Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekending - Around the House

When The Boy started Montessori preschool last week, I didn't even think about the germ infestation he might bring home. But sure enough, he did. And Super Hubby and I both managed to come down with the early spring cold crunk.

All our plans for going out and about in the PDX area sort of fell through the cracks, and we ended up staying pretty close to home. A good thing too, as it turned out we had much to do.

Four cubic yards of 3 way compost mix were delivered to our driveway Saturday morning. We *might* have overestimated our needs slightly. We spent the better half of the morning wheelbarrowing it into the backyard into an unsightly pile. The goal was mostly to get it out of the driveway. Saturday was a dry day - but we knew the rains were coming again. I didn't want all the soil to wash down the driveway into the street. Soil, in case you haven't had the pleasure of purchasing it, is expensive.

We plan on spreading a good portion of it flat in its current area. The yard slopes down here and we're relocating our chickens to this portion of the yard. I'm sick of the chicken poo on our patio. They'll have a new run built, and access to our compost pile. The rest of the compost will fill containers, potato bins, amend current garden beds, etc.

And speaking of garden beds, we also built these new square foot garden beds. They're 4 foot by 4 foot, and located on the south side of our house for optimal sunlight:

We used cardboard boxes as the weed barrier underneath them, and managed to get the new soil and compost mixture into them. We still need to grid them out and put up the vertical climbing wall behind them to trellis peas and beans. Super Hubby is going to create a border around the gardens similar to our current beds and we'll fill in the entire area with wood chips and shavings as mulch. I find mulching the areas around the beds makes the whole garden endeavor easier. If I allow grass to grow right up next to the beds it's a constant struggle to keep it mowed and trimmed and I'm continually pulling grass that manages to grow in the beds. Work smarter. Not harder.

We planned to go this week and pick up some black weed barrier cloth from the hardware store when I found a posting on our local Craigslist for FREE burlap coffee bags. FREE! I immediately contacted the poster expressing my interest and loaded The Boy into the car before someone else came by to stake my claim. The place we ended up was a huge coffee processing plant. It smelled soooo delicious. I've never seen so much coffee in one place at one time. The warehouse was literally the size of an IKEA store with pallets of coffee beans piled up to the ceiling.

And wow, did we get hooked up! The back of my mid-size SUV is filled with burlap bags. Literally 200 of them, and the promise of more if I needed them - and the nice Craigslist guy gave me a bag of beans to grind at home. We'll lay the burlap bags down on the grassy area around the new garden beds as a natural weed barrier and then cover with 3-4 inches of mulch. How awesome is that? I LOVE free Craigslist finds, and I LOVE repurposing something that would otherwise end up in the landfill into something useful. Some of those burlap bags are so cute that I'm going to pull them aside for crafty ideas running through my head. Later. Like at some point when I'm not elbows deep in garden dirt, Etsy projects, and crazy, crazy life.

Loving this life I'm living,
Simple Mama


  1. Good score! If you have any left over, I'm growing potatoes in mine. I figure just when it's time to harvest from the bottom they will have rotted out. : )

  2. Wow, that's awesome! I've been thinking of a new way to handle my weed problems. Free burlap bags would be the way to go! :)

  3. Hey the back of your car looks just like the back of my car did a few weeks ago! I'm in PDX too- I think I got them from the same place. Enjoy!