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Giving a SFG demonstration and need ideas! Empty Giving a SFG demonstration and need ideas!

Post  peanut0915 on 4/4/2012, 12:34 pm

Good morning all! On April 14th, I will be giving a demonstration on SFG to the women's group from our church. I am not certified (this is only by second year), but the response to all my garden pics from last year was phenomenal and everybody has asked me to teach them. I am getting really nervous, but excited to share at the same time. I have several beds to work with at my pastor's house (I talked his wife into trying SFG this year!), so I have a clean slate. I hope to get my demo on video in case I want to become certified (sending a video to the foundation is required). So, with all that said, I need ideas on what I should teach to people who have never done SFG before. I hope to keep the demo under 30 minutes. I plan to plant some spring crops during the demo, show them how the grid works and give them different options on what they can use to build their beds, including trellises. If you could go back, what would you have liked to know when you first started out? I would really LOVE your ideas! Giving a SFG demonstration and need ideas! 109486
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Post  squaredeal on 4/4/2012, 1:54 pm

My ideas: 1. size is ideal for woman's arm to reach across the garden without stepping into it - no more dirty shoes to have to deal with when going in and out of the house. 2. Loose soil means easy weeding - don't need a rototiller, or any other tiller gadget. 3. Soil warms quickly, so can plant much sooner. 4. Multiple composts means no messy fertilizers. 5. Using the "square" system means can't over plant or under plant in the garden. 6. Have a "box" means can fence around it quickly and easily - and make it temporary, not a permanent (and ugly) part of a garden. 7. Can intermix flowers and veggies - makes "companion" planting quick and easy, and helps with pest control - bugs less likely to find their favorite veggies in an intermixed SFG. 8. Less time to plant, water, and weed than a traditional garden - a big help when the heat index reaches 115! 9. Can plant early spring, summer, and have a fall garden - long after others have quit for the season. 10. No difficult formulas for the perfect soil, and Mel's mix creates the perfect potting soil for house plants and cuttings - a twofer!

I was going to stop at 10, but I can't. 11. Can create permanent garden paths which complement the garden. 12. Can make tabletops or high-raised beds for those who can't stoop over. 13. Easily add vertical supports for higher yields (I had cukes when no one else did). 14. Can add drip irrigation or other easy watering systems. 15. With flexible supports can add row covers, shade cloth, or plastic to combat insects, too hot sun, or potential frosts. 16. Box kits are widely available or easily handmade - even by power tool challenged ladies like me. 17. Easily grow a wide variety of stuff one square at a time.
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Post  peanut0915 on 4/4/2012, 2:01 pm

Thank you Squaredeal! I will definitely implement a lot of what you mentioned. I love SFG so much that I want to tell them everything I've learned and am still learning, but that would take all day and would probably overwhelm them, lol!
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Post  camprn on 4/4/2012, 2:15 pm

FUN DA MENTAL (learn this before anything else!)
Mel's Mix.


  • TO have healthy plants you need healthy growing medium. The Mel's mix is what will make your garden grow... If you skimp on the MM you skimp on growing the best vegetables you can.


  • 5 types of compost... or more.


  • Perlite is perfectly acceptable substitute for vermiculite.


  • That's right, 6 inches of Mel's mix is practically perfect for growing everything.

____________________________

43 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  peanut0915 on 4/4/2012, 2:21 pm

Thanks Camprn! We are super blessed here in Utah in that the SFG foundation is located here. We can either make the 30 minute drive to purchase Mel's Mix at their warehouse, or even buy it in a few select stores. For $18 a bag (four bags fill a box), I'm all for cutting out all the time and labor intensive work of making my own. I will briefly mention that they can make their own by following the instructions in the book, but I think that the cost is equivalent to just buying the premade mix. I will definitely stress the importance of MM. A friend of mine cut major corners last year trying to duplicate SFG on a budget, and they gave up half-way into the season because of the lack of growth and all the weeds. MM is KEY!!!
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Post  Hoggar on 4/4/2012, 2:27 pm

The best advice is to keep it simple and stick to the basics
from the book.

If you want Help from some one who is already certified
here is a list of people in the Salt Lake County area.

