Growing in the Twin Cities with Backyard Harvest

Building a sustainable (and delicious) urban food system – one yard at a time

Our Garden is Installed! April 24, 2009

By way of introduction: “Hi. My name is Lisa. My husband and I are homeowners in the Backyard Harvest program. I’ll be taking pictures, writing posts, and otherwise documenting what it’s like to have a garden from these fine folks installed in your backyard. More to come!”

So, here’s our experiment/project for the summer! The husband and I shared a CSA last summer with another couple. When that group wasn’t going to be doing it again this year, we were looking for another option. A few days later, I got an email from the neighborhood association mentioning that PRI Cold Climate was going to start a Backyard Harvest program in our area. It sounded like a great fit – we got to use our land for something more tangibly useful, it could be really pretty, and (hopefully) will be functional replacement for a CSA membership.

So, we’ve opted in as homeowners in the Backyard Harvest program. It’s a pretty cool idea – sign up; pay for farmers to plan, install, and maintain a garden in your backyard; eat the fruits of their labor as the season goes on; and get to have a rad garden in your backyard.

Yesterday, when we came home from work, they had done the first stage of installation. There’s dirt and plants under all of that hay, and hopefully we’ll get to see the little buggers pop their heads up soon.

Before the install we had done a few things:

  1. Put out cardboard (enough to cover the full area of the garden). That cardboard is under the topsoil, which is under the hay.
  2. We should have turned on the outside water access, but forgot, and the poor farmers were left with no water pressure. So, we turned it on and watered the whole deal down after work.
  3. There’s a soil test involved in this deal too. We’re still waiting on the results from that, but they took samples a few days ago.

This weekend, we need to:

  1. Install rabbit fencing – the critters in our neighborhood don’t honor the separation of “ours” and “theirs.”
  2. Build a compost holder thing. I’ll take pictures as we get that up and running, since buying the containers is surprisingly expensive. We’re making ours out of some old palletes we inherited last Fall. Here’s to the start of things!

– Lisa in Kingfield

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6 Responses to “Our Garden is Installed!”

  1. Nick Says:

    Nice photo Lisa!

  2. Lisa Says:

    Thanks! I had a pain of a time figuring out how to make this really early part of the process look cool, but I like the panorama 🙂

  3. Eric Hart Says:

    Typo alert! I imagine you made your compost pile out of *pallets*, what you put in place of that word (palates) made it sound like a fine French delicacy or a kind of exercise!

  4. Lisa Says:

    So true about my typo – it’s corrected now! But, I think that the type of exercise you’re referring to is “pilates.” Can we call it even? Hehe

  5. Michele Says:

    I’m wondering if you are still planning on using your clothesline? Looks like the laundry would hang right over the vegetables.

    • Lisa Says:

      We’ve never used our clothesline, so it’s not an issue for us. But, that would be kind of icky and inconvenient, wouldn’t it?


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