Jeff and I built raised beds in my old back yard in early May. It was our first time doing it and we were on a fixed schedule. On Saturday we took a trip to the hardware store, coming home with almost half a ton of top soil, weighing down my mom's 10-year-old mini van. We also bought 6 pieces of 8' pressure treated lumber and lots of screws (it was almost impossible to find the right screws because apparently there are special screws for pressure treated lumber).
Armed with two cordless drills and a hand saw (although my dad did give Jeff a run down on how to use his chain saw and circular saw, just in case) we proceeded to build the raised beds, fill them with top soil, and plant dozens of veggies in less than 3 hours, meanwhile making some delicious beans for a dinner we had to be at that evening. (Hence the rush.)
My mom sent me photos of the garden that she took earlier this week (see above and directly below, click on them for a better view) and I can't believe how huge everything has gotten! Kale, peppers, tomatoes, beets, sage, peas, beans, chives, and I can't even remember what else we planted, are all flourishing. Several plants are flowering and fruiting, and I think the cherry tomatoes have started producing little green babies.
Meanwhile, Jeff and I have gotten to our Victory plot approximately twice. Once to put on a new lock, and the second time to get a start on the "weeds." I call them weeds, but the person who tended the plot before us probably thought otherwise about the lilies and rosebushes and 4-foot-high willow tree. After an hour of back breaking labor, we had managed to clear out a 4 or 5 foot strip (extending back about 25 feet) of old plants and sink two huge posts into the ground for a fence. (The water table is very high here, and it was funny to hear a splash as we sunk the posts.) Jeff and I, exhausted, dehydrated and burnt to a crisp (but only on our backs), decided to save the rest for another day.
That day hasn't come... yet. We plan to finish up what we've started with the help of a bunch of friends this weekend. It'll be nice to free up some space on my window sills, which are currently jam packed with veggies waiting to be planted in some real dirt. We have almost three dozen different tomatoes (three varieties), over a dozen peppers (some sweet, some hot), lots of cucumbers (which I think are starting to flower already), squash and chives. The plants get a ton of sunlight, because we have south-facing windows and get full sun in the morning. But they're not able to stretch out their roots as much as they'd like. I'm sure they'd be much bigger by now if only we'd gotten back to our plot sooner! (But it's been hard to find the time, what with being full time grad students, attending a wedding in Colorado, and dealing with "fun" back injuries.)
We're excited to finally get our own little garden going, and hopefully in the future we'll be posting back about the progress of our veggies, and all of the delicious things we'll be making from the results. (Tomato sauce, hot sauce, jalapeño wine, pickles, etc.) Also, I just purchased a new camera lens, so hopefully I won't be able to make any more excuses about not taking photos of recipes for this blog. Jeff has invented a delicious okara meatball, and once we can photograph them before devouring them, we'll post the recipe here. We've got a lot of other recipes on the back burner as well. Stay tuned!