CSA – 2nd Week

One of my goals this year was to join a local CSA.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term CSA, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  You basically buy your food directly from the farmer!  You pay upfront and then receive harvest throughout the year.   Here are some advantages of a CSA (copied directly from the http://www.localharvest.org/csa/):

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

If you want to find a CSA in your area checkout Local Harvest.

I joined Sauvie Island Organics.  I chose this CSA because it’s been in business for quite a while, has a great reputation, friends have used it, pick-up is just blocks from my house, and it supplies some of my favorite local restaurants.  Plus, they have a great blog, you can see the harvests from past years, they have partnered with a local chef who posts recipes specific to that week’s harvest, and they send you an email right before the weekend to give you an idea what is coming so you can shop accordingly!

I signed up for a half-share (good for 1-2 people), and a salad share.  So far I’m very happy!  The greens have been amazing.  I highly recommend this to folks who love veggies, want to support local farming, and what to get out of rut and cook with some new veggies they might not normally buy.

Deck “Waste” Becomes New Potting Bench

After my Deck Demo project I was left with a pile of wood that inspired me to build something…what better than a potting bench?  I built the potting bench in 4 stages:

  1. Base Structure and Roof
  2. “Hidden” Sink
  3. Cable Shelf
  4. Ready to Stain!

Part 1:  Base Structure and Roof

I started without a plan, which is unusual for me, but is in keeping with the rest of my life right now, things are very  “of the moment”.

I gathered the better looking pieces of wood and then I just started building.  I built the base and put an exiting piece of lattice on the back.  Then I built a roof, of sorts, I would do this differently in the future, but it works.  The issue then was how to put to roof up.  (Most people with a plan, actually build the roof framing and then roof the structure after the frame is attached to the structure.)  No worries though, I just removed the lattice, built a frame and tossed the roof on top. 

Apologies to my Brother-in-law, I had to deconstruct part of an older garden bed he built me to get the longer pieces to build the framing for the roof.  But, I planned to deconstruct the bed anyway, there is a “new vision” for that part of the yard.

Part 2: Sink Installation

After building the base structure I then decided I needed a sink.  (Again, with an actual plan a place for the sink would have been framed into the base).   I found the sink at one of my favorite salvage places here in Portland, The ReBuilding Center, this place is amazing, I donate to and shop here frequently.  While wandering around I found some cool hinges, so why not make the sink a undermount and add a hatch?  The purpose of the sink is for soil, I’ll put potting soil in the left and pot over the right, the right will empty into a container underneath.  Brillant!

Part 3:  Cable Shelf

I then rooted around my garage and found some old dog lead, steel cable, that I wasn’t using.  Why not build a suspended shelf?  Potting benches need shelves right?  I had to buy a few part from the hardware store, cable tie-off and tensioner, but all in all it was less than $5. 

Part 4:  Ready to Stain!

And there you have it!  My almost 100% repurposed potting bench.  Next I will clean it up a bit and stain it to match the fence on the left in the picture below.  The only “new” bits were the cable tie-offs and tensioners.  All in, including the used sink and brackets, the bench costs me ~$17!  And it was fun to just start building…to organically see what would take shape.  I was never frustrated by the process, it was fine to build, take apart, and start over.

Life Lesson:  Have a general idea what I want but stay in the moment, and be willing to deconstruct what I’ve built and start over.

Forgive me Father, it’s been 4 weeks since…

…my last post….

I’ve had some deeply personal life events that have absorbed much of my time and energy this last month, but, I’ve committed myself to getting back on the blogging wagon this weekend.  Even though theses personal events are critical to “my journey”, I’m not ready to share them in this blog quite yet, I think I will at some point, but not yet.

Even though I haven’t been blogging this last month but I have been very active in the yard and have loads of updates.  Let’s review The Plan I published in April:

All the bits in Orange and Blue were In Plan, and  the Green were accomplished but not scheduled.  I finished everything In Plan except the gravel paths and drip system.  Over the next week my plan is to bring my blog up to date, I have a lot of really cool updates to share, and build a new schedule for the next 2-3 months.

Stay Tuned!!!!!