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It’s March and we live in Cleveland. For any of you mid-to-north Americans you know that this typically means some serious cabin fever is settling in. But hopes of spring have arrived, along with my latest issue of Organic Gardening and Seed Catalogs – yay!

Last year, my family and I moved into our dream home, well, not really my “dream home.” I still have my fingers crossed that Monica Pedersen from HGTV will be ambushing me this weekend as the actual 2013 Dream Home winner, the Kiawah Island beach home, wouldn’t that be LOVELY!  Look for my picture here next week on March 15th click here . But, I digress, the dream home that we could afford right now. This house has a tremendous amount of natural light, it’s located in the city we love with a beautiful 1 acre property for our dog, Montgomery (our son thinks he’s a Polar Bear) and of course plenty of room for our little guy to run around, and the perfect yard for a garden, a great, big, beautiful, organic garden.

We started small last year – 4 different 8’ x 4’ raised beds. We were still members of our local CSA so we didn’t want to over do it, and we were first timers. Well, we got the bug (lots of bugs and butterflies, too) and fell in love with gardening. So we’ve started to plan our bigger, better garden for this year.

We plan to add 4 more 8’ x 4’ raised beds. Our great friend used to own an excavating business and he and his wife have close to 12 raised beds on their 10-acre property in Creston, OH. He helped us build them with some very sophisticated equipment. But ultimately, the low down is, we used untreated, kiln dried Amish lumber comprised of various oaks. The posts measured 4 inches square and the side rails measured 8” x 3”. We dug down approx. 2 feet in each corner, set the post and back filled. Our yard gradually slopes away from the house, so we leveled off the raised beds so they are deeper into the ground in some parts and step down with the property. We then affixed the side rails to the posts stacking them to the desired height. They are a bit higher than I would’ve liked, but the height does help keep the critters and our polar bear out of them – for the most part, he managed to kill my zucchini and eggplants last year by crawling up there and dozing on them in the mid afternoon sun.

And I’d like to try a few additional things this year particularly berries, quinoa (the most versatile protein/grain in the whole world – check out this sweet-breakfast-quinoa recipe, I’m obsessed: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sweet-breakfast-quinoa), asparagus (which is a perennial, but takes at least two years before you can harvest), beans, pumpkins, beets, more onions, more carrots, and more zucchini (simple and delicious: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/13/dining/131mrex.html?_r=0).