Can Do with Su – Raised Garden Bed Instructions

Dungeness Barn House – raised bed with purple cabbage

Su is the mastermind behind all of the building projects at Dungeness Barn House. She applies her talents and skills from working at Habitat for Humanity and her own construction business to create original designs.
When asked “What do you like about building?” Su’s philosophy of designing and building is to create something out of someone’s idea but that they didn’t know how to make – and “…make it happen. It makes me happy to see them happy with the final result.”

Which is a good thing because Clare is always thinking up new challenges for Su!

Clare wanted raised beds to be designed so that she could “… still garden at 80.” Waist high, and made of materials that will weather well over time, with a deep base to allow for the roots to grow. Bales of straw at the bottom provide organic matter that decomposes into a rich mulch and holds moisture. The beds are drip irrigated because as Su puts it: “I didn’t want want to spend all day watering the garden.” Whatever your age – making gardening easier and being able to easily access the plants (and weeds!) can make the difference between a garden that is maintained over time, versus one that gets neglected because it’s not “user friendly.”

 

Dungeness Barn House – raised bed with nasturtium

The raised beds are planted with a wide variety of vegetables – from potatoes to lettuces, spinach and heirloom-variety tomatoes. Guests are fed from the garden and from local farms from whatever is in season. The Dungeness Barn House chickens supply the eggs!

From the gardens of Dungeness Barn House

Late summer and early fall is the height of the growing season in the Dungeness. Hardy crops: potatoes, garlic, spinach and kales can be harvested even into the early winter months.

Peas and cucumbers are trellised from four corners of two of the larger beds.

Dungeness Barn House raised beds in early spring

Sequim is a cool-weather growing climate – and because the Dungeness Barn House is located on a high bluff waterfront, there are additional challenges of wind and salt air. The gardens are sheltered behind the buildings, where it’s warm enough for roses to bloom in a mild winter.

Dungeness Barn House – raised beds, sheltered

This design is flexible; make one, see how it goes and add on.

Happy gardening!

Dungeness Barn House Raised Bed

Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast at Two Crows Farm
Raised Garden Beds

So my beautiful and wonderful partner/wife, Clare, decided she wants to be able to garden when she’s 80…and figures since she won’t be able to get on her hands and knees any longer, (or most likely won’t be able to get up if she did get down there), she asked me to make these raised beds for her. Now, she can garden (and possibly with her walker later in life) standing upright and the boxes make it easy. So I’ve tried to put together what I did and some of the tips I found while making them for her. I love her creative energy. She’s always got something new for me to try and make.

Materials needed for one 3 x 5 box:

8 – pressure treated 2 x 4 x 8 (base structure)
2 – doug fir 1 x 2 x 8 (trim boards)
2 – corrugated metal (patina or rusty if you like) approx. 27” x 16’ long
2 – bales + 2 flakes (straw per box)
3” screws (make sure for use in pressure treated material or they will rust)
1” screws for metal corrugated roofing (small rubber washer attached)
6 p nails 1 1/2” long
Landscape fabric (under the boxes and over the straw)
1 yard (approx.) (Organic) Soil

Cuts:

4 – 2 x 4 x 57” pressure treated lumber
4 – 2 x 4 x 36” pressure treated lumber
8 – 2 x 4 x 21” pressure treated lumber
2 – 1 x 2 x 32 3/4” doug fir
2 – 1 x 2 x 55 1/4” doug fir
2 – 27” x 56 3/4” corrugated metal
2 – 27” x 31 1/4” corrugated metal

Installation:

Take 1 – 2 x 4 x 57” pressure treated lumber and attach to the inside end of 1 – 2 x 4 x 36” pressure treated lumber with the screws. This forms and “L” shape. You will repeat this step 3 more times. Once you have 4 “L” shapes you will connect 2 of them together to form a box ( [] ). Repeat with the remaining 2 “L” shapes. Now you have 2 boxes.

Take 2 – 2 x 4 x 21” pressure treated lumber and screw them together for the side corners (long side to long side of the lumber). Repeat 3 more times. You now have all the side corner pieces ready to install on the boxes.

Toe nail the side corners to the boxes with the 3” screws. (I placed the side corner cuts opposite of the way the cuts were for the boxes so it would be stronger and it helped for screwing on the metal later.) (I also found it was easiest to screw on one side at a time to the bottom all four corners and then flip the entire unit onto the top (which is now laying on the bottom) and then screw it into place.) (It forms a 3 D box). After all the corner sides are screwed on the box, it should be pretty sound and you are ready for the metal.

Install the long metal on the long sides first with the metal screws. Then attach the smaller sides with the metal screws. (again, I found it easiest to place the boxes on their sides so I wasn’t crawling inside to try and attach the metal to the lumber) (learned that the hard way, ha!) Once all sides are attached place the box upright and you are ready to install the trim.

Since the metal sticks out a bit and can be very sharp, I used the 1 x 2 to hold it in place and protect the edge. Using clamps to hold the 1 x 2 and the metal close to the 2 x 4, nail the 1 x 2 to the 2 x 4 holding the metal in-between. (I used my pneumatic nailer for this, you could also use screws if you don’t have a nailer, although you might need to pre-drill so the wood doesn’t split) Either way, once this step is completed all the way around the top of the box you are ready to install the straw.

