A few weeks ago, the Camp Guy asked me to work on a project for summer camp. He wants a vegetable garden as a source of fresh eats for the kids, but also a place where the kids can come and learn about growing their own food. A place that would serve as a jumping off point, if you will, for talking about bigger issues, like environmental stewardship and the importance of knowing where your food comes from.
The Camp Guy and I walked around camp talking about where to put this garden, and found a few promising places, but non that worked better than where our garden had been before (plus that spot was already approved by the Corp of Engineers!) so… that’s the spot we decided on. It gets great sun, has easy access to water, is close to our house (which is nice, since I’ll be taking care of it!), and it’s close to the shop, where the tools will be anyway!
So, I wrote a letter and took it to our local Home Depot, Lowe’s, Tractor Supply, and two local farm supply stores. I also mailed it to several national gardening/plant supply companies. And boy, did they come through! One of the local places supplies 5 flats of lettuce and cabbage, plus a few pounds of onion sets. A box arrived in the mail from Burpee – no letter, but FULL of seeds! And our local Home Depot went above and beyond – they worked with their vendors (Bonnie and Miracle Grow) and got us two pallets of Garden Soil, hoses, tomato cages, and a LOT of plants!
I also got on the phone and had a bunch (140!) bales of straw delivered by a nice man who gave us a great price. Aunt J and Uncle P came over this morning and we hauled straw and bags of dirt around until now, it looks like this…
As you can see – there’s a LOT more to do! We’re using raised beds because, even though we’ve added some amendments in our previous gardening attempts (I say attempts because it’s always ended up being a salad bar for the deer! more on that later), it’s still mostly clay. So in order to maximize our amendments, and make some easily workable spaces for the kids, AND not run afoul of the Corp, we’re opting for the raised beds out of straw. The pathways in between, plus a walkway around will eventually be mulched, the beds will be filled and planted until they’re overflowing.
And the deer? The Camp Guy has plans for a temporary fence… but if doesn’t work, you’ll be able to find me camping out in the yard all summer to keep this project from getting eaten!
I’ll post pics as we get more things done. In the meantime, I’m sending happy spring and garden thoughts your way!