Our Garden Space

by Darla on September 12, 2014

in Reno

20140909_163833Our garden has gone through a couple changes this year.   We started out with garden boxes and double dig the bottom so we had about 12″ of good soil.  Our challenge was keeping the plants watered.  Several different methods and still not much success for the amount of effort and money spent in watering.   Brian went to a church activity where the family had raised their beds about 24″.  We tried that and had more success – green plants as you can see in the garden on the right.  We also tried vertical growing beds to increase the amount of growing space.  Found the idea in pinterest.  It is okay.  It needs more research.

The raised beds were a success in productivity.  However, we found our garden was too small to get between the beds to weed and organizationally it was a bit crazy.  We talked about using stock tanks but the price was cost prohibitive and the sun would cook the metal.  Wonder what that would do to our plants?  Dad found a couple IBC totes on craig’s list for a $45 so we jumped at it.  We could cut them in half and then have 4 gardens.

The man we bought them from used them for aquaponics and just didn’t have room for more.  He put fencing around the outside so they looked neat and presentable in the back yard.   Something like the one shown below (problem 1 resolved)  He keeps the fish from year to year by cutting a hole in the ice for them to breathe while a his friend harvests them and buys new each year.  (problem 2 resolved)

A little research online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp6T_UIpzGI  for Rob Bob who uses wicking beds gave us some answers to our problems with watering.  Take a look around there are quite a few videos on this topic.  Some even hooped the top and put a cloth over to protect plants from sun but I think we could use heavier plastic to protect from the wind and extend our growing season both earlier and later. (problem 3 poten20140909_163924tial solution)

We liked the idea enough we are going to replace our garden enclosure with 8 of these raised beds then 3 Aquaponics gardens on the other side of the yard after the weather warms in the spring.  This one is prepped for an aquaponics base.  We found a deal on craigs list here in reno that we jumped on.  Guess we didn’t need to get so many at once but thought it was a once in a long time.  Turns out he posts every once in awhile because he has one a week to offer.

So we made them according Rob Bob’s updated video and planted a fall crop of spinach, swiss chard and lettuce.  We didn’t have any broccoli or cabbage ready to go so will need to wait for next year.  We’re going to see how long we can make these go.


Our daily 20140909_163829temperatures are in the 90’s at this point and the beds are wicking just like they should.  If you turn the soil over it is moist an inch down.  Dad fills the beds from the tube on the side every other day.  Eventually they will be hooked up to the watering system but not til the rest of the gardens finish producing.  We have more squashes, beans and watermelon to come.  It was a drastic decision but feeling confident that we can actually have a producing garden in Nevada.

We are counselled to have a garden.  We’ve tried to obedient to that counsel.  Guess the farm girl in me still gets excited to see green shoots coming through the ground and knowing that our dinner isn’t filled with pesticides but lovely produce that is good for us.


What does your garden look like?  What are your successes or challenges in your area?  Do you have resources for seeds or books on gardening that you love, please share them.


Getting Back on Track

by Darla on September 8, 2014

in Reno

Screen shot 2014-09-08 at 7.03.27 AM


I’m joining Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to help hold each other accountable and being transparent.

Transparency – In August of 2008 I began to attend 12 step meetings for overeating, weighing in at 240 I think could have been higher. Oh so difficult, but by April of 2009 I had lost 60 lbs. In 2010 we moved and the weight started to creep up then a radical hysterectomy with stage 4 endometriosis and even higher.

After drug therapy of 6 months to reduce the endo gained 30lbs.  Lost the weight from that so down to 195 and it has started back up again 207 after a busy summer with little planning food wise and sporadic exercise.

What I’m working on….

  • Making peace with exercise and doing things I love – walking, tap dancing and bike riding.
  • Making fun exercise a priority 5x a week at least 30 minutes. My husband is doing this with me so he is running.
  • Logging my food every day with my fitness pal.
  • Planning meals that are filled with veggies.
  • Drinking plenty of water 1/2 body weight.

“I’m  going to keep making good choices and plugging away.”  Kris makes this statement and it is so true.  Consistent effort will bring about results.   I made progress this week in more than one area.

What I did right last week:

  • Had so much fun with the exercise last week.  Had a couple good rides on my bike and even did a 10 miler (58 mins) by myself breaking our previous time of 67 minutes.  Exceeded my weekly goal of 220 minutes
  • Made progress on reporting in each day.
  • Made a healthy meals for our family
  • Increased the amount of water
  • Lost 2.2lbs

My goals for this week:

  • Preparing ahead some of the items on our menu – veggies, whole grain rice and salad fixings.
  • Taking dinner with me on Friday night so I don’t need to eat out.
  • Continue to work on reporting each day.
  • Continue to get enough water every day.

I’m inviting you along – even if only to hold me accountable. Each Monday, I plan on updating my blog. If you don’t see an update, please ask me how I’m doing.

Do you have a successful weight loss story?  Do You need to lose weight?  Please share your story.



What a busy summer!

by DarlaSeptember 6, 2014

Our summer has been packed from the beginning to the end.  Another couple weeks to recover would be great!  It started with a camp out for Sam, then trek, swimming lessons, Scout Camp, Summer Dance Intensive for 3 weeks, costumes for the cinderella performance, Girls Camp a week off and school started!  Here are some […]

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Courage or Fear

by DarlaJune 15, 2014

The Very Next Choice that We Make – Courage or Fear.  This chapter had a huge impact on me as well as the videos that Christa shared this week about her journey with marathons.  I’d like to share some thoughts on each of these topics. Is it possible to sustain a level of discipline that […]

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Acts of Kindness, Tender Mercies and Truth

by DarlaFebruary 13, 2014

I’m not really sure how to title this week’s post.  Our assignment was any of the 4 topics below yet I find there are elements of all of them throughout this post. 1. #Truth ~ What truth are living by? Whose truth are you believing? 2. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ Unpack our scripture for the week and share […]

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Peace – Made to Crave

by DarlaFebruary 8, 2014

Over the years my experience with peace has changed.  Sometimes in order to feel peaceful it required a physical change in my environment whether that meant going on vacation, to a favorite spot in nature or even going to my bedroom to close the door without interruption for a period of time.  There are times […]

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Determination: Made to Crave

by DarlaFebruary 2, 2014

This picture exemplifies what determination meant to me this week. After setting my goals, my body started fighting a respiratory virus which worked its way… well you get the picture.  My fitness plan included fitness 5 days a week with a minimum of 30 minutes along with this some changes in my food plan.  I […]

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Made to Crave

by DarlaJanuary 24, 2014

The word of this week is Empowered.  I think this fits with my experience of being led to participate in this online study.  My sister in law posted on facebook that she was struggling with cravings, people offered several suggestions and one was to participate in this study.  This is something that I’ve struggled with […]

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4 Keys to a good homeschool Day

by DarlaDecember 5, 2013

Over at Simple Home school she posted 4 keys to a good home school day.    Hmmm are my keys to a good home school day the same.  I suggest that some things are the same while others are different.   Her list is below but feel free to check out her blog for detailed explanations. 1.  […]

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First month of School

by DarlaSeptember 7, 2013

A couple weeks have gone by since starting the new homeschool year and it has been good.  We’ve had a few more field trips with a focus on nature study.  I’m finding more parks in the area to check out.  Here are a couple on our list to check out in the near future, Rock […]

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