Counter Culture Green Fund: Raised Garden Bed Report
I am not a gardener. The more time I spend in the garden, the more I am reminded of that fact. At best, my thumbs are the pale green of dead grass. But, I do enjoy spending time in the yard with the kids and growing a bit of our own food. The past few years I have dedicated a few square feet of our yard to raising vegetables to mixed results. At my best, I’ve had an unending supply of eggplant (and nothing else) and, at worst, I’ve given water and time to raising food for worms, snails, and rabbits.
This year, I decided to take advantage of Counter Culture’s Green Fund and create a couple of raised beds that would immediately increase the usable garden space in our yard by 100%. I picked the sunniest side of our house, measured out a plan, and started digging. Bermuda grass, even when dormant, is incredibly resistant to being cut up and moved, but I hacked out enough space for two raised beds. With help from the Green Fund, I purchased cedar planks and posts that I fashioned into beds, a pitchfork for moving compost, and a new compost bin. We were able to find a free truckload of (not so great) compost to fill the beds while we were waiting for our own compost to come into being.
Once the beds were full of a mixture of rock-hard red clay and sub-par compost, I had every intention of taking a soil sample to our local extension office for testing in order to make necessary adjustments. But fueled by a mixture of excitement, fatigue, and impatience, I instead rushed to our neighborhood nursery for some seedlings. Like I said at the beginning, I’m not much of a gardener … yet.
We’re a couple of months down the road now and the beds are settling in just fine. The compost is hot and decomposing nicely in its new home. I was a little late in getting everything built and planted, but with the mildest spring in recent memory, we’ve been to harvest a few snacks from the garden. Our hopes are high for the summer. Of course, if all else fails and our first year is a complete bust, there’s always the Counter Culture-supported Community Supported Agriculture program (each of our regional locations receives weekly produce from local farms) to provide us with delicious local, organic produce throughout the summer.
Atlanta Wholesale Regional Representative
Note: In 2011, our Sustainability Committee introduced the Counter Culture Employee Green Fund, which offers each employee the opportunity to apply for up to $500 a year in matching funds toward a personal sustainability-related project.