Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Tradition!

Earth Day Tradition from start to finish (almost finished)!!!

This is the third year that we have put a garden in our backyard. It all started with Esther, our old roommate, who has since moved away to sunny Arizona. If it had not been for her, we may have never started. Thank you, Esther! She essentially gifted us all the materials that made up our first garden that consisted of two 4' by 4' raised beds. Last year, we planted in those two beds. This year, we upgraded to two more 4' by 4' beds. In an attempt to rid the garden area of the evil wire grass, and thus to avoid much future weeding and muscle aches, Dave and I put in a long day yesterday. We began by borrowing his parent's tiller and buying topsoil, mushroom compost, peet moss, and plants.

Here is what our neglected back yard looked like early on Saturday morning:

Hidden in the masses of "grass", mostly assorted weeds, are the original two box beds.

The black bin in the picture on the right is our wonderful Earth Machine compost bin. 

Aha!, there is one of the box beds after clearing out some of the weeds. Notice how happy Dave looks! We discovered red onions, potatoes, and a leek amongst the weeds.

Once we had cleared out the original beds, it was then time to attack the weeds! 

We raked, shoveled, pitch forked, tilled, and jumped up and down on them! 

Snake! This guy kept popping up despite our attempts to re-home him. I even pulled him out of the tiller tines, miraculously unscathed!, due to all of the weeds stuck in the tines. Scroll down to see Dave working hard to remove weeds from the tines. . . . Thanks Dave! 

Scout and Speedy were very interested in our endeavors and lounged around the yard all day watching us.

Yay! Once we had the weeds cleared and the spot tilled up, we laid down the landscaping cloth. No more weeds (I hope!).

 At this point, our backyard was looking pretty messy.

And Dave took a break with the dogs. 

 To reduce the distance that we had to carry the 40 pound bags of compost and topsoil and to save our backs, we backed the car up to the fence and used a step stool to throw everything over the fence into our yard. Hence the heavy bag pile pictured below. 

Followed by another lay down break. 

And meditation on a garden as provided by Dave. 

To which I followed. 
 Then, in a flurry of action, we filled up our beds and began planting.

I am so excited for our plants to grow! This summer I am going to try to can tomatoes, make pickles, and make tons of salsa! So far our garden includes tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, eggplants, strawberries, basil, cilantro, and rosemary. More will be coming next weekend, along with mulch to fill in around the beds.