Embarking on this journey to grow my own fresh produce by way of permaculture has so far been hugely rewarding and I have not even grown one thing yet. Here is the next installment.
After plucking out all sorts of vegetation from my garden, I took stock of what needed to happen next. Besides, of course, making sure that everything I plucked out went into the composting bin (which still needs to be constructed, so I’ve parked the leftovers on the lawn for now). It will be a nice big one.
Well, the next step seemed simple enough, I had to install a raised bed or two. So I dug out my measuring tape, scampered around my garden and figured out the optimal raised bed configuration – two decent-sized beds, vertical to the patio edge. After some research and window shopping, I realised that they are quite expensive and more often than not the wood is treated with nasties. Gmf. Stuff it then, I naively thought, I’ll make them!
The low-down is this… The drill I bought ended up being defective, so a friend drilled the pilot holes for me with his drill while I cooked dinner. I lugged the planks back home and then, a week later, when I wanted to put the raised bed together I realised that doing it by hand would be an arduous task. After much head-scratching and sighs, my neighbour arrived to scrounge some coffee only to get stuck into the problem himself. Then another neighbour arrived, with his fancy drill, and the two of them just kind of got on with assembling the thing for me. I had the royal task of keeping it from doing a tour de patio while they were working.
Once I carried it down to the cleared area in the garden, I had to fill the raised bed with soil. I had obtained some, but soon realised I had much less than anticipated and still needed a lot! So, I decided to drive to town to get some more and as I left the farm, I noticed a big heap of soil… right there. I asked one of the guys on the farm if I could get some of the soil for my garden, and he said sure. He’ll help me in the morning. Which he did, but in the meantime he’d discovered a better source of soil, so went to and fro between the site and my garden with a wheelbarrow (of which the wheel was a bit flat). I stubbornly managed two trips, after which my twiggy arms felt like they’d been ripped from their sockets. Who needs a gym?!
And then later again, the neighbour with the fancy drill offering to assemble my compost heap walls for me after taking care of the stuff he was making for his wife. Bless!
Then it struck me… we have become so used to everything carrying some kind of cost that we have forgotten that there are alternatives. I have received no invoices or price tags with this project. Just boundless generosity from friends and strangers! No strings attached, but truckloads of ubuntu. Help. Excitement. Encouragement. Suggestions. Stories. Connections.
And, best of all, there is the promise of abundance that has arrived. It’s invisible at the moment, but present. Soon it will be visible in the shape of vegetables and herbs and other kinds of life.
This project is already much more rewarding than I expected! I am beyond excited!