May 2008 Archives

Back in February I signed up for the Growing Challenge -- but because of my insane travel schedule and lingering cold Boston weather, it's been slow going. Fortunately, the long Memorial Day weekend brought both time at home and warm weather, and so we were finally able to finish our raised garden bed.  (Admission: Haven and our downstairs neighbor John did all the heavy lifting.)

Step 1: Buy some wood.  We could have purchased prefab raised beds, but the ones we saw online were expensive (between $80 - $150) and we figured this would be pretty easy construction.  We bought two untreated 2" x 12"s that were 14' long and had Home Depot cut each one into two pieces, 8' and 5'.  We also bought one 2" x 3", had it cut into four 18" pieces, then used a jigsaw at home to shape the lower 6" into a spike.  The total cost of the wood was around $35, and Home Depot did the cutting for free.

wood.JPGStep two: Assemble the wood. Haven and John attached everything together with screws.  This took about 90 minutes, most of it thinking time.

box.JPGStep 3: Dig a hole.  Our lot was originally zoned for business -- and we've got the dirt to show it.  We've found everything from pipes to chunks of asphalt buried below the surface and several seemingly healthy plants have died for no apparent reason.  So... we weren't exactly crazy about the idea of eating plants grown in our dirt.  To provide as big a buffer as possible between our yard and our veggies, we decided to dig a 6" trench underneath the bed.  This was definitely the hardest part -- John and Haven took turns over a few evenings.

hole.JPGStep 4: Get some dirt.  We ordered composted soil from Cambridge Bark & Loam, which cost about $125 including delivery.  To save on the shoveling, we had them dump most of it right into the bed.  (We also had them deliver new mulch for the yard at the same time.)

dirt.JPGStep 5: Add a worm.  Ok, this step is optional, but we found two FAT worms while we were replanting a couple of bushes to make room for the bed.  It only made sense to put them in the garden.

worm.JPGStep 6: Add plants. This is where we're at right now.  We've picked out some veggies we like (Boston lettuce, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, and a bunch of different hot peppers) and have them all ready for transplant.  We're coordinating our plantings with our neighbors, though, so we'll get all the plants in the bed one evening this week.

lettuce cabbage.JPGStep 7: Step back and admire all the hard work!

garden complete.JPG
If you're a regular Wicked Flavory reader, you may have been wondering where the heck I've been for the past month.  Between travel for work and vacation, I was gone for nearly all of April. 

Travel can be tough on the old stomach.  I've had more crappy airport food and room service meals than I care to recall.  But travel can also provide an opportunity to explore local cuisine. 

I just got back from a week in the Bahamas, where every restaurant serves some variation of  locally caught conch, grouper, or snapper and every bar serves 73 variations of rum drinks, like the Bahama Mama.  Earlier in April , I had an amazing meal at Craft restaurant in Los Angeles, where there were plenty of local ingredients on the menu.  (Eating locally and seasonally is so damn easy in California.)  Before that, I had walleyed pike, Minnesota's state fish, paired with Brussels sprouts at the Minneapolis Westin.

walleye.jpgHopefully the bulk of my travel is behind me for a while...  And now that it's May, there's so much seasonal food to be planted, harvested, purchased at farmer's markets, and cooked in all of our favorite warm weather ways.  Look out for lots of new Wicked Flavory posts!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2008 is the previous archive.

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