After many summers of playing on the backyard play structure, my kids finally out grew it last year. We decided that it was the perfect time to clear out that area and plant a vegetable garden. We built wooden boxes and filled the area with pea gravel so that we would also have a sitting area and fire pit. It took quite a while to finish since we were doing all of the hard labor ourselves in between vacations and weekend soccer games (and simple procrastination). When we were finally able to plant our first crops, we chose lettuce, swiss chard, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes and herbs. Some were complete fails, like the tomatoes since we planted too late and the herbs never really took off. But the cauliflower was a surprise hit. It took forever to grow but when it was producing cauliflower the size of my head I deemed it a roaring success. My family loves eating our organic veggies. I’ve had to come up with creative ways to keep the squirrels out of the lettuce. They seem to like that best. My husband would really like to use my son’s airsoft gun but we are going with my kinder, gentler approach, at least for now. I have not been able to put out our furniture and fire pit yet due to our crazy weather but it is only a matter of time before we are out there every evening eating dinner or reading the paper in the morning. Smores in the firepit are always on my kids list of summer faves. We got most of our information from our local garden center and the Sunset Veggie book found here, both have been godsends!