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I've wanted to put in veggie gardens for a few years now but things always stopped me. When we lived in NJ we knew we'd move soon and I didn't want to invest the time and energy into putting in veggie gardens to just move. I did plant a couple apple trees and some berry bushes along with some perennial herbs. Hopefully other people or animals will enjoy them when they mature and provide fruit. Then we moved in the fall of 2009 so we didn't get to do anything then. The house is a bit of a fixer upper so most of our time and energy spent on projects has been indoors. Now we're finally making it a point to start on growing some of our own food. I did herbs indoors this year and my husband loved being able to just pick fresh herbs and toss them into the dish and I think that helped to get him to see how nice it'd be to grow veggies and stuff. I want to be more self-sufficient but most importantly I want to lessen my contribution to the slavery and exploitation of people that is rampant in the agricultural industry.<br><br>
We decided to go with above ground beds because it doesn't get very hot here usually and I want to be able to plant as soon as it's possible since our growing season isn't that long either. A friend of mine has a ground level garden and she said others with raised beds are able to start working on their beds several weeks before she's able to because it takes longer for the ground to unfreeze.<br><br>
We also decided to do it in the front yard as the side of the yard gets sun all day long and we're hoping to encourage others to start growing veggies. It's been an interesting experience so far because on this 'How to build a community' poster I have it says one of the things is to spend time in the front gardening. And sure enough, every time we're out there doing something at least one person will stop to chat and talk about what we're doing. We've gotten to know more people in the last few weeks than we did in the entire two years we've been here. This last Saturday a guy that lives a few blocks away stopped to chat with us about the gardens and as he was driving away he yelled "Welcome to the neighborhood!" to us lol. We've been here two years and I guess he thought we just moved in.<br><br>
Here's a bunch of pictures I've taken so far of what we're doing. We've still got a lot to do because we're going to put a few more beds between the road and the sidewalk. We're not going to frame them like we did the big main garden area but we're going to run the 1x6 board from one box to the next and then put down the weed barrier and put the wood mulch inbetween just so we don't have to weedwhack or mow between the boxes. We're also going to frame off the blueberries and put down weed barrier and mulch soon so it looks clean. Between the blueberry bushes I'm going to put A frames next spring and grow beans on them. There's enough space to do that for the next couple of years before the blueberries get big enough to take up that space. We also planted a self-pollinating peach tree and a self-pollinating cherry tree in the backyard but I don't have pics of them. We repainted part of the shed in the backyard just to kind of make it look better because it's in pretty bad shape. We're going to put window boxes on them and grow herbs next year. We can't do anything else in the backyard other than fruit trees because of the chickens and the dogs. The backyard pretty much belongs to them.<br><br>
Right after putting in the boxes with the weed barrier. We tucked the barrier underneath several inches to help hold it in place.<br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct2nd20118.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The rock wall is covered with plastic for the winter to kill everything off. I want to put strawberries there next year.<br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct2nd20117-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Another shot of the unfinished work<br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct2nd20116-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Almost finished! We put up the 1x6 boards and staked them into the ground and then stapled the weed barrier up onto the inside of the border to really keep it in place. And then we put down about 4 inches of wood mulch but once it compacts down it'll be more like 3 inches. I've just got to get a bale of straw tomorrow to spread over to keep seeds from weeds getting into it over the winter.<br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct31st20116.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct31st20113-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
We plan on dividing this long drive way in half and doing the back half as like an outdoor area where we can BBQ and use the outdoor fireplace and stuff like that. I'm killing off the weeds and grass growing in that strip and next year I'm going to put in hostas and bleeding hearts since it's pretty much all shade there. It should be nice when it's done.<br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct2nd20111-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The blueberries on the outside of the fence.<br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct31st20115.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The shed that we repainted. The side you see and the back side are painted to match the back yard more. But the front and the other side are going to be painted to match the house next year since a bright red shed would look out of place from the street.<br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct2nd20114-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><img alt="" src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i463/AlmandineSky/Oct2nd20119-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
We've done so much in the last month or so yet I feel like there's still so much we've got to do before we're where we want to be. We both are excited for next spring. We want to also plant a few more dwarf fruit trees in the back yard. And we plan on making a few more veggie boxes. We want to make a couple to put infront of the blueberries that are narrow to just plant rows of carrots in. I plan on taking a canning class this winter or next summer to learn to can. The dogs and the chickens eat a lot of fruits and veggies also so we're being kind of ambitious but at the same time we really do go through fresh, frozen and canned produce really quickly.<br><br>
I plan on posting my successes and failures in here and plenty of pictures. Here's to hoping it goes well next year!
 

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Very exciting.
 

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Cool. Looks like a fair bit of work, but I'm sure you'll have fun doing it.<br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Almeria</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3026802"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We plan on dividing this long drive way in half and doing the back half as like an outdoor area where we can BBQ and use the outdoor fireplace and stuff like that.</div>
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That sounds good to me. The BBQ/entertaining area outside is one of my favourite places in the house. Firing up the BBQ, putting on some music and having some friends around is still one of life's simple, but great pleasures. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/cool3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cool:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We both love being outside during summer evenings but our dogs have zero patio manners and at our last house they totally ruined the patio for us. Lestat thinks every pot is his personal hydrant and the little dogs would use it as their bathroom when it would rain and they didn't want to go into the grass. So we've been very hesitant to put a patio in the backyard unless we fence it off but then we'd be taking away space from the dogs and the chickens. We held a BBQ on the driveway this last summer and that's when I realized it'd be a great spot if we divide it off to have some privacy from the road and we could let the dogs in with us but they wouldn't have access to it unless we're there.<br><br>
I covered the beds yesterday with straw and tonight we're going to get in the last two by the road.
 

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Looks great! I'm excited FOR you!
 

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Yay for community building! It looks like it's going to be a very pretty well maintained yard <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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