Over Labor Day weekend, Ryan and I buckled down and got to work. We mowed, edged, trimmed the hackberry trees at the fence line, and got all of the un-fun stuff out of the way. Then it was time to focus on the garden.
A few weeks ago, I began what I imagined would be a quick, simple, and adorable compost bin building project. (Rose-colored glasses, anyone?) It only took a few twists of his arm to convince Ryan into driving around the city and loading up a truck full of free pallets. Then I armed myself with a crowbar and hammer and was excited to get to work.
|The lumber is ok. The labor is crazy difficult.|
Ryan patiently showed me the best way to approach the situation, but I whined my way through it. I even recruited our all-too-kind neighbor, who enjoyed the opportunity to sling a heavy hammer at something for a while.
Pinterest makes it look so easy. "Build THIS shelf out of pallets! How about this chair? Pallets! Free! Just take them apart and voila! Something awesome." Don't be fooled.
If you decide to take on a pallet project, lured by the free-ness of the wood and the promise of DIY furniture just around the bend; be warned. It's not easy. And also, not all of the wood is in the best shape. But it's free, and I have to say I was happy to put in a little extra elbow grease to get us an almost-free compost bin.
After a couple of weekends spent taking some of the pallets apart, and then learning to use the circular saw, I devised a plan to build a compost bin. (Note: this began as a three-bin composting system and quickly morphed into the much more do-able single bin.)
|Final touch: paint on the saying, "A Rind is a Terrible Thing to Waste"|
We moved the bin to its new home in the back of the garden, and left a little space next to it for tomato cages and the wheelbarrow. It's a little bit charming, don't you think?
Meanwhile, we had a lot of other preparation to do to ready the beds for fall planting. I took a solo trip Sunday morning out to the Natural Gardener to walk the labyrinth and get pine straw and turkey compost. There's something very meditative about shoveling hot turkey manure. Or maybe that was the labyrinth.
By Monday, we were up with the dawn and turning over the dirt in all the beds. We dressed them with fresh compost and topped them all with pine straw to keep the cats out. The garden began looking like herself again!
|The beds are primed and ready (almost!) to plant.|
- Shelling peas
- Snap peas
- Swiss chard
- Bok Choi (tatsoi)
When it's time for transplants, we'll get broccoli and cabbage. It feels so good to be in the garden again! Are you ready to plant a fall/winter garden?