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Food Garden Support Products & Services
Standard raised bed food gardens are "Ready to Plant" - constructed, installed, and filled with Man in Overalls' Magic Mix. They come in a variety of squares and rectangles including 2x8, 3x3, 3x8, 4x4, 4x8, 4x10, 4x12, 4x16, and more. 4x8 is the most popular. You can choose from a variety of material options including yellow pine, cedar, treated pine, or plastic composite lumber. All raised beds can come complete with automatic micro irrigation, turnkey planting service, and ongoing support to ensure your success this year and season after season. Click here to see my online webstore.

CLICK HERE to book a site visit on my services page to get started with a custom raised bed.

Custom Raised Bed Food Gardens

Custom raised bed food gardens are designed to fit your space and preferred design aesthetic. Like standard beds, they are "Ready to Plant" - constructed, installed, and filled with Man in Overalls' Magic Mix. They come in all shapes and sizes, from oddly-angled beds to octagonal fruit-tree planters to table-top patio herb gardens; built with a "picture frame" kneeling lip or using landscape timbers, cypress, or castle rock. If we can think it, we can build it. All raised beds can come complete with automatic micro irrigation, food garden planting service, and ongoing maintenance and food garden lessons to ensure your success this year and season after season.

CLICK HERE book a site visit on my services page to get started.

Man in Overalls' Magic Mix
To see Magic Mix PricingCLICK HERE.
Man in Overalls' Magic Mix is my proprietary compost-based soil mix, perfect for raised bed food gardens. The ingredients are mushroom compost enriched with crushed pine bark, rock dusts (granite & azomite), and kelp meal to fill out its micro nutrient profile. I have been growing in and improving my Magic Mix for the past 8 years that I've been in the food gardening business.  I use it to fill all of my raised bed food gardens. After the first season, you simply top-dress before planting with another few inches-- enough to refill your beds-- of Magic Mix. This is how I manage my own food garden fertility and how I help my customers grow productive gardens year after year. Order your Magic Mix on our in our online store today. :)

Riverside Avondale Community Garden -
prospering with Overalls' Magic Mix
Here's what people say about our Magic Mix:
  • Riverside Avondale Community Gardener here in Jacksonville said, "I don’t think we understood what good soil meant…..until now. The rate of growth and the health of the plants has been noticed- I think every visitor asks where we got the soil! The tomatoes are 6+ feet tall and the cucumbers are so prolific we are giving them away!"
  • Another customer, Suzanne struggled to grow "normal-sized vegetables" for years until I filled her beds with Magic Mix. She said, "Your soil makes me feel like a master gardener."
  • Sylvia, an expert gardener herself asked for help expanding her garden space and insisted I fill her beds with "that magic soil!" of mine.
  • I literally have people driving by my house who, seeing my food garden out front, pull over, park, walk up to my front door, and knock. Dog barking, I answer the front door. "I was driving by," they say, "and I just had to ask, 'What kind of soil have you got in your garden?' It looks beautiful. It's some kind of magic!"
I also sell "Magic Dust" which is my custom supplement of organic fertilizer, granite & azomite dusts, and kelp meal that I add to my Magic Mix for fruit trees or beds too full to topdress that, nonetheless, need supplemental nutrition.

To my new web store where you can order ready-to-plant raised beds & Magic Mix, CLICK HERE. Just scroll to the bottom where it says, "Or perhaps you'd like..." And then click "a simple garden" or "Overalls Magic Mix."

Misc. Food Garden Products

Trellises, tomato stakes and ties, personalized food garden planting maps, organic pest management supplies, pathways and fences, cold-frames.... My mission is to inspire and support folks to grow food for self and neighbor, so if you need it to successfully grow your groceries, I'll do what I can to get it in your hands.

Most viewed Man in Overalls posts of all time

Why Can I Eat Bread in France, but not the USA?

Updated 10/31/2017 as the National Organic Standards Board meets in Jacksonville, FL. This may well be the most important thing you read this year for your health. (Originally written in 2015 while I was traveling-- and eating bread-- with my wife in France.) I've got a food riddle for you from Paris, France: Why can I eat bread over here when it makes me sick at home? I'll share my best guess in a minute, but first, a little personal background. Since my senior year of high school, I've not been able to eat much bread at all. For five years, I was severely hypoglycemic, and everything I ate had to have more protein than carbohydrates. That meant, in effect, that I spent my years of college beer-less and eating lots of salad with meat on top. I ate tons of vegetables, very little fruit, basically no carbohydrates to speak of, meat, nuts, eggs, and cheese. If I accidentally ate, say, meat loaf that was, unbeknownst to me, made with bread in it, I'd spend the n

Man in Overalls - It's Like Washing Your Dishes

I often hear folks joke, "Yeah, I had a garden once. I put in all this money & effort, and I only got a handful of tomatoes. Each one of them cost $27!" And they usually end by saying something about not having a green thumb. My first tomatoes of the season I smile and think about a mental model I've been working on: Growing your groceries is like washing your dishes. While they're raving about how many plants they've killed, I'm thinking, "It's not your thumbs. I bet you don't have a sink. And if you do, are you using decent soap or that garbage from the dollar store? And did you mention you've never washed dishes before in your life? And you're surprised you broke a couple wine glasses with no more experience than a four-year-old?" My eyebrows furrow involuntarily belying my thoughts, "Really? That doesn't seem all that surprising to me." But, of course, not only would saying all that confuse people, it&#

