Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Great Garden Experiment

Literally for years my wife and I had talked about doing a garden in the backyard but never got around to it. We had done several at our previous house growing the usual stuff like tomatoes, various types of bell peppers, cucumbers, and even a watermelon once but when we moved we simply did not have the time anymore. 

What changed for me was watching the documentary called "Food Inc." a few months back which explained the almost nightmare state of the American food industry from how it is produced to sold. The documentary recommended one of the way to counter what can truly be called an insidious threat to human life was to grow your own garden. Yeah, I know this very simple raised bed garden can hardly be called a slap in the face of American agribusiness but you got to start somewhere.

The raised bed, which we bought on Amazon, is constructed of recycled material and is supposed to last for years. It was a no-brainer to put together but what was a pain in the ass was finding an even area then clearing out the fallen leaves and sticks. I'm sure my surly neighbor across the street from me who occasionally likes keep watch of the stuff going in my backyard from his second story window was wondering what the hell I was going to do when I began pulling out my rake, limb shears, and large trash bags. 

  This was early Saturday morning after I put the bed together and was deep into clearing out the winter lawn refuse. All told I filled six large bags--picture not included--and have even more to do. The tree in the background does worry me a little but from what I can tell today around 11:00am the garden will have unobstructed sunlight until sunset. Like I said, this is an experiment and could fail miserably. 

We put in some broccoli and lettuce plants this morning along with planting seeds for sweet peas and several other items. Another issue I discovered this morning was that I had to run dogs out of the bed. I may end up buying a small fence to put around the thing. It would be funny, in some sick way, if the dogs end up ruining the garden by digging and pooping in it.

Hopefully I will post some more pictures in the coming months.


Pixel Peeper said...

Oh...this looks cool! I hope your experiment is successful and you keep us posted with pictures and updates.

I've been wanting to do something similar, but I tend to kill a lot of houseplants and wonder if I would just waste my time and money. We do have three citrus trees in our back yard that have successfully born fruit. There's something very satisfying about picking something from your garden and eating it.

I should just go ahead and try this. If you can read, you can learn anything, right?

The Bug said...

We have a couple of raised beds out back - we've raised tomatoes pretty successfully. We weren't as successful with the peppers we planted. This past year we put flowers in one of the beds :)

I REALLY want to try raising lettuce. We shall see.

Oh, & we put some fencing around ours the first year to keep the critters out. We haven't bothered since though. We got it from Lowes. I'm not sure it would keep dogs out, but here's what it looked like in case you're interested (the picture on July 22nd):

Rose L said...

Good luck! Now you will also need to keep the bugs, birds, rabbits, deer, etc. away so you end up with growth! (I am assuming you have those in your area).

Tim Jones said...

Good going. I have been trying such a garden for several years now with varying results. In Alaska it is no easy chore. Last year was the first for a major tomato crop. It is all very satisfying. Looking forward to your descriptions of your garden adventure. Good luck.

goatman said...

I think dogs and neighbors will be the least of your worries in future.

As someone famous once said "its always something", and it is.

The ladder looks odd there . . .

Beach Bum said...

Pixel: Having another round of cold weather here, don't know if the plants we set out will survive.

Bug: At my old house I often had an overabundance of tomatoes. So many I couldn't give them away. This time we are just doing a couple of plants of Roma.

Rose: Birds could definitely be an issue.

Tim: I just hope this latest round of cold weather doesn't end the experiment.

Goatman: Yeah, my wife planted some sweet pea seeds at that location.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Good for you. Food, Inc. is an awesome documentary and it's been over 10 years now since I've shunned hormone and antibiotic foods. I have eaten GMO foods, partly because they aren't labeled. Basically, eat fresh real food, organic or locally grown and leave the frankenfoods/processed crap alone.