Gardening means so much to me. It provides a calm and meditative space for my own well-being and provides healthy home-grown nourishment for my friends and famiy. 

In the 3 years we have lived in our home the backyard has transformed from an empty greenspace into one of favorite places to spend time.
You really don’t need much to get started. We began in the first summer with a rototiller borrowed from the inlaws and decided on a basic plot shape

We planted directly into the dirt and focussed on getting the greenhouse up. You can read about the construction of the greenhouse here.

Over the summer I kept my eyes and ears open for good deals on wood and ended up scoring a full flat of j-grade 2x4s that had fallen off a loader at a local mill as well as a full fence that had been torn down and was offered to me for free. 

So I started using sunny afternoons to build garden boxes one by one and adding them to the plot, starting with the outer parameter boxes. 

I kind of half-attempted a fence around the garden by screwing the boards into the sides of the outer boxes to keep the dog out.

By the time next spring rolled around, I had completed all the boxes and refined the garden fence and was ready for a full season of planting. I had also rigged up an old door between two 4×4 posts to keep the chickens from infiltrating the garden. The whole chicken run area extends beneath the large fruit trees and to the back of the greenhouse. The chickens do a fine job keeping the weeds down and everything looking clean in that area

Halfway through the season things got sloppy as the weeds in the garden started overtaking the paths as you can see in the photo:

I bought some landscape fabric and laid it down in the paths, then covered with black mulch. 

This past spring we had the strangest mosquito problem. Everyone in town hid indoors and our little community even adopted a municipal garlic-spray program to try to reduce the mosquito population. It.Was.Crazy. I wrote a post about how we helped solve that problem by building a pond which you can read more about here.

I can’t tell you how amazing this pond has been in bringing diversity to our backyard. We have a constant supply of robins, finches, and all kinds of butterfly visitors to the pond daily. One time we even had a hawk swoop in and steal a goldfish! And the mosquito problem is no more. 

Next year my ambitions are to continue building garden beds out from the vegetable area for more herbs, flowers and vining plants. In the meantime we are having fun harvesting and enjoying fresh healthy snacks, salves, and serenity from the garden!

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