Natural Perspectives: Building a vegetable garden at home

May 21, 2012|By Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray
(Photo by Lou Murray )

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to building a new raised bed for the vegetable garden in our front yard. I knew the job would be hard work, but I was excited by the opportunity to use of one of the new power tools that I bought a few months back.

Normally, when one thinks of power tools, one thinks of guys. And beer. But, no, in this case you should be thinking of Lou, not Vic. And wine, not beer. And unlike some guys, I don't drink until the project is completed and the power tools are shut off.

It all started when I had to remove my raised beds from the Huntington Beach Community Garden. Not familiar with modern gardening methods, the people at Edison outlawed raised beds at the community garden. Edison is the landowner, and no matter how silly their rules seem, we have to obey them.


To disassemble the redwood beds, I bought a nice set of cordless power tools with a drill, circulating saw, reciprocal saw, and shop light. The kit also came with two battery packs, a charger and a nifty carrying bag. Utterly inspired, I also bought a book of garden projects that one could build.

Unfortunately, I mentioned my lack of construction skills to the checkout clerk. She eyed the box of sharp power tools and asked if she was going to be reading about me in the newspaper.

I thought to myself that I certainly hoped so, but not in the way she intended. The specter of missing fingers loomed large in my mind, and my bag of beautiful new tools sat unused in the garage.

The nice folks on the garden committee dismantled my beds for me, and even delivered the lumber to our house. Good thing, because the boards were too long to fit into my Highlander.

My plan is to use the boards at a new community garden that I hope will someday be built at Irby Park. But the garden committee doesn't seem interested in building a second garden quite yet.

So I looked once again at my yard to see if there is any additional space that could grow food. My eye landed on a patch of ground in my front yard that I call the Garden of Infinite Neglect.

The first year that I grew vegetables in that area, it was quite productive, but it has languished from neglect ever since. I took another look at it and decided that it needed a raised bed. Having disassembled the raised bed from the community garden, I had all the lumber I needed.

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