We’re working on a converting our front lawn into veggie beds, and the unseasonably warm and dry weather has helped us get a jump start on sheet mulching.Â Goodbye lawn, hello permaculture landscape!Â While Tum Tum and I spread cardboard, straw, manure and compost, Little Hen and her Daddy were busy building cold frames out of scrap wood and old windows from the ReStore. (Firecracker was either resting inside, or resting curled up in a nest of blankets on the driveway, since she not only had strep throat, but then a head-to-toe reaction to the amoxicillin meant to cure the strep.Â Poor kid. )
(Collage posters Little Hen made calling for Garden Volunteers – I wrote the words, but she went to town with the scissors, a stack of old issues of Mother Earth News and a glue stick.)
Last year we worked at Penelope’s Garden, but this year, we’ll be hosting a community-building garden of our own. Â It will be years before our seedling fruit trees and berry bushes obscure many sunny patches of our yard, so we thought we’d make good use of it all and put in veggie beds to grow fresh, organic produce for families of limited means.Â This weekend, a team of volunteers will help us finish installing the front yard beds and create many more in the backyard, so that the organic veggies grown here and cared for by volunteers can be delivered to the families at Birch Community Services, a local non-profit serving needy families in Portland.
We saved a little time for planting poppies and sweet pea seeds, rhubarb and asparagus crowns.Â We also started tomato, artichoke, and cardoon seeds in pots in the basement.Â Â The dry evenings allowed me to plant blueberry bushes, dozens and dozens of strawberry plants, and a red currant after dinners last week.
As Little Hen’s sign (which she hung on the front door) says -“Gardening – You want to sign up?”Â If you’re interested in volunteering to grow food for needy families in the Portland area, and teaching those families to grow their own nutritious, organic produce, please e-mail me at
I’m working on setting up a little blog dedicated to the garden this year.Â More on that soon. Â If you have any ideas on a nameÂ for the Birch Community Services’Â educational and food producing organic garden hosted at the Baker’s house, I’d LOVE to hear them (short, sweet and whimsical is best).
Happy gardening!Â The rains and cold weather are on the way, so I’m sure I’ll be posting more from indoors later this week!
7 thoughts on “Why I haven’t been blogging the past week or so”
This is wonderful!!
There is nothing like growing, eating, and preserving your own food.
I am envious that you are starting already – we have at least 4 – 6 more weeks up here before we will be able to plant the cold weather crops.
You. Are. Superwoman.
What a great project! I want to turn a large strip of my backyard into a vegetable garden this year, and I’ve been contemplating how to go about it. I like the idea of sheet mulching. Let us all know how it works out: how long did it take, etc. If you do sheet mulching, do you still have to turn over the soil and mix in the new top layer with the untouched layer below, or does it eliminate that ground-breaking (back breaking!) work?
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