Proof of Life – Garden Edition

We’ve been doing stuff! Got the orchard planted, at long last –


It doesn’t look like much at the moment, because those are bare root trees, and they’ve been beheaded to about knee height, per the aggressive pruning techniques I’m following from Grow A Little Fruit Tree. On the far left are two American persimmons, then a trio of apple trees – Golden Delicious, Fuji and Gala – and then a pair of hazelnuts. These trees will be only about my height-ish – around six feet – at maturity. Just right for our small backyard, and the amount of fruit and nuts we’re looking to harvest.

We also got our trio of raised beds for the vegetables in –


We obviously need to get some more soil before we can plant anything. That’s 20 bags worth, and we figure we’ll need another 20 to fill them up! Each bed is a few inches shy of being six feet long by three feet wide. They’re made from cedar fencing, and we got the idea from a post at Preparedness Mama on building raised beds on the cheap. Each one cost around $15 to build, so we made a trio for under $50. And they’re just shy of six feet because we’re OCD and cut the tapered dog-ear edge off the top of the pickets. Would’ve annoyed us to no end! They look great and a super cedar, and the cedar is sure to last for awhile. We’re really pleased with how these turned out.

And last but not least, husband built a covered compost bin, from his own design –


So, we’ve been busy outside. You’ll notice we still don’t have the privacy fencing up in the yard – the blue and white garage and the wire fencing both belong to our neighbors. Eventually we’ll get a six foot privacy fence back there to screen the view and provide protection from critters – we already know we’ve got rabbits, squirrels and even opossums living nearby!

And also outdoors, we’re trying to identify our big trees – we’ve got five maples of varying types and either something like an ash or walnut. Naturally I’m hoping for walnut. And I’m hoping that we’ve got a couple of sugar maples, because I’d love to try my hand at making maple syrup – it takes 40 gallons to make a single gallon of finished syrup, so with five trees and a good sap run for a week I could do it! Still need to definitively ID those trees so we know what we’ve got though.

Indoors, a little progress. We bought a pull out trash can/recycling sorter to retrofit into one our kitchen cabinets, and it’s been a lifesaver. So much easier to recycle religiously without having to haul the recycling out to the garage. So between having a recycling bin right instead and our covered compost pail for food scraps, our goal is to have next to nothing get thrown into the actual trash. We also decided to do shiplap paneling in our living room. This is the inspiration photo we’re shooting for (though we sadly do not have vaulted ceilings) –

white room

That photo is from a feature on Country Living. Seriously love that magazine – so many great design ideas, that are actually accessible. And I love the blue tones an the mixed woodwork as well, so we’re using the whole style as a guide. We were able to pick up the shiplap at a good price so we have it all stacked in the garage and ready to go. Still need to get the trim down, true up a few dips in the walls, and work up the nerve to install several hundred dollars worth of wood on the walls without screwing it up… but progress is just around the corner.

I also caved and bought two crappy particle board bookcases to get the stupid books of the floor. They’re already half busted because they’re total crap, but they beat stacks of cardboard boxes and we can make do with them while we scour antique malls and tag sales and the like for the real deal replacements.

So, that’s most of it for now!

2 thoughts on “Proof of Life – Garden Edition

    • That is definitely true – though fortunately this tree is in our front yard, well away from any of the vegetable and herb beds in the back yard. So I’m still hoping for walnuts!

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