We've been gardening for years in my family. I started my garden at our current house in 2009 but we went to raised beds in 2014, when we created a DIY raised bed garden with reclaimed wood. Last year, we decided to install raised beds. Why? They're easier to access than sitting on the ground and, because we started with all fresh dirt, there are fewer weeds. My back hurts when I garden! Even raising the bed 7 is enough to make a big difference. Plus it is easier to see where things are planted and where to walk. Raised bed gardens can be installed in small spaces and are great for starting community gardens as well. Right now is the perfect time to start thinking about starting a garden so you can harvest early summer and fall vegetables later this year. Herbs are also a great addition to the garden, like these chives that have reseeded themselves for 5 years straight. Mmmm, I just love fresh chopped chives on a baked potato!
Raised bed kits are expensive and the one we did buy, did not last long. Luckily, as I was driving back from taking the kids to school one morning, I saw a sign at a local warehouse that they had free construction lumber. Crews had installed solar panels on the roof and all the 2x4s they had used during installation were going in the trash unless people took them. I loaded my car to the gills with as many 2x4s as I could fit and we got enough to build 5 more raised beds! The construction guy said that we could go to most any construction site and leave our number with the foreman and they might call us when they are ready to dump building materials because they save money by not having to pay to haul it away. My brother-in-law built his horse shelters the same way, with wood from a construction place out in Barstow. You just have to be ready to drop everything and drive out there when they call.
Here's how we created our raised beds for our garden:
Here's what my garden currently looks in 2015:
Check out the blog post to read the full tutorial on how this garden came together from start to finish.

Jennifer Priest
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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