I told SwampMan that I wanted to make several raised bed gardens and would he please make some hoop covers to go over them to keep the sheep, chickens, and squirrels out.
You see, I have had horrible luck with my gardens the past few years. Squirrels dug up my potatoes last year. The sheep got out and trampled my squash and ate the beans. The earlier, cool weather crops died when the temperature went from in the 30s to in the 90s overnight. The ducks squashed plants, and the chickens pecked anything that looked like it might be tasty and scratched up the baby plants. I might have gotten a couple meals’ worth of beans for all that effort. Oh, yeah, and a few onions.
Torrential rains put my garden underwater for a week one year. I replanted, and just as my first tomatoes from my best tomato crop EVER were ripening, a tornado came through and sucked up ALL my tomato plants and took out a tree at the corner of the house outside the daughter’s bedroom (without touching the house at all). That was a pretty clear sign from God, I thought, that I needed to stay out of the garden for awhile. And that He was looking after our daughter who was in her room while the tornado was plucking tree and tomatoes.
But, come spring, I always think that this year will be different. I can just see jars and jars filled with canned veggies to put on my shelves and be extra proud of because I grew them myself. I bought additional jars for my veggies this winter. I planted cabbages and onions and all sorts of yummy things in the cold weather. The squirrels dug them up. Again. No sauerkraut for me. Not even coleslaw! I think I sense a trend here. The request to SwampMan for the raised beds and covers may be my last attempt at gardening. Well. At least until next spring.
“What size raised beds you want?”
“I’d like them 4 x 8.”
“What do you want to make them from?”
“What you got?”
“Well, I have a stack of block out by the barn.”
So SwampMan brought the block out from the barn and had them arranged nicely, and finished one hoop cover. Time for me to get the beds ready. I put stacks of paper down at the bottom of the beds to discourage weeds from coming up and had them under the blocks as well. I squinted at the beds. Something didn’t look right. Far be it from me to doubt SwampMan’s measuring skills, but….. I went and got a measuring tape. The bed was 3′ x 6’6″. Time for a lil’ consult with SwampMan.
“My beds aren’t the right size. I’m getting more block.”
“What do you mean? They’re 4 x 8!”
“Uh, NOOOOOOO, they’re 3′ by 6’6”. I wanted 4 x 8. They are NOT 4 x 8.” For some reason known only to a man, he had given me a 4 x 8 OUTSIDE dimension, as though I could plant through the block. He told me it was MY FAULT for not being clear. How much clearer could I be? I wanted a series of raised bed 4 x 8 gardens. The GARDEN was to be 4 x 8, not the walls. Sheesh. To make matters worse, my hoops were sized incorrectly.
Something tells me that I’m getting my veggies from the farmer’s market again this year.