Good lord this was supposed to be easy! Well it was a simple raised bed but the work certainly isn’t easy. I’m using the clay soil from the back yard and adding in straw and rabbit poo instead of buying bags of soil. Cheaper than buying soil but a lot more work with the rotor-tiller. Without that little tiller this job would have been much harder as well as take longer to get done. This will be a true raised bed with it’s 8 inch depth and I dug into the soil with the rotor-tiller before setting the raised bed in place. I will need to add some soil if I want to use the bed this year and I want to use it! The bed is not full even with the addition of straw and poo I added so I will need to buy some soil to get the bed filled enough to use this year. I should know by now just how much it takes to fill a raised bed or even a large container but it always seems to surprise me. If food prices were not going up so fast I would leave this bed fallow and work on building it up over the year. I need to build a few of the smaller 2 ft. x 4 ft. beds and build the soil in those for next year but what I have already should be enough to add to my diet and keep me busy.
I did buy a lot of wood mulch that I spread around the garden beds. The wood mulch should cut down on weeds as well as add to the yard soil. I’m experimenting using a weed blocker and going without to see what works best for me. Plus the wood mulch gives the garden area a much cleaner and pleasant look over all. This wood mulch from Fred Meyers is consistent in price, so getting more to add to the yard should not be expensive to use in other sections of the yard to help build the soil. It cost a bit more in the long run compared to buying in bulk but it’s easier to come up with an extra $10.00 in the budget to do a section at a time rather than spend more to do the whole yard. Laying out the mulch a section at a time looks like more progress rather than saving up and dumping a large load all at once. Plus it is easier to motivate myself to dump and spread mulch a little at a time rather than see a big pile of mulch that is intimidating to spread over the whole yard.
I am slowly cleaning up the wood storage area while I work on the garden when I need to do a different job. I got an offer from the new neighbors of some more wood they cut and split for the elderly/disabled as their charity. I don’t mind the offer but I am in really good shape for wood and heating that I already bartered and “paid for”. I will accept a bit of wood as payment for helping them out but I’m sure that plenty of people need that kind of help for winter heating. Now if they have no one they can find that needs the wood then I’ll take it. One of my big “pet peeves” is people that suggest you go to the local food bank or some other charity as a part of prepping when they could pay for themselves if they got rid of some luxaries or changed their lifestyle and disciplined themselves. I don’t care if you have 250 channel cable/sat. TV or an Iphone/Ipad with all the bells and whistles data plans if you can afford it, but you don’t deserve “charity” because you don’t want to spend the money and effort required to become prepared.