Tag Archives: work party

Spring Into Action

What a glorious weekend! After a long cold dark winter, the sun finally returned full force for this first weekend of spring, allowing us to get outside and start knocking things off the 2014 to-do list. On Saturday, we invited our community up to the farm to help us break ground on our big garden project for the year: building raised beds on top of the hill by the house (no more lawn to mow!).


In one morning, with several sets of extra hands, we went from lawn to garden!  Four new raised beds, lined with landscaping fabric to beat the grass, and filled with mushroom compost.  These will hold an expanded herb garden, taking the perennial herbs out of the main garden space and allowing us to use that area for more crops.  Bonus: fresh herbs 4 feet from our door!

You can also see in the photo above our raspberry plants from last year already starting to leaf out along the south side of the house. We’re already getting excited for June raspberries… oh summer fruit, we love you.


The other big project for this spring was to make the walk from the house to the garden less treacherous.  It has always been a very steep hill, and in wet weather or tall grass it can be quite slippery, and full of vole holes.  We had originally thought we might accomplish the grander project of terracing the entire hill, but realized eventually that we needed to make a few more big decisions before that could happen.  A quicker solution was to install these stairs: two days of work, materials we had on hand (thanks, Dad!), and they will be easy to adjust or undo when we are ready for the terraces.

As you can see from the photo, Sucia worked hard to help us out with this project. Also: herbs already migrated to their new home in the herb beds!


We ended Sunday with the perfect spring meal: sautéed collard rapini with last year’s garlic, and a poached egg, on a bed of quinoa and black beans.  SO. GOOD.  The collards made it through the cold winter better than many of our other plants, and the reward of these fantastically sweet, crunchy rapini was the best possible way to finish the weekend.

Well, that and crossing a couple of things off the to-do list.

Garden 2013: In The Ground

In 2012, we barely got the compost on the garden by mid-may, so everything went into the ground after the last freeze date.  But this year, we worked hard to lay out beds earlier, so that we could get the frost-proof seeds in the soil earlier.  And when I say ‘we’, I mostly mean Talina, Thaddeuss, and Glenna, because Megan is 8 months pregnant and it turns out that hauling compost and shoveling it into rows is not compatible with that condition!


Other things not compatible with being 8 months pregnant: bending over and putting hundreds of tiny seeds in the ground.  So this weekend we expanded our monthly brunch and called on our friends to come help us do the bending and squatting on Megan’s behalf.


We have the best friends in the world.


Many people came, boots and gloves in hand, and although there was a bit of distraction while Badger gave birth in the middle of brunch, we were able to rally and incredibly, to get all of the early seeds in the ground.


It doesn’t look all that different right now, but hiding under those pretty rows is kale, lettuce, chard, beets, radish, parsnips, peas, garbanzo beans, broccoli, rapini, carrots, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.

Grow little seeds, grow!

Garden 2012: Day One

Fittingly, the first day of our new garden is my birthday! We put a few seeds in the ground on Sunday night, but ended up doing most of our planting Monday morning, due to my work schedule.

Our garden plot is about 30′ by 50′, about 1500 square feet. That’s a LOT bigger than our little 9×12 deck from our Portland apartment! We’ve laid out the garden plan to have 6 beds, with a 3′ pathway running down the middle. There’s also room for our many potato grow bags, which are housing some potatoes and a lot of sunchokes.

Here’s the garden map before we started planting — the finished product is a little different, but close!


For my birthday, our friends Brian and Lisa organized and labelled all our seeds!  This made it SO much easier to plant in the garden.


The finished beds are all divided and tagged so I have a hope of remembering what I put where in the coming weeks.


And last, let’s check in on our FIRST garden, the kale on the hugelkultur.  Looking good!  We harvested our first batch of leaves this evening.