Man in Overalls - The Valley of Food & Ag Startups: Warren Wilson College

If you're interested in tech, pay attention to Silicon Valley. If you're interested in food and agriculture, Swannnoa Valley, more specifically  Warren Wilson College , is the place to keep on your radar. Man in Overalls with (L to R) Mary Elizabeth, my wife and Rachel (Williamson) Perry, WW alum and herbal tea entrepreneuer I'm an alum and proud of it, class of 2008. I studied community organizing, wrote a 140 page thesis about social movements as my capstone. Nathan, as college Freshman on WW Electric Crew. (Look for the blue water bottle) It's a work college, one of seven in the country. Think universal work-study, so in addition to whatever one's academic track, students are also working in the cafeteria, the library, admissions, as carpenters, lock smiths, lab techs, and-- per the agricultural legacy of Warren Wilson-- as row crop, animal, and vegetable farmers, gardeners, and edible landscapers.  Personally, I worked on the electric crew a

Man in Overalls - Growing Great Soil

Good soil will basically grow your groceries for you, but how do you build great soil?  The answer is that there are two options:  a quick & easy way and a DIY, hard(er) way.  So we're on the same page, I'm continuing my  #GrowYourGroceries The Easy Way  series by digging into the how-tos of growing great soil. These stories and techniques will likely make the most sense after reading Geeking on Good Soil , my last update. (I outlined where I was headed in  The Big Picture.) As I was saying, the easy way to build a great soil is to fill raised beds with a terrific compost-based soil mix like my  Magic Mix  to jump start your food garden  productivity  from year one. From there, seasonally, you simply top-dress each season before planting with another few inches of compost-based soil mix. This is how I manage my own food garden and those of my customers.  Why? Because at the root of things, I'm a lazy food gardener, and long ago I decided to embrace it. 😎

Man In Overalls - My Compost System

Composting, they say, is an art form. But, truth be told, I'm just too lazy for all that. My own compost philosophy is, "Crap rots in the woods, doesn't it?" But really. :) Whenever I think of home gardening systems, I always reflect back on my grandmother. She gardened up until the week she died at 93. She planted by the signs and assured me that's why her collards were not eaten up by bugs and were able to grow for 3 years running and up to 8 or 9 feet tall. She had a little rototiller, planted straight rows, mulched by spreading leaves to keep the weeds down. She threw out a little 10-10-10 from time to time and kept the cabbage worms at bay with Sevin dust. She hoed if the weeds called for it. But mostly, she harvested. Her pots were always full and her freezer always stuffed with produce: collards, mustards, turnips, peas, tomato gravy, squash, you name it. Now, I don't use 10-10-10 or sevin dust, and I'm not big on tilling. However, the thi

Man in Overalls - Summer Garden Blues & What To Do

Welcome to mid summer in the Deep South! If you're anything like me, you're actively looking for excuses to avoid going outside this time of year. The heat doesn't so much radiate down from the sun as it seems to rise from the side walk. Rain helps- for about ten minutes- and then simply adds to the humidity as it vaporizes on the payment, so that it feels like you need a snorkel to make it from the house to the car, but of course, it only gets worse when you turn on the AC, and that first puff of hot air feels as though someone just wrapped your face in a plastic bag - not to mention that if you cut your grass yesterday, you're going to have to do it again... tomorrow. And, lets not even talk about how fast the weeds grow this time of year! Or the insects seem to multiply! Oh, home... :) Here's the good news: If your garden looks a little worse for wear, it's okay. Really. Mine does too. As much as I aim for- and largely achieve- a productive & beauti

Man in Overalls - When to Plant Tomatoes

" Plant 'em in the spring. Eat 'em the summer. All winter without 'em's a culinary bummer ," as John Denver sings in "Home Grown Tomatoes."  So, just when should you plant* your homegrown tomatoes? Or, more generally, when should you plant your spring food garden? (For an abbreviated version of this post revised & published in Edible Northeast Florida, click here. ) Since tomatoes along with other spring favorites like squash, corn, green beans, cucumbers, peppers, and the like are "frost sensitive" (in other words, they'll die if it freezes), it's all about the "last frost date" for your area. Unless you're a weather savant and remember the last freeze for the past twenty years, you'll have to do some investigating. You could look up your Plant Hardiness Zone  on this cool "interactive" map from the USDA, and you'd learn that Jacksonville is in zone 9a, Tallahassee is in 8b, and At

Man in Overalls - How to Start a School Garden: Design

Before you get to build your school garden like this, before you can help kids get their hands dirty like this,  or teach kids in your school garden like this, there are a few things you've got to take care of first. The #1 most important thing you've got to do is build your team. I say- with no exaggeration-- that human infrastructure is THE most important aspect of developing a successful school garden. But, I already wrote about building your school garden team last time. Assuming you're on track with that, a simultaneous step is to begin developing your school garden design. Here are a few things to should consider as you develop a school garden design: Purpose In your school garden interest meeting, one of the first questions you should ask is: "Why are you interested in a school garden?" Interestingly, this question serves two purposes. First, it helps the team gel because there will likely be a lot of overlap in answers. This will

Man in Overalls - An Ode to Collards (Now with my recipes)

I love growing my groceries in the fall - watching the miracle of growth, having ready-access to the freshest produce money-can't buy, the many flavors, getting to try new varieties - all while the temperature drops to more and more pleasant levels. I enjoy growing most anything in the fall, but, if I had to choose just one thing to grow every fall for the rest of my life, it would be collard greens, hands down.  It's a health thing and an effort-to-yield calculation, but in the beginning, the roots of my collard green passion were seeded by family. When I was a kid about 9 or 10, just a couple years into gardening in the front yard , my aunt, the family documentarian showed me a clipping of my late grandfather from the Graceville New (or was it the Jackson County Times?) beneath his 9ft collard greens that he had kept alive multiple years, growing them into small trees. Not to be outdone, my grandmother grew a collard forest of her own. Seizing the moment, my