I can hear them laughing...
It only took another three hours but I got them all.


Which is the reason I am writing this sitting on the couch with my feet up, in my pajamas, floating on a fine cloud of ibuprofen, tylenol and a small rum drink.

Which adds another $30 to the price of the garden.

Which translates to 6 organic, heirloom, single source zucchini.

So anyway you look at it, I win!

1 comment:

  1. Love the title of this post! And, I love the way you look at the economics of the project. Sure there is a cost but fresh vegetables AND a rum drink?!?! That's a win indeed!


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