Friday, April 27, 2007

Raised bed progress

Our raised beds are built! It was quite a process to tell you the truth. I thought I had it all under control. I had taken notes from three different raised bed instructions and thought I knew exactly what we needed, but when confronted with the confusing vastness of wood aisles in The Home Improvement Store, all of my notes seemed like they were written in Chinese. Actually that's not true, the tags on the wood were written in Chinese, I could read my notes just fine.

I knew I needed cedar, or something else that did not rot. The only cedar we found was "treated" and there was a little tear-off pamphlet that talked about what treated cedar was and it said things like "DO NOT get near water source! DO NOT use with food items! WASH your clothes, hair and body once done working with this wood!" "KEEP AWAY from pets and children! It was like plutonium or something. So there we are, standing in the aisle looking completely lost when a very nice, but hungover looking employee asked if we needed help. HELP? YES! We told him what we wanted and before I could even get the words "raised beds" out of my mouth he told us we needed treated wood. He himself just made a flower box for his wife out of the treated wood and she loved it. This is where I felt like a dork - I am standing there, clutching my little pamphlet reciting the warnings about food.
"It says here we shouldn't use this wood for vegetables."
"Oh it'll be fine!" he says.
"Even for vegetables?
He hesitated for a split-second and in retrospect this moment is where my gut knew he was full of shit. "Flowers, vegetables...you want the treated wood."
So we got the treated wood because we don't know what the hell we are doing. It didn't sit well with me and after we brought it home and cut it, and even after Jeff put together two of the beds I just couldn't bring myself to actually use it for my vegetables. I voiced my concerns to him and he agreed and like the Home Improvement Stud-in-Training he is, (he'll get there eventually) he went to the Other Home Improvement Store and got untreated wood. We also bought a circular saw and he and I cut and drilled and put these babies together in one hour and eighteen minutes (he was timing us.)


Now all I need to do is lay down the chicken wire to prevent the moles from getting our veggies, buy some topsoil and get planting. The center square will have flagstone and hopefully a birdbath. I am quite pleased.

3 Comments:

Gabs said...

Those look great! And good job going with your gut on the treated wood. I never realized how toxic that stuff is (and I'm not all hippie dippie about that kind of thing usually)! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

9:53 AM  
chronicler said...

Those look good erica! I can hardly wait to see them finished.

8:46 PM  
stef said...

it is looking great, erica! i hear what you say about those crazy home improvement store folks - one guy who tried to help us find clips to hang our wood panels pointed us to the drywall section! we found a wood working store in the end and they showed us what to us with diagrams and friendly service.

btw, a bird bath in the middle sounds most fabulous!

8:27 PM  

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