Take landscape fabric and place where you are going to be putting your boxes. I use 20 p nails 4” long and fender washers to hold down my fabric as we have a lot of rocks and harder soils. Once that is down and you’ve placed your box where you want it take 2 bales of straw and place side by side inside the box. You will find that there is a gap at the end or they look short and they are, that’s where the 2 flakes of another bale will fill in. Then cut some of the landscape fabric to cover the top of the straw to prevent it from sprouting up into your box. You’re now ready for soil.

It will take not quite a yard of soil per box giving you about 8” – 10” of planting depth. As the straw decomposes, you can fill the space with more soil, compost, manure etc. Thus, reviving the soil each year. You are now ready to plant.

Have fun and enjoy!

-Su

On a separate note, I installed a drip watering system on a timer so I’m not spending hours (although I’d like to sometimes) watering the garden. So far, it’s worked out great.

Any questions you can reach me on my cell at 360-821-9294 or leave a message. I’ll get back to you.

Happy Gardening!

Dungeness Barn House Hash

01_Dungeness Barn House Hash

DUNGENESS BARN HOUSE “HASH” RECIPE
The signature breakfast dish served at the Dungeness Barnhouse – use this recipe as a guideline and have fun with varying the ingredients depending upon what’s fresh and seasonal. Serves 4.

Seasonal Starch base:
Fall and winter about 4 cups chopped 
• butternut squash
• yams
• purple potatoes

Summer and spring about 4 cups chopped
• heirloom potatoes grown at the Barnhouse
• yukon gold
• red potatoes

Veggie Layer: 
4 cups chopped
• sprouted broccoli
• zucchini
• red bell pepper
• onion
• 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
• One 15.25oz./432g. can of black beans

Seasoning: 
• Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
• Ground fennel seed

Flavored Olive oil: 
• mushroom & sage (starch layer)
• lemon or lime (veggie layer & greens)

Greens: 
• spinach 6 cups or 2 bunches
• 1-2 cloves garlic using garlic press

Protein: 
• 4 Eggs

Topping: 
• 1 cup sprouts

Carb & fat: 
• 4 slices Bavarian rye bread, cut in half on a diagonal (triangle shaped)
• earth balance butter – spread onto slices

 

There are no rules:

The Barnhouse Hash recipe varies depending upon the seasons and whatever is “fresh and pretty that day.” The recipe always feels fresh because of the rotation of ingredients, and it’s also simple and easy to make. Play with it and have fun!

Don’t be a slave to the ingredients list and swap out elements based on what’s handy for you.

This recipe can be adjusted for more or less depending on the number of people who are being served.

02 Dungeness Barn House Hash

Starch Base:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and if possible, use the convection setting

Dice up all of the “seasonal starch base” elements into bite size pieces – (or better yet, get Su to do it! Your evermost fabulous “Su Chef” to do the prep!).

Spread on cookie sheet with silpat.

Tip: these can be bought from Costco inexpensively – and also used for crafts (keep food spillpaths separate from craft ones).

 

 


03 Dungeness Barn House Hash Silpat

Drizzle flavored olive oil – Clare’s  “go to” is Wild Mushroom and Sage. Clare strongly believes in the benefit of using flavored olive oil to add depth and give food the “X” factor – its better but you don’t know why… this is why… muhahahahahahahah!

Note – there’s no seasoning aside from the olive oil in this layer. It provides a background note to the layered flavors, and to add seasoning, would make it overpower the other elements.

Roast until some edges are a little browned/blackened – but not all, because it means that it’s over cooked. Depending upon the quantity – about 30 minutes.


04 Dungeness Barn House Hash Flavored Oils

Veggie Layer:

Starch layer should go in the oven first, veggies about 10 minutes later

Chop up all of the veggies into bit-sized pieces, using a silpat, spread on a cookie sheet, drizzle with lemon or lime flavored olive oil. There’s no need to cook the onions and/or garlic separately… just mix everything together, raw.

We roast the starch and the veggie layers “separately but equally” because you don’t want the moisture in the veggies to sog up the starch layer which should be a little crispy.

Cook about 20 minutes – until the veggies are softened.

Keep an eye on things, don’t over cook veggies!

 


05 Dungeness Barn House Hash Montreal Steak Seasoning

Sprinkle generously with Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning and ground fennel. Clare loves this seasoning because it contains what she calls the “Super Special Secret Ingredient” – fennel. Fennel by itself tastes like licorice, but used with other ingredients, helps to brighten and intensify the flavor, especially for ingredients that have a heavy or earthy tone to them – like broccoli. She uses the metaphor of how two restaurants can both serve spaghetti sauce, but one tastes so much better, yet it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why.

Clare also buys fennel seed, grinds it in a coffee grinder (which she then keeps on hand in a small jar) and adds on top of the seasoning.

