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  • Writer's pictureMissy Blankenship

Starting work on the Garden

Well, we got started on the garden in earnest this weekend. We built 4 additional raised garden bed boxes (we had built one back in the fall but were too late to do much). It was pretty simple - we built boxes out of 2x8s, 8 feet long. We used 2 for the sides, and then cut one in half for the ends.

Once the boxes were assembled, we stacked them 2 high, to make a raised bed. We used pressure treated lumber for the bottom box, to help keep it from rotting. This is a bit controversial, but we've seen enough "experts" state that when you're working with a raised bed, the roots won't really get down to the area where the pressure treated lumber is anyway, so it's okay. The top level is definitely not pressure treated.

Once we had the boxes stacked, we put braces in each corner to keep them square and hold them together. Now all that's left to do is fill them with dirt - which will be another undertaking all together! When we built the first box this fall, we just used (many and many) bags of dirt from Lowes. Doesn't really seem like the efficient way to go when we're now filling 4 additional boxes, so we'll be looking for a source to have dirt delivered.

Our timing was perfect, because today I received my first shipment of seeds in the mail! I have to thank one of our NCTC honors students, Jeri Housel, for turning me on to Baker Creek Seeds. Aren't they beautiful??

Now on to the econ part of this. We've been experiencing some pretty significant inflation as of late, and that has also hit the lumber industry. Recently enacted tariffs on Canadian lumber have helped to exacerbate the situation. We bought 12 8 foot long 2x8 pressure treated boards, and 12 8 foot long 2x8 regular boards, along with a box of wood screws at Lowes for this project. The total cost was a whopping $380.26, with an additional $31.37 in sales tax. Yikes! These vegetables better be worth it! Since we will be using these boxes again each season, the costs for the garden boxes will be considered a fixed cost. Additionally, I purchased 19 packages of seeds from Baker Creek Seeds, at a cost of $66.00. To be honest, I'll have to think a little about how to treat the seed costs (fixed or variable). Also, since these are all heirloom seeds, I should be able to gather seeds from what I grow to use next year. So that complicates things a little bit. Anyone have any thoughts?

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