Chef has been researching raised beds. Since building a raised bed with lumber is expensive, he found another way: with bales of straw.
He bought a few bales locally, but since we were later in my sister’s neighborhood, we decided to stop by, mooch some dinner off of her, and buy some straw from her family.
The kids helped load it into the truck.
And my brother-in-law helped Chef make sure it was secure in the bed, while my sister supervised.
At home, Chef wheeled the straw into the back yard.
He set them up where he wanted them, and put some soil mixed with compost on top.
He planted some tomatoes in the soil.
With some bamboo stakes, they seemed to be okay.
Chef says the idea is that the straw composts and adds nutrients to the soil. We’re not so sure how many nutrients straw has, and we don’t know if there’s enough soil in there for the plants to grow well. (Apparently, some people plant directly in the straw, without soil. We’re a bit skeptical of that.)
So, we don’t have any idea whether this will work. But it’s worth a try.