 


06 Dungeness Barn House Hash Clare Fennel

Turn off oven and open door slightly

Sprinkle canned black beans (drain can) over the veggies to let them warm up

Leave both the starch and veggie layers in the over to stay warm while working on the next steps…

Spinach Layer:

Lightly sauté a bed of spinach, using flavored lemon or lime olive oil

Keep the stems on – so that the spinach can be a “nest” for a poached egg

While it’s sautéing – use a garlic press to add one clove of garlic

Egg Layer:

Poached or fried eggs.

 


07 Dungeness Barn House Hash Egg

 

08 Clare assembling Dungeness Barn House “Hash” 

Assemble:

• Starch base
• Veggies
• Spinach (making a “nest” for the egg”)
• Top with sprouts – (on this I used Sunflower and arugula mix from Itsy Bitsy Greens.

On the side:
Bavarian rye bread made with sunflowers (Toasted)
Earth balance – “butter” made with an olive oil, organic

09 Dungeness Barn House Hash Rye Bread

Bask in the glory of beautiful breakfast that is the start of a beautiful day.

Receive many compliments on your excellent cooking skills. : )

Skin and Hair Care products custom-made for Dungeness Barn House B&B

When we were creating our Skin and Hair Care products we wanted fragrances that represented what we use at the B&B on a daily basis.  There are three we use most and most often.

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Mint              Rosemary              Lemon Verbena

We grow them, we dry them, we cook with them, we use them to infuse drinking water and infuse bed sheets.  We use subtle fragrances in a huge variety of ways.   We like the different combinations of these three herbs and we also like all three of them together.

Besides the herbs in our Skin and Hair Care products we use Neroli.  Neroli is a fragrance that is made up of patchouli, rosemary and other herbs.  It adds a very subtle floral fragrance that enhances the herbal elements.

IMG_1461One aspect we love is that our local Skin and Hair Care product maker uses no preservatives and no wax; all organic.

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We began to also sell the Skin and Hair Care products that we use at our B&B as “TAKE AWAYS” so that you, our guests, can enjoy them not only while you stay wIMG_1684ith us, but also back at home, on the rest of your vacation, or to give as gifts to others.  Sharing is so much better than just trying to describe a great fragrance or sensation, isn’t it.

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We offer two different sizes of bath salts.

 

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And to top it all off, a smooth lotion

that is devine…. Enjoy!

 

 

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So just as an example, here are a few of the benefits of just one herb we use; mint. 

Skin is benefited by mint as an antiseptic, a soother, and as an anti-itch remedy for things like bug bites and irritations.  The cooling sensation of mint helps reduce irritations and therefore our desire to “scratch the itch”.  Mint’s anti-inflammitory  properties can bring down swelling.  BUT don’t ever use mint around the eyes and if you use mint in the form of pure essential oil it is best to dilute this with another mild form of oil like almond oil.

Mint has benefits for digestion and is also a palate cleanser. Mint soothes the stomach (mint tea), the aroma activates the salivary glands in our mouth and helps our digestive enzymes get busy.  So you can see why mint is a great herb to infuse in drinking water.

Mint also helps with fatigue and headache relief because it’s a natural stimulant and can help when feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed, exhausted,…  Simply smelling mint can help charge your tired battery and boost brain function back to your normal level.   No, mint won’t make you a genius.  Sorry.   Maybe that’s why there are so many chewing gums in mint flavors?  Get us perked back up and running again.

Mint can also inhibit the release of histamines that can cause allergies, as well as clear some congestions (nose, throat, lungs, etc).

 

You can look forward to other fragrances in the near future and more information on the benefits of the complementary herbs we use in our lovely products!

The CHICKS are all here, and then some!

This month we began gathering together our new chick(en)s and it’s been so exciting.  Here they are on day ONE at the Dungeness Barn House B&B!  We had planned on 10 chicks, then when we saw the choices we decided to get 12 chicks, and some how we got home with 14.  Are they already multiplying?  Our local feed store was great and so helpful.  We had researched the different varieties, their characteristics, and distinguishing traits.  I think we have ended up a good mix of layers, personalities, and  who knows, maybe a few divas too.

Let the FUN begin!

Let the FUN begin!

For a couple of innkeepers who are avid gardeners and used to watching our crops grow, mature and supply the Dungeness Barn House B&B, this is an entirely new kind of ‘growing’ experience.  We have some great stories to share but our favorite is what a good ‘daddy’ our dog Fee has been to the new chicks.  You would think that Fee and the chicks came from the same gene pool when you see Fee behaving so concerned when they start to ‘peep’.  Then Fee is  just as concerned when all of the sudden there isn’t a ‘peep’ to be heard.  Such a nurturer dog our Fee is.  It is so heart-warming.

When our friend Tammy first saw the new chicks she said that one of our breeds looks a lot like a baby emu.  Yikes, we are pretty sure that the chicken coop and run are no where near big enough for an adult emu.

 

baby emu chicks

baby emu chicks

Thanks to our friends who helped finish the chicken run and a huge amount of appreciation to our chicken gurus, Kim, Nicki, and Doris, for all of their sage advice, suggestions, and stories.