Another busy season for FarmCity - and we wanted to do a little show-and-tell. We seem to have become the go-to people for custom balcony and small-space planters, made of long-weathering Western Red Cedar and hand-crafted to a high standard. These are not your crudely built, mass-produced boxes! In addition, part of our service is to install them, with soil, in the requested location.
For small-space gardens, the efficient use of space is a real concern, so many of our planters come with attached growing frames, which can support beans, peas, tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers - even artichokes, or anything else that needs staking up.
A few samples:
In gardens that are "light-challenged," one solution is to build your garden up towards the light, here with multi-leveled planters. The top level of the two-tiered planter, above, is a couple feet off the ground, and of course, plants vining up the growing frame will reach still higher. This particular planter is about 5 feet long, but any size is possible. The three-tiered one is about 2 feet across, and 3 feet high. Check out our page on small space gardening for other examples and ideas.
We've also built a variety of styles of raised beds, for a range of locations, this season. Raised beds are practical for a lot of reasons, including providing good drainage, reducing plant pests and diseases, extending the growing season, and reducing water use. But they're also really attractive! Here are a few styles:
With careful planning, even the smallest yards can grow a lot of food! The front bed, above, will host the tomatoes, beans and other sun-loving crops, while the back bed will be for the more shade tolerant foods like lettuces and other leafy greens.
The planters on the left will surely survive an earthquake - good survival planning! Look at how much can be grown in a small space! Replace the turf around the beds with stone paths, and you'd have a great garden for wheelchair gardeners, as the beds are higher than most, and can be easily reached.
The front yard planters, on the right, we've shown before, but we wanted to draw attention to the custom shape of the beds to the far right in the photo - made to fit the shape of the yard, and to accomodate the stone path that runs along the ends of the beds.
Last raised bed, above: these twinned beds we built for a North Shore daycare. Adapting the beds to the extreme slope of the yard had the advantage that there were a few spots with nice deep soil for potatoes or sparagus, slightly shallower spots for a crop of carrots, and then pleanty of room for all kinds of the shallower-rooted vegetables - from tomatoes to beans to beets.
Finally, we've also recently built a number of backyard compost bins. In our West Coast environment, composting needs plenty of air circulation so that the kitchen scraps and garden waste actually compost - an aerobic process that produces little odour. The widely used black plastic bins are not so great - poor air circulation, very hard to turn or empty, and SMELLY! Our solution is this two-lidded box made of Western Red Cedar and wire mesh. The front boards are removable, right down to the ground, so turning and emptying are easy.
Any size is possible, but this one is 2x4x2', big enough to handle kitchen waste and a fair bit of yard waste as well. As long as the compost has contact with the ground, the requisite microbes and worms will move in on their own, but just to be sure, we "seed" the composts with a nice dose of critter-laden compost of our own!