For as long as I can remember we have made our vegetable gardens by either piling soil in to planted mounds or boxing out raised beds in wood frames. Our mound gardens got shaded out over the years by tree growth and were ultimately converted in to the manure storage pile. Our wooden garden boxes rotted out over time and looked a mess while growing an assortment of sad, undernourished weeds. To boot, the clay rich soil in our part of the world (while brilliant for cob) has never been particularly fruitful and is slow to de-sodden and warm up in the spring and quick to dry out and crack in the summer. This year we were faced with the conundrum of how to revive our gardens in to something more productive.