• On the 7th Day, I Called Carlos

    With the crew from Bang for Your Buck* soon to arrive at the Backyard Institute, last week I realized that I needed to make a call. When I first started my infamous double-digging project, Home and Garden Television’s (HGTV) primetime Friday-night show hadn’t contacted us, so I planned the size of the job based on the belief that I had plenty of time to get all of my ambitious beds dug before veggie-planting time—Santa Fe’s last frost date (May 15). But now, with my five-stops-in-six-days speaking tour complete, and with a handful of very enthusiastic clients wanting all kinds of work done as quickly as possible, it became a choice between making the call to Carlos to see if he wanted to do a little digging in the backyard or blowing off my future brother-in-law’s bachelor party six hours north of here. So I made the call. By no means could I blow off Josh and his crazy friends, yet the yard HAD to be ready.


    Fortunately, Carlos was available, and we got the digging done the day before yesterday, on the nice-and-holy 7th day. Yesterday, I finished building the raised beds that also function as mini greenhouses. Based on what I learned from Ken Kuhne (See blog post, “What We Need is Here.”), I was able to salvage a couple of old cold frames and built a slightly less sturdy version of Kuhne’s super-durable product. Not counting the found lumber, the materials for each 4’ X 8’ raised-bed-cold-frame combo, came out to $35 each. This includes the rebar I drove into the ground, the 1/2” CPVC pushed over the rebar and hooping over the bed, the cold-defeating, light-permitting row-cover material, and the large binder clips used to connect the row cover to the CPVC frame.


    I watched Bang for Your Buck for the first time last week at a friend’s house. From what I garnered, it’s one part reality TV, one part game show, and two parts professional wrestling. It should be interesting to see how such a mainstream show handles the cold-frame-raised beds that may resemble a mini-HAZMAT site more than anything ever seen on HGTV.


  1. Anonymous says:

    "What?! Everyone loves my granite countertop!"

  1. Sure, sure, lady. But they REALLY love my $25 chicken coop!

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The final frontier.

These are the musings of an engaging enterprise.
Its thirty-year mission:

To create a greener planet.

To seek a better life in our lumbering civilization, and

to slowly go where we are all are headed anyway.


Is an unproven system for generating wide-spread sustainability.

it asks for 10 minutes a day for a year. At the end of the year, it asks for 10 more.

So in the second year, you spend just 20 minutes a day, in the third year, 30 minutes.

If you keep up this pattern, 27 years later you spend over 4 hours per day being extremely green.

Share Here!
Describe your attempts At a sustainable life.