Raised Vegetable Bed

A weekend project I’ve been meaning to undertake was to create a raised garden for extra vegetable growing space. Right now, our backyard has a medium piece of lawn, which I hate because it uses up water and I can’t eat it.  The solution: put in a 4’x8′ raised bed for planting vegetables in.

Will and I went to Eagle Rock Lumber & Hardware, one of the few lumberyards open on a Sunday and they couldn’t be nicer. The guy working at the lumber department knew exactly what I needed and cut all my pieces to size and even threw up two scrap pieces to use as stakes for the long sides of the bed. We used untreated redwood.

Then we stopped by the San Gabriel Nursery (which I highly recommend) to get some soil, compost, and vegetables. I drew out a handy little diagram to help in planning.

raised bed

First, we had to build the bed, which probably took the longest time.  Just four sides secured to four posts.

raised bed

Then, we put in one layer of cardboard and hosed it enough to be soggy.  This is one step I learned while looking up lasagna gardening.

raised bed

Then, a layer of newspaper, also hosed down to be soggy. These two layers of paper should help in killing the grass under as well as compost and become nutrient for the soil.

raised bed

Then, a layer of dried leaves that were raked last week. Finally, the soil. The people at the nursery recommended us using this potting soil. I guess we got too little of it because it didn’t exactly go as high as I planned. I’ll need to pick up 4 more bags tomorrow.

raised bed

The last step (not shown because we didn’t complete it yet) is to put in a layer of compost.

After that, it’s only a matter of putting the plants in, watering them, and hopefully, watching them thrive.

Another New Year Resolution: Write More

ink & pen

One of my resolutions for this year is to write more. Not just write more posts, but write by hand more.  Since I have a job where I type on the computer all day, my penmanship has been going downhill ever since college.  I recently bought a fountain pen to inspire me to write by hand more.

The fountain pen (a ubiquitous Lamy Safari) of course came with blue ink, which I dislike.  Luckily, I foresaw the scenario and ordered a bottle of Noodler’s Ink Bulletproof black ink.  It’s not their blackest ink, but black enough for everyday use without having to worry about it bleeding through pages.

One thing I like about Lamy, other than inexpensive but great fountain pens, is that their packaging is simple, functional, but fun.  The box (in the back) the pen came in had perfectly cut little windows showing the pen inside.

Goodbye Year of the Rat

Happy New Year

It’s the eve of Chinese New Year, so I made a banner for the rats that says, “Goodbye year of the rat!”. The BF got some banners made from our front door to invite in an auspicious new year, so why shouldn’t the rats have one too?