Last summer/autumn I decided to change the way I garden. I had been following a few different people on social media and really liked their set up and the way they did things. First was Jess from Roots and Refuge. She utilized cattle panels to grow things vertically on her small farm. I loved this idea since I had been growing in various containers, grow bags and my row garden/vegetable patch with only cages for my tomatoes and everything else sprawled out along the ground. I have always wanted a farm retreat, a place to grow, cook and nourish. I also found Nicole from Rooted Garden before she started Gardenary. I loved the way she designs gardens, they are so beautiful. There are a few others who I drew inspiration from like Meg at Seed To Fork, Emily Murphy from Pass The Pistil, Joe Lamp’l of Growing a Greener World/Joe Gardener, and Stacey Murphy of BK Farmyards. All of these people played a role in me wanting to change my garden set up.
So I made a plan last year to build new raised beds in a completely different part of my backyard. My original garden was situated behind my shed in the back corner. You could barely see it from any part of the yard once our above ground pool was up for the summer. I wanted a garden where I could see it from the kitchen window, our patio and our fire pit. I planned it to be the showcase of our backyard. Growing food, cooking food and nourishing myself with really good nutrients have been a priority for me for a long time now. (Look at all the training I have with all these aspects of food and holistic living here.)
January I set out to get things going, I ordered my seed catalogs, looked for a good source for wood, etc. I also decided to do the Kitchen Garden Academy course from Gardenary because my plan with my business was to add garden workshops to teach new gardeners how to grow food. I wanted to see how someone else taught people how to set up a garden, the vocabulary used, the steps, the flow, etc. It was nice to see how Nicole plans and sets up gardens. After I took this course I decided to build my beds using the Gardenary pathway. I did this because I love her gardens and I also wanted to go through all the steps myself. I should say it had been about a decade since we installed our main vegetable patch behind the shed. I always add amendments/compost, but it had been a long time since I set up a garden. I worked through the course then Covid hit. Suddenly untreated cedar was extremely hard to come by, seeds were selling out and pretty much anything garden related was hard to get.
We persevered, waited for our wood order to come, took ages to find a good soil source. I should mention that my favorite garden supply store that I had been loyal to for close to two decades closed. I had to find all new garden stores and garden supply sources for seeds, compost, organic amendments, plants starts, etc. That was very hard because we were also under a stay at home order. Everything came to a halt in the early days of quarantine. Online schooling started, our time to build the garden became very scarce for a while. Once we were able to get things going again I was so happy. I thankfully had the help of my 3 teenage sons and my husband to help. My mom also helped too! It was a family effort to remove all the grass and build the kitchen garden from the ground up!
I am beyond excited to have a new kitchen garden with fantastic raised beds I built with my husband and sons. Working together was really great especially during the early uncertain time in quarantine. Below are some pictures from the process. I plan to share more of the process in future blogs, I really wanted tog get this out into the world asap.