Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The birth of our Urban Farm

Last week, we completed construction on our two raised beds so we can build on our successes of last year and grow our own veggies this summer!

(Prepare yourself for the most un-interesting photos of all time)

We chose to do two 4'x4' beds, for a couple of reasons. 

1. Our soil (as you can see from these glorious photos), is very sandy and rocky. Our house is built over an ancient lava flow, so there aren't too many flat, rock free places in our yard. The small size of these allowed us to place them near each other, but avoid any immoveable lava rocks. 

2. We are using the square foot planting method in these beds, so the smaller size will allow us to easily reach any area of the bed without stepping in the soil. Compacted soil from foot traffic = bad for little veggies. 

I am working on a 'plant map' for the beds, so I can make sure I place the veggies in their ideal growing conditions. Most everything we are sowing is full sun, but there are a couple part shade plants that will  need specific locations within the beds. Since this is our first year attempting a full blown garden, I am going to attempt every vegetable we enjoy, so we can learn from our successes and failures for the next few years. Our neighbor two doors down has a beautiful veggie garden every year, so I am going to pick her brain for any tips about growing in our area.

My shadow looks eerily like an alien

We used untreated ceder for our walls, as it is very durable in varied weather conditions. We are going to fill the beds with Black Gold organic soil, and mix in some of our compost from home as well. 
The biggest issue we will be facing I think is protecting our plants from a certain herbivore that shares our home. 

I'm sure you all remember our sweet 'puppy' Cash? He is now almost two (in August), and he is part fruit bat! I'm not kidding when I say the dog would choose a banana over a steak. He is crazy. So we will be building some removable panels made of chicken wire and wood to protect our crops. Hopefully he will learn quickly that they are to be left alone. 

So our veggie starts are growing away (inside), and we are patiently awaiting the rise of overnight temperatures. (Last night it was 22, tonight is supposed to be 26) 
But things are moving along and I am so excited to try my hand at raising organic vegetables to enjoy and share with friends all summer long! 

Whats your experience with growing your own food at home? Sage (no pun intended) advice? Please share in the comments! 

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