Archive for May 6th, 2011

May 6, 2011

Gardening 101: Setting Up A Raised Garden Bed


It was just b-e-a-u-tiful here yesterday..

(does anyone else think of Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty when he spells beautiful out like b-e-a-uuu-tiful? that’s the only way I remember how to spell it lol)


65* and sunny with a slight breeze! My favorite kind of weather. Okay, maybe I like it a little bit warmer but I’ll take it. ;)

Recently we set up my raised garden bed.

I was looking around everywhere for what I would end up using. I didn’t want to build my own and I definitely didn’t want to go without one, so when I found a raised garden bed at Home Depot for about $40 bucks I was sold.



I chose this style and size because it’s just big enough and you can even raise the bed higher/lower if you buy more beds. You can even build on the sides too which I love! Maybe next year after I test the waters this year I’ll add another box.

We had our family friend help set it up for me. It’s really simple actually and I probably could’ve done it myself if I had the tools. All the nails and everything come included and you simply slide the wood boards into the holders and nail it in.


(LOL, I just noticed Chippy creepin’ in the background in the picture above)

All you really need is a screwdriver!




Although there’s big trees in my backyard, I think we chose the perfect spot to place the raised garden bed.



In this spot it will likely get 7+ hours of sun a day which is great for the plants!! As you can see, since my backyard is on a hill we had to dig out soil and level the garden bed out. We also surrounded the garden bed with extra soil so it doesn’t move and is very sturdy. You want to make sure your garden bed is level and firm in the ground otherwise soil can run out of it when it rains!

And this is where the snafu came in..

You see that bag of soil in the garden bed?

Yeah, it’s not organic like I wanted it to be!!! :(


I know it sounds really odd that I’m so particular about my soil but after asking around I chose to go out and buy organic soil. I intended on originally using organic soil but after we dumped these bags into the garden bed I just couldn’t get over the fact that our family friend went out and bought the wrong soil. Albeit, I probably should’ve went with him to pick it out, but I just couldn’t bring myself to using it. There’s some mental block in my head about using non-organic soil.

I want my garden how I want it, ya know?

For ease of mind, I went out and bought 5 bags of organic soil at Home Depot for $40 bucks. (I had one bag originally, but we mixed it with the non-organic soil)


Ahhhh. I felt a sense of relief go over me as I paid for these bad boys.

I actually had to dig up all the soil again and refill the garden bed with the organic soil. (don’t worry, we’re going to find use for the other soil, it just wont be going in my garden bed)

Here’s what I did yesterday (all by myself, too!!! go me :)):


I dug out all the soil (and now feel like my lower back is done-zo, eek!) and lined the bottom of the garden bed with chicken wire.

I secured the chicken wire with staples.


Over the chicken wire, I put landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from coming through..


I secured this too with the staples. I ended up using all 75 staples (mostly on the chicken wire because it kept popping up).

Then I filled it back up with the organic soil!


So much happier now and relieved. :)

I’m thinking of waiting until Saturday to start planting my veggies + fruits because I want them to be strong enough to survive outside.

I’ll also be putting some mesh over the raised bed so birds can’t get in it. I’ll show you what I do about that after we set up the chicken wire around the bed.

So as of right now, I need to:

  • plant veggies + fruits
  • fence the raised garden bed with chicken wire
  • cover the bed with mesh so birds can’t get in

Not too much, but definitely still have a ways to go before I can get into the maintenance + watering stage.

It’s fun to get down and dirty though (hehe). I love getting in there with my hands and being one with the Earth. However, if you are using chicken wire be careful because you can get little cuts all over yourself (like me!).

The pool is also coming along nicely and should be swimmable pretty soon.


Can you spot Chippy?? He always sneaks in my photos!

The whole gardening process took me an hour and a half yesterday (minus the set up of the raised bed that we put in a few days ago, so total probably 2-3 hours?) I was STARVED. My belly was grumbling and I needed to feed the hunger monster.

I wanted something quick since I just wanted to eat and not wait for a dish to cook. This lunch took 15 mins start to finish. Score!

Quinoa Power Bowl

Serves 1 (or two as a side dish)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 head broccoli (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Angela’s tahini avocado dressing (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • garnish: shake of paprika, sunflower seeds, and pinch of red pepper flakes

*You can use less garlic if you’re not a fan. This will also work without the tahini avocado dressing however, it adds a nice creaminess. If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can just sub in water.

Directions: Cook quinoa according to package using the vegetable broth instead of water. Quickly steam the broccoli and green beans in a microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. After the quinoa has been cooked, add in the broccoli, green beans, tomato pasta, garlic clove, and garlic powder. Give it a stir. After everything has been warmed through (about 2 minutes), add in the tahini avocado dressing and cubed avocado and give it another quick stir. Remove from heat and serve warm!

I had some vegetable broth to use up from my green bean casserole the other day so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to cook the quinoa in it for added flavor.


I love tomato paste!


They were on sale the other day at the grocery store, I think 5 for $2, so I picked up a bunch.


I loved this bowl. It is packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, protein, and fiber. Lots of greens too!

I love bulking up dishes with lots and lots of veggies.




This left me quite full but not so full that I couldn’t eat my first ever smoothie in a bowl!


I made my orange-ya berry happy smoothie + put a “shot” of POM juice in it.


In an ice cream bowl!

I loooved this. It made eating the smoothie so much more fun and took longer to eat too which made it more satisfying.

Today I woke up at 9am after a stressful night dealing with some personal issues. I was up until 1am (!!) but now everything is resolved so I’m just ready to enjoy my weekend.

Does anyone else feel like they missed their day if they wake up at 9am? I feel like half the day is already gone! I am such a morning person though. I love waking up at 6am and just relaxing into the morning.. it’s my favorite part of the day.

My breakfasts lately have been very filling. I like to eat a big breakfast –> medium sized lunch –> light dinner –> a snack/treat for dessert. I’m estimating this bowl of VOO had 500+ calories. I used to be afraid of big breakfasts but now I embrace them full force! Bring on the healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, and protein.


  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Chocolate Infusion
  • 1 frozen banana processed with lots of cherries (antioxidants + they’re an anti-inflammatory)
  • drizzle of pure maple syrup (‘cause it’s Friday!)

I usually don’t add maple syrup to these just because they’re already so sweet but today I was feeling a little crazy. ;)


Today my sister is going to her boyfriends Junior prom so I’m off to help her get ready (I’m doing her make-up yippe!) and take pictures of her in her dress. We’re going down to our beach house tonight too for the weekend so I can’t wait to act like a total bum and just zone out on the beach.. ahhh. I hope it’s warm down there. I’m especially looking forward to running along the water and my routes that I run in the summer. I hope you all have a great start to your weekend!

Oh! And I’m going to plant my cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans today ‘cause look at these bad boys:


Yea, we have a situation. It’s gettin’ out of control over here!

Happy Friday!!


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