Friday, March 19, 2010

Raised beds...

...and I'm not talking about the "sleeping in" variety either. Last year's gardening experience (our first since moving to the foothills) taught us a few things, the most obvious being:

Toto, we're not in Vancouver anymore, we must be somewhere over the foothills. ;)

Whenever we watch old home movies, I yearn for the yard and garden we left behind - it was simply beautiful AND productive, the bulk of the work had been done, and we enjoyed the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. :) I miss it. At the same time I'm encouraged since I remember what that 1/3 of an acre looked like when we moved onto it, and it was not a pretty picture.

After taking one of those trips down memory lane, I have to continually remind myself that 2.5 acres in the Cascade foothills is a whole 'nother thing:

1. Gardening at 900 ft. elevation isn't the same as below 100 ft.

2. We have a substantially shorter growing season here than in town.

3. Our soil is primarily clay (oh, joy!) and needs lots of amending (our pathetic lawn is proof of this).

And after doing a whole bunch of rather unscientific research, I've discovered what we need:

We need some raised beds! And lime, and a way to extend our growing season, and time (lots of time...).

I have to remind myself that it truly did take us years of hard work (and the labor of three older kids ;) ) to get our old place looking the way it did. The beauty is that Danny & Anna are enthusiastic about country living and are eager to get some dirt under their fingernails - they want to be farmers with cows and pigs and goats and chickens and horses and more. I'm not sure if they realize we only have two and a half acres. :)

For now, I'll settle for raised beds.

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