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The journey of 6 green thumbs (by Dan)

After six years (that's twelve growing seasons in South Texas) of gardening with mediocre results at best, we were ready to turn in our trowels and get our vegetables from one of the local CSAs, saying hasta la vista to gardening in San Antonio.

Then a few weeks ago someone mentioned to Rachel what great weather we were having for spring gardening.  Cool, but no danger of frost, frequent light rains and as always, plenty of sunshine.  After explaining our brown-thumb predicament, the helpful soul suggested that all we needed to do was dig out eight inches of soil from our 112 square-foot raised gardening bed and replace it with some new, healthy soil.

Sounded simple.  Thankfully, I didn't do the math until after the work was done.  The bed has 87 cubic feet or about 27 cubic yards.  Each cubic yard of dirt weighs 1.5 tons which means there were 4.8 tons  (9,700 pounds) of dirt to dig out and another 4.8 tons to put back into the bed.  How's that for being mathematically dramatic?  But as they say, a journey of a 1000 miles starts with one shovel...err, step.

Actually, this was an incredibly fun event because I had my best buddies with me.  Indigo, "The worm finder"....

...and chief mulch / dirt separator.

Jude, the supervisor and king of the dirt pile (and who, truth be told, must have moved a ton of dirt on his own...this kid has a serious work ethic!).  I have never seen a seven year old work this hard in my life.

As the saying goes, many hands make light work. 

After the old soil was removed (day 1), we laid recycled paper on the bottom of the bed as a weed barrier and started rolling in the new dirt.

Everyone got into the act...even the youngest of the bunch.

We went through countless bottles of our family's favorite carbonated water.

And we had more fun than one family should have with 20,000 pounds of dirt and mulch.

After the new dirt was in the garden, Jude and I started mulching and planting.

Alas, not everyone was able to hang in there the entire time, but sleeping or awake, our sweet girl was great to have around.

With the Texas redbud in the background and our spring vegetables and herbs in the ground, our little garden is finally looking pretty good. 

But even if it flops again, the time with our our kids was worth every shovel full of dirt.


  1. What fun! Great smiles from Iris and Evie--so bright and joyful! Looking forward to gardening vicariously through you and seeing your harvest. ;-)

  2. I'm really impressed, but what I see that is REALLY growing is your KIDS! Holy smokes, when did Indigo get so tall?!?!?!?! Seriously, they all look like you gave them Mir@cle Gro for breakfast all winter! WOW......

  3. This is so wonderful! Your family (and your garden) is gorgeous :)


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