Last Updated: May 17, 2022

This week marks the second anniversary of the keyhole garden. Built over a weekend and topped with soil on March 23, 2019, what started as an interesting experiment in raised garden design has proven to be nothing short of a marvel in terms of maintenance (none) and food production (lots). By my estimates, after 725 days of continuous production, we’ve raised three dozen crops and pulled more than 150 pounds of herbs and vegetables from this 50sq ft space.

Right now we’re harvesting peas, lettuce, spinach, dill and broccoli, but we also have tomatoes (over-wintered in the bed), bush beans, cilantro and Chinese cabbage planted in there and ready to take over once the broccoli and spinach have petered out.

The keyhole has been so successful in fact that I’m considering pulling one of the lower productivity raised beds down in the vegetable garden and replacing it with another keyhole garden. My goal this year is to raise all the fruits and vegetables the family needs as well as most of the feed the poultry consumes, reducing our reliance on the grocery store to just the necessities we can’t grow here — grains, meat and dairy and, of course, beer. (Technically, I could make beer, but I’m too lazy to be good at it.)