Our Journey to the Garden

It all started 5 years ago on a trip to visit my parents in Michigan. I found an old 80's book laying around their house that I had never seen before. We had a decent drive that day so I asked if I could borrow the book.
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
That was it...I was hooked!!! I read the book from cover to cover and was captured by the idea of building our own Square Foot garden. The only obstacle was that we were still renting and didn't have the freedom to build a raised bed.

Fast forward several years and we found our first house! We bought it in March so I had time to put in our first garden.  I kept it simple and bought some chicken wire, 4 green metal stakes and I was ready. My husband got the tiller out and we just planted right in the soil. It was very affordable and we purchased little to make it happen.  No raised beds, no soil to buy and no major preparation. I choose to start growing peppers because they are a relatively disease and pest free plant! I figured that if the peppers survived I would branch out to something else.  That year I also added some leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, basil and marigolds to see if I had any success.  I did a couple of container tomato plants on our deck just to see if they would grow.

Now used to collect leaves, this was previously used as our garden!
 Almost everything was successful.  The broccoli and cauliflower were attacked by little green worms and the leeks didn't do much, but the peppers, tomatoes and herbs were very happy. (To be honest I was amazed that the majority of the plants survived and I discovered it wasn't as hard as I had imagined).

Starting small gave me the confidence to plant again the following year.  That year my husband made me a small 2x2 raised bed that was 8 inches tall.  I decided to buy some green plastic chicken wire so it would look a little nicer. I added green beans and carrots continuing to grow the peppers, leeks, herbs and tomatoes.  A couple weeks after planting the carrots I looked out the back window and spotted a rabbit in the garden!  I ran out and discovered he had eaten all the baby carrot plants.  He had chewed a hole in the green plastic chicken wire.  I immediately went back to using the metal chicken wire.  At the end of the season we decided to get serious about making a permanent fence the following year and making larger raised beds.

2012 Pine raised beds and Pine fence

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