TEXAS: Just outside of Austin in Manor, lives our fabulous neighbors. This was quite a miraculous transformation! They’d dreamed of growing a garden for at least three years since we’d talked to them. So we helped encourage their process with inspirational ideas to add to their backyard space in the spring of 2014. What they accomplished is astounding! They did all of the dirty work and they are still making additions too! The Roberts started with nothing in their backyard other than the lawn and added all of this within three months! They even built a fence around their backyard lot! Total expenses for garden additions including the fence was about $1250 give or take a few. They did so using free repurposed raised garden bed materials, military discounted picket fences, clearance plant sales, free craigslist items, building help from family and friends, composting materials from nature, and other repurposed items donated. The picture of the watermelon is one growing in the wild just behind their homestead.
Roberts Family Garden made the following improvements to become more sustainable in 2014.
1. Added 2 repurposed rain barrels. Using goldfish to keep mosquito larvae at bay.
2. Added at least 6 raised garden beds for multiple uses including; strawberry bed, watermelon/cantelope bed, legume bed, tomato/pepper beds, etc.
3. Container gardened with repurposed plastic barrel, 2 used tires, and repurposed pots. They grew tomatoes, hops, citrus trees and potatoes in their containers.
4. Built a compost bin out of a repurposed free window and plywood. Began composting with shredded paper, grass clippings, leaves, and food waste.
5. Built 2 flower beds to promote beneficial insects. One in the front of the home.
6. Planted fruit trees and free trees.
7. Built a fence around their yard with an access to the greenbelt fishing and hiking out back. Used military discount and watched sales at Lowes for reduced Cedar Pickets. Bought rough cut cedar from local mill.
8. Building pergola with patio pavers from repurposed free materials Craigslist find and local milled rough cut cedar.
9. They do a lot of indoor DIY projects too! Including making their own laundry soap and dishwashing soap! You may have seen some of their kids in our May blog helping with the chickens.