Thursday, March 28, 2019

Yard Plan, Interrupted

When Mr. W and I started house-hunting in the Santa Ynez Valley 7 years ago, one of our non-negotiables was the size of our lot. We had to have an acre. No ifs, ands, or buts. In our minds, it was the ideal amount of space for a chicken coop and a veggie garden and maybe some goats to fuel our cheese-making aspirations.

Fast forward to 2016 and we'd scrapped the goats but had a pretty clear design in mind for the half acre of empty land behind our house.

I begged for that yoga platform. I was certain I'd use it to host spirit-restoring day retreats for my friends from LA.

Then, last fall, Mr. W and I went to Sonoma. And we visited the Sunset Test Garden. Which had the raddest greenhouse ever. Immediately, we both knew that instead of the yoga platform (Mr. W was never in love with it anyway) we wanted a nice big greenhouse on our green acre.

We found a kit for one from a local vendor and decided to splurge on the purchase. It took several Saturdays of wood staining and audio book listening in the garage (Sharp Objects—what a thriller), but we got all the boards prepped and Mr. W assembled them with all the glass panels. Pretty sure there were 18 total when he was done. After that, it was time for an old-fashioned barn-raising, complete with help from neighbors on both sides of us. Farm life takes a village, people.

Fully constructed, it feels like we have a little church in our backyard. It's pretty and serene and looks out onto all of spring's natural beauty.

Because we couldn't just revamp one part of our yard plan, we also decided to level the garden we've had in place the past two summers and map out an even larger one near our baby orchard of fruit trees. Of course, this also meant we'd need to build a deer fence around everything.

It's funny how home and garden projects always seems to have a ripple effect. You get a greenhouse, then you want a better veggie patch. You hang new curtain rods and you need to upgrade the decades-old sliding glass doors. You install a pizza oven and then you've gotta plan a trip to Italy...

I have a feeling that my new gigantic vegetable garden will ripple out to keep me boiling and bagging tomatoes and drying plums and apricots all summer long. Which, I guess makes up for the fact that we never got those goats we were going to use for cheesemaking. Interrupting the best laid plans seems to be a pattern here.

Thank goodness we never changed our plan to own the world's cutest chicken.

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