Sunday, May 17, 2009

I didn't inherit the laborer gene!

You're either part of the problem or part of the solution, right?

We've chosen to be a part of the soluition by starting our own garden! Given the lousy quality of our soil, farmer Potato (err, I mean the 2nd Potato) decided that we should build a "raised garden", to which I just looked at him blankly and asked if it would be like the one the Giant had in Jack and the Beanstalk? "Exactly" he sighed.

So, the 2nd Potato set about to design a "raised garden" like his father and his father before him did, with a pencil and paper. His layout was for an 8' x 8' x 1' garden with four rows of companion plants...
"You have to allow for enough space between the rows"", he said.
"Of course, I replied, giants have big feet!"
"Right" he sighed....
Additional considerations re our "raised garden" include:
  1. We have a groundhog, commonly referred to as a woodchuck, or Chuck. Chuck took up residence on our property years ago, keeping to himself, and to the edges of the grass line. Chuck would probably like our "raised garden" a little too much, so we have to keep that in mind, pointed out the 2nd Potato. Now, I'm all about share and share alike, but since Chuck doesn't really have anything to share with us, I would tend to agree with the 2nd Potato.
  2. We don't have a truck, van, or other vehicle with a large bed/trunk. So, we will need to be creative in how we get the materials for said "raised garden" from wherever one gets such materials to the house.
  3. Farmer Potato, err, I mean the 2nd Potato, doesn't seem to think I know how to build a box?!?
Okay, so for those of you that don't know me, please don't let me handsome mug suggest that my body was built for labor - it wasn't. In fact, growing up, I wasn't even allowed to wear jeans, because as grandma would point out " seas come mierda chico, que no eres un campesino, ponte pantalones como un hombre!" which essentially translates into "... you're not a laborer, put on slacks like a man!" As a result, I don't think I ever even owned a pair of jeans until I was in my 30s...

So, anyhow, I got out my own paper and pencil to layout how to build a box... Granted, it isn't really a box... it is just four sides of a box - no top or bottom... though technically, it will have chicken wire on bottom to keep Chuck from digging his way in. One trip to the local Home Depot later (along with one nasty conversation with a very unhelpful customer service lady, who makes me wonder why we even bother ever going there), and we had our materials: four 8' x 12" boards (cut into 4' lengths so that they fit into a vehicle), some nails, and some connecting and corner braces (technically, Simpson Strong Ties). We assembled the 4' pieces into 8' pieces with the connecting braces, connected everything together with corner braces, and then added the chicken wire to what became the bottom of the box, and voila - we built a box!! A local garden supply company delivered some great quality loam today, and after laying down some weed blocker, we shoveled the dirt into the box, and now we have a great box of dirt - er, I mean "raised garden"!

So, I am now under the influence of Advil Migraine, in the hopes it will help with my bad case of laborer aches and pains! My back aches, my triceps ache, my hands ache, my thighs ache - I ache all over! Damn, now that I think about it, I think grandma had a great point! Maybe I just misunderstood... maybe she meant to say that I don't have the genes to be a laborer, instead of the jeans? ;)

Anyhow, sometime this week, the 2nd Potato will probably put some netting up (to prevent the nefarious squirrels, rabbits, and deer from gaining access to our "raised garden"), and plant the seedlings we started weeks ago (and have been waiting for the DEA to come banging down our door in a case of mistaken seedlings)! With any luck, we should be able to enjoy a versatile cornucopia of "raised garden" stuff like tomatos, squash, peas, greenbeans, and various herbs.

Yay - we have a garden!


  1. I'm jealous. We've tried that so many times but no matter what, the desert sun burns everything to a crisp come June. I'm growing tired of living in an oven.

  2. Don't be jealous yet - all we have right now is a box of dirt! :)

  3. Congrats on the garden! Wish we could have one in the city, but I guess that's what the park is for. We've started our journey through surrogacy as well. Which agency are you going with? If you get a chance stop by our blog!

    Best of luck to you!