When you travel, or are just out and about, pay attention to other people’s stuff. Sounds kind of nosy doesn’t it? Not so. If it’s out in plain view, then you should be looking at it. By looking at what other people are doing, you gain precious information about what you are doing right, or wrong. Maybe you gain an idea about how to create something similar for your own home. Or maybe you find a new way to use something that otherwise would be tossed out. This is especially true for a garden. Knowledge gained for free is free prepping.
For example, while traveling this week, we noticed this unique garden box. Clearly it was not a flower garden. We had to know more about it, but since we didn’t live in the community we didn’t’ know how well received we would be if we knocked on the door. As luck would have it, the owner of the flower box just happened to stop by our host’s home to borrow a screw driver.
AHA! The perfect opportunity to ask about the garden box. As it turned out, Rachael was in the process of moving and had taken the rest of her garden to her new home. She couldn’t take the box.
Rachael and Jerry used old window shutters that were going to be discarded to form the sides of the box. They filled it with 100 fifty pound bags of compost dirt they got from the county landfill. The first year they planted flowers, and every year after that they planted vegetable seeds staged for various harvest times.
Rachael was careful to plant according to space and time to harvest so that some plants would be harvesting while others were still growing. This is important because they live in zone 6a as defined by the USDA plant hardiness map. She harvested fast growing vegetables like peas, green beans, and radishes while the slow growing vegetables like acorn squash, eggplant, and cucumbers were taking their time. She did all of this in the same planting box at the same time. As each vegetable was ready to harvest, they enjoyed them fresh and canned or froze the remaining produce.
Because they enjoyed the produce so much, Rachael and Jerry took their gardening another step further. They decided to container garden using five gallon buckets and old wooden barrels. In those containers they have several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, yellow corn and multi-color corn, green and yellow watermelon varieties.
In the end, their garden is successful and has brought them happiness to see their labor return their favorite foods to eat for several years and will for many years to come. To see more images of Rachael and Jerry’s garden go to the gallery.