Friday, June 6, 2008

The Boxes

Here are a few quick notes on my progress so far:April 6, 2008 - I finally got the beds built and the soil mixed. After returning from a week's vacation in Los Angeles, my husband watched my son while I trekked down to Home Depot to buy wood and screws. I had never been to the wood section to actually buy something before. I got one of those big, orange carts that almost seems to be designed to veer diagonally rather than straight, and picked out some 2x6 inch 8-foot boards. I found out that you can get them cut there for 50 cents a cut (and the first two are free), but it took me about 50 minutes of waiting and calling people who wouldn't show up to finally get the boards cut. I got the wrong screws, but my husband was able to get the right ones later. We assembled the boards in our master bedroom. Yep, no garage, but that didn't stop us. Then my husband loaded them up in the van, and I took them down to the garden myself. They were kind of heavy, but no heavier than the 46 pounds of pregnancy weight I was hauling around with my first son. What was surprising and unexpected was just how heavy 8 cu. ft of Mel's mix can be. In the book you see the person standing there with a nice looking tarp and a neat pile of soil on top. "Just fold the corners of the tarp together," the book says, "and mix up your soil." I suppose I should have paid attention to the note that you might want someone to help you. I ended up enlisting the help of my foot and kicked my soil around until it was well mixed and I had a few cupfulls up my socks. I also didn't realize how long this process would take, and because I only had an hour or two at a time, it took several visits to get all three of my boxes filled. I topped them off with some recycled venetian blind strips I picked up at the dumpsters outside our apartment complex, and voila! Brand-new boxes. Would planting and gardening be this hard as well?

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