Saturday, April 19, 2014

Growing Our Own Food

I so much enjoyed the container garden we started about a month ago that I was inspired to find a way to do even more gardening. I had seen kits for raised garden beds over the last few years, but they were always so expensive. I really didn't want to invest two or three hundred dollars to buy a kit, and I didn't have the know-how to make my own from scratch either.

Nevertheless, I kept thinking about it and how much fun it would be for Michaela and me. Then, a couple weeks ago, I found a very reasonably priced kit on Amazon. I almost always read a few reviews before I make a purchase there, and I was encouraged to read that other people found the kit very easy to assemble. A couple of reviewers even said that their twelve and thirteen year-old sons had assembled the kits for them. Hey, if a kid can do it, so can I!

So I bought one, and a few days later it was on my porch. I love shopping online!

I already knew where the sunniest spot in my backyard was, so I tacked down some weed resistant cloth, and set about assembling my kit. The only thing I had a hard time with was screwing in the end caps. My dad says he'll take care of that for me in the near future. They're just decorative anyway.

I purchased 21 cubic feet of organic soil to fill the boxes, but by the time I got home my gardener was here and he had about that much in his truck. It was leftover from another job and he just gave it to me. That was so nice of him. The only drawback is that I have to return most of the other soil. Oh, well...

I shoveled soil into the taller of the two boxes until it was full and called it a day.

The next day I finished filling the shorter box with the rest of the soil my gardener gave me, and I was happy to have the other soil on hand because I needed another three cubic feet to finish the job.

Michaela and I had picked up some beautiful fruit and veggie plants at the local nursery to add to this part of our garden. We chose sweet basil, kale, another heirloom tomato (that I don't think is going to make it...), bush beans, multi-colored carrots, strawberries, and lettuces. We also sowed radish and multi-colored beet seeds. So much in such a relatively small space!

In just about five days, the lettuces have doubled in size. We tore off a leaf today and shared it right there in the yard. It was delicious!

Michaela is very diligent about checking on her berries. We check on them every chance we get. Yesterday, she was able to pick her first strawberry from our strawberry pot:

Then she picked a couple more. All of them probably could have used another day on the vine just to sweeten up, but she thought they were sweet enough. We were able to pick two or three more today, and there are lots more on the way! Our blueberry bushes are loaded with berries, but they have a way to go before they are ripe enough to eat.

I am so glad that I decided to do this with her this year. It has given me a project to focus on, and she is very interested in the things we are growing. Because we live in a climate with such mild winters, this really is something we can enjoy doing year-round. I'm already thinking about our cool season crops, and (because our kit is expandable) about adding another box onto the two we already have in the next year.


  1. Hi, Joannah! I so enjoy your sharing of life on both your blog and fb. How lovely that you and sweet Michaela can plant and tend a garden together.

    Happy Easter,


  2. We do this too! You guys will love it! We've grown quite a bit over the last three summers and keep expanding! I hope you and Michaela have a wonderful time growing together this summer.


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