Building a Better (Raised) Bed

Better Farm's raised herb beds lining the back of the house. At far left is the newest bed, built last week by interns and an artist-in-residence.
Better Farm is growing!

Every room is occupied with interns and artists from all over the country and world, with more applications to our artist residency and sustainability internship programs coming in daily. In the last month we've hosted an open house and fundraiser, appeared on the local news, and worked with the Redwood community to get trees planted downtown, clean up the Redwood Historical Society, and create a group art project to be displayed in downtown Redwood.

To accommodate all these goings-on, some changes have been underway at Better Farm to better serve the people living here and those living locally.

The interns and artists-in-residence have worked to double the size of our garden in the last couple of weeks. Similarly, our raised herb beds needed an addition to house all the spices and greens we've been growing like crazy in the greenhouse.

So last week interns Natasha and Jaci, along with painter-in-residence Erica, set to work. They grabbed some old wood from one of the sheds across the street, a bunch of nails, and some hammers. Here they are, putting the raised bed together.

Erica Hauser

Erica (left) and Natasha Pietila

Once the wood was together, it was time to grab some dirt. The ladies utilized aged compost manure donated to the Farm by Steve Shoullette.
Teamwork! Erica (front) and Jaci Collins
 Only two things left to do: plant and water. Here's Intern Jaci doing the latter:

For tips on building your own raised bed, contact us at

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.