My Backyard Garden Project

Small Steps Toward Good Food

The inspiration for our backyard garden came a year ago, a few months into our weekly Klesick’s Farm CSA Box deliveries. We were really beginning to love cooking with certain fruits and vegetables (I became quite an herb nut too), and still exploring with everything else. The problem was, the contents of our box were different most weeks, so we weren’t always getting our loves.

Then we thought, “why not grow them ourselves?” That was easier said than done. We spent the early part of last summer leveling out some ground in our backyard, and even managed buying the boards for raised beds, but that is as far as we got last year. Life and my health got in the way. It didn’t get done. This year is different though.

This year, we started earlier, and have chosen to make small steps towards creating our backyard garden instead of doing it all at once. We still have a long way to go but it is already looking pretty good and encouraging us to keep doing more.

What started as a plan for six or eight raised beds, is now one for now. In it are all of our loves – potatoes, parsnips, radishes, carrots, and onions (all things that can be found in the recipe on page 21). The onions were starts, so they are definitely above ground.

As for everything else … The SnoCo Kid’s radishes sprouted within a week with adorable heart shaped leaves, leaving me a bit jealous. My carrots finally began to make a very, very, small appearance just in time for this issue going to the printer.

 

Our Garden 4/30/18

Our Garden 5/23/18 (23 Days Later)

The SnoCo Kid’s Radishes …

Day 10

Day 20

Day 30

That wasn’t the only thing about our garden that made an appearance just in time, our bees did as well. Thanks to a little help from Of Milk and Honey (page 30), I discovered Mason Bees, bees that would not only pollinate our garden, but that I didn’t have to worry about my bee allergy around (they don’t sting).

Our bees arrived in cocoons, ones that require as much patience as waiting for seeds to sprout. I’m not good at either. Before we knew it though, two little bees were slowly beginning the process of hatching. It was beyond cool and a bit terrifying at the same time.

I watched on, a bit like a proud parent to be, as they began to move around and break through the skin of their cocoons. Their little tufts of hair were adorable, the big buy eyes not so much. Those were a reminder that I was looking at a bug, and not a cute cuddly baby. That moment meant it was time to move back outside where they finished their hatching.

As of the writing of this article, we officially have three Mason Bees calling our bee house home (check out our first one on the right in the next article). My parent moment didn’t end with their hatching though. Having bees means providing them with flowers and plants for them to pollinate.

That’s where all of our rusty old bins and pails came into play. In them we added some colorful flowers and some herbs and fruits that were already well on their way to producing flowers and edibles. In them included more of our favorites like a blueberry, blackberry, and lemon bush, as well as strawberries.

My favorite part of the garden by far though, has to be our pails of herbs. I’m a Rosemary junkie and am really looking forward to trying to do more, including Sage, Basil, and Thyme. The herbs themselves weren’t the only thing I was excited about though.

Finally getting them in the ground meant finally getting to use the wood burned markers I bought last summer from local maker Keltic Kraze (available at Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish). I love that they not only help me keep the herbs I don’t know by sight yet labeled, but that they are so outdoorsy.

The final step of phase I was, covering up our weed preventing tarp with some mulch to spruce things up and add a bit more color. Seeing all of it finally in place is giving us incentive for adding more to our little garden.

4/30/18

5/23/18 (23 Days Later)

5/23/18 (23 Days Later)

New Additions …

Wheelbarrow From The Red Door, Gold Bar

Wheelbarrow From Dahlia’s, Camano

Rusty Bed Frame Draped in Jasmine From Rustic Redemption, Granite Falls

My favorite part of the garden by far though, has to be our pails of herbs. I’m a Rosemary junkie and am really looking forward to trying to do more, including Sage, Basil, and Thyme. The herbs themselves weren’t the only thing I was excited about though.

Finally getting them in the ground meant finally getting to use the wood burned markers I bought last summer from local maker Keltic Kraze (available at Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish). I love that they not only help me keep the herbs I don’t know by sight yet labeled, but that they are so outdoorsy.

What’s up next? I’m thinking another raised bed full of green goodness, including spinach, some lettuce, and Italian broccoli. We also have a rain barrel waiting to be installed and plans for a compost bin that we will fill with banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds and more.

A seating area with fire pit sounds nice as well. With all the work we have, and will, put into the garden, getting to sit down and enjoy it sounds like a nice reward.

Whatever we add though, I know that our garden will be producing delicious and healthy food that our family will be making into equally delicious and healthy recipes. Not only that, we plan on giving what we don’t need away to neighbors and our local food bank to help feed others.

I couldn’t think of a better way to help our family, others, and the environment at the same time!

Rusty Pails & Wash Bins Picked From:  Annie’s on First – Snohomish,  Antique Station – Snohomish, Antique Warehouse – Snohomish, Rustic Redemption – Granite Falls.

Veggies & Flowers Picked From: Sunnyside Nursery – Marysville (Primary), Ace Hardware – Lake Stevens, and some seeds from the Snohomish Conservation District’s Lawns to Lettuce Program.

Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.

Single issues can be bought HERE and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique,  Artisans Mercantile, and Tried & True Boutique in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Dahlia’s Vintage Marketplace on Camano Island, Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls, and Vintage & Rust in Monroe.

Let us know what you think! Share your comments and experiences below and don’t forget to spread the love on social media at the bottom of the page.

1 Comment

  1. Terry

    Great to have you in the Lawns to Lettuce/Sustainable Gardening Class, keep up the great work and keep sharing your progress!

    Reply

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