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In my last post, I undoubtedly left you hanging, wondering how the second part of our project ended (just kidding).


What project is that?  Well, my siblings and I along with our families surprised my mother for her 70th birthday by building her a raised vegetable garden to go along with her existing one.

I posted the first part of our project, which ended up with a lot of muddy shoes as we dug out the grass.  You can catch up on the first part here.


Now we all gathered again the next Saturday and were excited to finish the project.


We worked on building up the remaining sides.  It helped that my brother-in-law had a portable table saw, (if you don’t have one you can always have the store do it for you).


My 1-year old nephew Danny, (one of my brother’s twin boys), is just fascinated about how things work and he was wondering how much older he would have to be to use his dad’s cordless drill 😉


Almost finished with the sides!


My mother put out a blanket for the twins to play on and then the other grandkids came to play with them too.


Once we got all the sides up, we lined the bottom with newspaper, which helps to supress weeds and will break down.


My sister takes the twins, Danny and Dean for a walk around the backyard.


Here I am with my two sisters.

Okay, enough with all the family photos, let’s get back to finishing the garden.


I don’t think that there is anything quite as wonderful to a gardener then a trailer full of compost, do you?


Here is an action shot…
One of the clients that I write for wants gardening ‘action’ shots, so I try to get them whenever I can.


I love the fragrance of compost or as I like to call it “black gold”.


My niece Sofie (left), and my kids Ruthie and Kai had fun spreading the compost inside.  They kept getting higher and higher up as the garden filled up with compost.

We finished the project by connecting the garden to drip irrigation and also put up support for the shade structure.
Some of you have asked me how we did this and you can see how it was done with the first vegetable garden…



The supports are made out of rebar.  Two pieces form each support and they were bent by hand and fastened in the middle using wire.  The support is used for shade cloth in summer, frost cloth in winter and bird netting all year to keep the chickens out of the garden.


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My mother was so excited about her new garden and she fed us all a fabulous lunch that day.

Later, we celebrated her 70th birthday with two cakes….


A few of her grandsons were more then happy to help her blow out her candles 🙂

Have you been faced with the dilemma of what to give someone special for their birthday?  Well, the stakes are even higher when it is a ‘milestone’ birthday.  My siblings and I were faced with this very dilemma in deciding what to give our mother, (Pastor Farmer) of Double S Farms, for her 70th birthday.


After some deliberation, we decided upon building her a vegetable garden.


Now for those of you who are familiar with my blog, you may recall that my mother already has a nice vegetable garden….



But, for those of you who enjoy vegetable gardening; don’t you sometimes wish that you had more space to grow vegetables?

We knew that our mother did, even though she never mentioned it.  So, we got to work planning on what we needed to build a new one.
My brother-in-law, built the first garden by himself…


For the new garden, my brother-in-law and I planned on what we would need and where the new garden should be placed.  
Actually, my part was easy.  I just figured out where to locate the garden and how many cubic yards of compost we would need.

Well, the date was set when we would all congregate at Double S Farms and start building the new vegetable garden.  
My mother had NO idea we were coming or what we were going to do.

Early on a Saturday morning we showed up with shovels, rakes, picks, drills and wheelbarrows.
My mother wasn’t there when we all arrived.  She was at the local farmer’s market – at this point, she was still clueless that anything was going on.


First, my other brother-in-law and my brother hammered in stakes so that we knew where to remove the grass.


Then came the fun part (just kidding).  Digging out the grass.  Actually, it wasn’t too bad because the grass had been soaked two days before so that it was easier to dig out.


 There were a couple of rocks that we used a pick to get out.
It has been years since I have used a pickax, as you can probably tell from how I’m holding it.

  Soon, we had the grass removed and a muddy area left behind, which was absolutely irresistible to my 5-year old nephew, Finley.


At this point, my mother returned home from the farmer’s market and was surprised to see all of our cars parked out in front of her house.
She was quite shocked when she came into the backyard and saw us working on her birthday present.  She was so happy.  She then got busy making us food, including the cinnamon chip bread that she had just bought at the farmer’s market.

After a break for lunch (pizza), we began to add some loads of composted leaves and soon, it was time to start putting up the sides.


Sodapop and the chickens took time to come over and see what we were doing.




This is Francie, and this is how she is supposed to look – she is a ‘naked neck’ chicken.




From time to time, we would take small breaks to play with Sodapop, who would drop her ball at your feet and wait hopefully for someone to throw it.




Of course, there was also time for the cousins to play catch too.


At this point, we had to quit for the day because it was almost dinner time. We all decided to come back the next Saturday to finish the project.


I went home and while my husband cleaned our mud-crusted boots, I put a load of very dirty clothes into the washing machine.


Please come back for Part Two and see the end result of our labors 🙂