Flower Ave Garden Project: The Stakeout

I was able to get a good look at what the garden will be like once the raised beds are in. All of the beds were measured and marked, then outlined with twine

stekout

Some of my first seeding projects took place as well. I soaked my fava seeds before I seeded them, to increase the rate of germination.

soaking favas fava soak

I discovered that my old toques from culinary school make the perfect lining for my seeding trays! They are lightweight and breathable, and will let moisture pass through without falling apart. An education from the Culinary Institute of America, the gift that keeps on giving ūüėČ

toque seeder

I was also able to get my chalkboard wall with my 2013 garden calendar up! Next step is to find someone who can bedazzle the wall with cool chalk art…currently accepting submissions from¬†muralists :p

 calendar

Flower Ave Garden Project: The Kindness Of Strangers

The last two days saw some big changes in the front yard of the garden site. I removed all of the existing plants and grated down the hills of dirt.

Before &  after

Before Pic 2after3

I have to say, I was not able to accomplish this big task alone. The owner of the home had a friend and his daughter visiting from Virginia on vacation. They saw what I was doing and offered to help. They were amazing! SUCH a big help. Mark busted out the chainsaw and, with the help of Julio (another garden helper), they were able to get this giant stump out. And Camille was a pro with the rake!

mark camelle

It is humbling that complete strangers were willing to put in a few hours of hard labor for nothing in return. I think I would still be out there trying to figure out how to get that stump up.

Now that everything is level I can start staking off the borders for the raised bed locations and take measurements for lumber.

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”

~Amelia Earhart

Flower Ave Garden Project: Houston We Have A Greenhouse

I was able to get the irrigation lined up and the greenhouse erected today. It kinda feels like a new friend came to the party. So many fun projects will take place in here!

I found this “pop-up” greenhouse online. It was a good size for the space I have to use and not too priceyImage

My only fear was that it would be like trying to put Ikea furniture together; by the end of it you’re fighting with your partner, 3 screws are mysteriously leftover, and you now have a thing against¬†Swedish¬†people (but that doesn’t last long because then you realize where would you be without those delicious gummy fish [the red ones]).

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In the end, it came together relatively easyish-kinda. But it’s definitely a job for more than 1 person. The box said set-up takes about 30 min-1hr, we were on the latter side of that. If you could set this thing up in 30 min, then you my friend are a master Cub Scout…or a¬†structural engineer.

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The next step is to get shelving set up and the drip system in. And then the fun really begins =}

I was also able to get some agretti starters planted. I re-purposed this hanging shoe organizer to grow the agretti vertically on the outside of this door

Agretti

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.”

~Carl Rogers

Flower Ave Garden Project: For Starters

I FINALLY got a free second to transplant some starters.

potted

Here are some tiny alpine strawberry plants. They produce a very small, sweet white strawberry:

White strawberry potting

alpine strawberry

I was also able to get some ice lettuce transplanted. This is not the best pic, but the crisp leaves have tiny cells full of water, delicious!

  ice lettuce

Looking forward to making some interesting dishes out of all of these!

Flower Ave Garden Project: Doing Work!

More progress was made on the greenhouse site. Step one was to remove the retaining rock wall from around the sides of the raised existing bed…check!

Rocks

Next, start digging like you were on a chain gang…check!

Progress

The GREAT perk to this whole thing is that the soil in this raised bed is epic, full of fat worms!! I’m going to repurpose the dirt for my raised beds going up in the near future.

soil

So thankful to have some helpers today, my dad and stepmom getting dirty =] They were a big help, but I had to crack the whip when they started slacking off…they also brought a MUCH better wheelbarrow with them as you can see here.

D and D

Next, set up irrigation for a timed watering system in the greenhouse…check-ish ( I need to finish up tomorrow

Irrigation

We were also able to add this raised bed. This will be the location of my edible flowers

Raised Bed

I wake up with the sun, I have MAJOR blisters, I am cray sore, I go to bed at 9pm exhausted (if I can stay up that late) and couldn’t be more excited about how things are shaping up!

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Flower Ave Garden Project

My mission (if I choose to accept it)…(I have)…to build a culinary garden in an urban setting with the purpose of supplying chefs in LA with specialty produce.

Step #1: Secure A Location

I was lucky enough to find a home in Venice, CA that was willing to let me design and run my culinary garden. I know it doesn’t look like much, but through the dirt lawn and futon frame I can see the potential!Image

Oh the irony of office furniture left out back…this is now my office :p

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I’ve got my work cut out for me, but the before/after pics should be epic!

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Step #2: Develop A Plan Of Attack

Initial measurements have been taken, as well as a (very) rudimentary draft

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The last few days have found me hunkered down at a coffee shop in Venice, reviewing seed¬†catalogues, planning out a planting and seeding schedule, as well as budget ugh. I don’t have a Mac laptop so I know I am being privately shamed by all the hipsters…but I do have an iPad so maybe that will give me a little ‘street cred’ in my hood

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Step #3: Break Ground

January 3, 2013 I broke ground for the Flower Ave Garden Project. My first step is to remove the raised bed in the back to make room for the greenhouse. Since the fastest things for me to grow and bring to market will be micro greens, erecting the greenhouse is top on the ‘to-do’ list

This job is made easier by use of quality tools, like this ghetto wheelbarrow for instance

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I can’t complain too much, the speed wobbles that it gets is doing wonders for my core :p

Tomorrow is a new day of digging. I made slow and steady progress, and hope to have the greenhouse up soon!! More progress pics to come.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
~Confucius