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Imagine All the Produce: The Beginning of Dakota Farms

5/10/2011 11:04:44 PM

Tags: Shelley Moore, organic gardening, raised bed gardening, weed barrier, pea gravel, Utah garden

Michelle MooreShelley Moore is an aspiring organic backyard gardener with hopes of becoming a true 'green thumb'. She is the mother of two young daughters and the wife of one helpful husband. They reside in northern Utah.  

Now that I have John Lennon’s beautiful melodic song "Imagine" subconsciously playing in your mind (okay, maybe now I do), this is the beginnings of my imagination. The looking forward to and imagining a garden lush of foliage and life and organically grown food right here on this very spot.

ready for barrier 
The garden, ready for the weed barrier. Photo By Shelley Moore. 

My husband and I bought our home in August 2008 and I have always planned to have a big garden on the west side of our backyard. This year, I am excited to say, it’s finally in the works! However, it is going to be a slow process, one that evolves over time, season in, season out. (Is there a money tree I can plant to speed things up?) Although, now I’m a little nervous at the size of my plot. How much work is this going to be? 

I was a witness to my parents gardening while growing up, but I am a novice gardener to be certain. This will be a learning experience for me and my family, but I hope in the end, I will have a thriving garden with its nutritious food to feed all four of us. (And perhaps extra to pass on to my friendly neighborhood neighbors.) My plan is to do raised bed gardening. I ordered one, (sigh... yes, just one for now) 4-by-8 foot cedar wood bed, 16.5 inches in depth, from But before we could set it up, the area had to be prepared. This is what I decided on.

weed barrier 
We laid down a weed barrier made from corn. Photo By Shelley Moore. 

We put down weed barrier fabric that is made from corn in the area and then put pea gravel down on top of that. Thanks to my helpful husband, we were able to complete the weed barrier on a Friday and all the laying of the pea gravel on a Saturday. 

pea gravel
My husband and I laid down pea gravel over the weed barrier. Photo Courtesy Shelley Moore.  

It’s not the prettiest garden right now, but remember: imagination! Just think of all the raised beds that will someday be there, teeming with all sorts of goodness springing up from good dark soil!  

ready to for raised beds
The garden is now ready for the raised beds! Photo By Shelley Moore.  

Please come by often to see the progress that is taking place. Also, feel free to leave comments to help point me in the right direction. I’m sure there are others out there who have more experience than I do!

One final imagining. I wanted to name my garden. Is that kind of hokey since it’s just a small family backyard garden? Apparently, John Lennon isn’t the only dreamer.  
Welcome to Dakota Farms.

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