My latest spell of silence on this blog and eGullet (for those who read) has been due to a time-sensitive undertaking. What spare time I’ve had, between work, and other *necessities of life* have been devoted to my latest pet project – a vegetable garden. Having already missed out on most of the early planting season, I’ve made a mad dash to get as much of the still-plantable seeds sown before it gets too far along into the hot and dry summer.The small plot that you see was originally tilled up by my father and me many years ago in a removed corner of our lot when I was just a wee lad. Back then, we planted nearly twenty different vegetables in that garden. But, with the intervening years of, well, growing up… and growing older, the garden was soon neglected. Since then, the land has lain fallow and was overtaken by grass.
Knowing for a while now that I would be returning to Kansas City, it has been a dream of mine for a while now to bring the garden back to life – to lay down some roots, so to speak. I decided to use the existing plot outline from the original vegetable garden and re-tilled the land. Although you can’t really tell from the pictures, the land is slightly sloped – down toward the east side.
My father and I had never bothered to level the field before. But, having seen the wonderful garden on my recent visit to The French Laundry, I became inspired to build something with a little permanence and order – something that I could be proud of. So, in order to put in proper leveled beds, I’ve had to level the field as I go.
I used landscape timbers to border the beds – stacked two high and overlapping like a Lincoln log construction. To secure them together and to the ground, I drilled holes through them and hammered 1/2 inch x 18 inch steel rebars down through the timbers and into the ground (about 8 inches into the ground).
Thus far, I have completed two raised beds, and I hope to put in five more before the end of the summer – three more rows aligned with the existing two (a total of five across) and then two more, end-to-end and perpendicular to the five rows running along the east side.
Throughout the next couple of months, I invite you to join me in watching my garden grow! You can periodically monitor its progress on my flickr account on the sets labeled “my edible garden.” While it doesn’t look impressive now, I hope that next year, I will have all of the beds in place and overflowing with organic produce!!