Celia Tyler-(Salt lake City) Celiatyler@gmail.com

Deborah Silverstone-(Sandy) stonefilly@allwest.net

Fozzie Traitmer (Draper)

Gretchen Campbell-(Sandy)

Jane Jensen- sfgjane@comcast.net


Sharon Burkinshaw-(Sandy)- sharonb51@gmail.com

Jim Teahan-(Draper) jrt2020_2@msn.com

Wendy North - j.k.north1@hotmail.com

And here is the link to the lists
TEACHERS LISTED BY LOCATION - Utah
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Post  chjbr63 on 4/4/2012, 2:43 pm

All the advice so far is on the money. One idea I would work on. Most churches have bus/truck at their disposal. Organize day trip or bulk pickup of the mix and boxes from the warehouse. You might be able to get discount if you are buying enough.
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Post  sfg4uKim on 4/4/2012, 5:18 pm

@peanut0915 wrote: A friend of mine cut major corners last year trying to duplicate SFG on a budget, and they gave up half-way into the season because of the lack of growth and all the weeds. MM is KEY!!!

I would mention that in your class but tell them that this is a one-time investment so the cost is spread over the number of years they use the garden.

Are you going to show them pictures (either on a computer or share photographs)? You can go high tech (Power Point) or low tech - or both.

I think one of the things that really gets people's attention when I speak is my SFG blanket.

Giving a SFG demonstration and need ideas! Img_5012

It is a microfleece throw that was 4' x 5'. I only had to cut 1' off the bottom. One side I kept blank and on the other I used fabric glue and ribbon to make the "grid". I begin my talk by asking, "How many different crops can you put in a plot of land this big?" They usually guess 4-6. When I flip it over . . . gasp!

You don't have to do this, but I put a 1/4" dowel in the upper casing of the blanket so that I can flip it around using one hand.

Giving a SFG demonstration and need ideas! Img_5013

Don't be nervous. Very Happy USUALLY gardeners don't bite.

____________________________

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Post  tabletopper on 4/4/2012, 8:34 pm

I too, am planning on a demo at the Chula Vista Garden Club....so am trying to get my demo together.....the club sells tickets for a drawing ....for the treasury.....and I am planning on making a 2x2 box and donating mel's mix....and have some plants in my portable greenhouse to share with the winning ticket holder....

I also have the 3 DVD's that I can show the intro with Mel talking....just a teaser........

With our weather here we are lucky we can grow all year long......with people in apartments they can have small boxes by their door....front or back......

I am sure you will do a great job of sharing......Ruth
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Post  Daniel9999 on 4/5/2012, 12:27 am

One thing I have not seen mentioned is children.

1.SFG is simple enough for children to understand and do and they can easily construct their own SFG bed if given the right kind of homemade or store bought kit and fill it with the store bought Mels Mix your lucky to have available in your area.

2.A SFG bed makes a great 4H, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Science Fair, Home school ect..project and can teach a child all sorts of educational lessons about responsibility, self sufficiency, the value of hard work, mathematics, food preparation, agriculture, and environmental stewardship.
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Post  peanut0915 on 4/5/2012, 1:34 am

Thank you all so much for your advice! I love the ideas of organizing a bulk order/pickup, using the piece of cloth as a visual (although I will have a full size bed to work with), mentioning the benefits of raising the beds up for those with back issues or other physical ailments, and also how much fun it is for kids. We have a lot of parents in our community who home school, so this would be something fun for them to incorporate into their curriculum. I was also contacted in a private message by Jim, a certified SFG instructor that is located nearby - thanks Jim! I have pictures from my SFG from last year that I plan to print out and display on a board, and will try to talk my husband into drawing a fancy diagram on the same board. I would love to be able to do a powerpoint, but we will be doing this outdoors (hope the weather will be nice!). I also plan to give out some seedlings. I'm getting excited!

I'm loving all the ideas. Please keep them coming to help calm my nerves!
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Post  AvaDGardner on 4/5/2012, 1:46 am

Kim, I LOVE the blanket!

I think that visual is why my fellow plotters are so curious about my "tracks" in the boxes. Lots of them have put in boxes this year, but are still under utilizing the space. They see the difference the squares make and how many different things I'm growing in the same area.

BRILLIANT idea!


Mandy...you're going to do great!
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Post  Chopper on 4/5/2012, 4:16 am

@tabletopper wrote:I too, am planning on a demo at the Chula Vista Garden Club....so am trying to get my demo together.....the club sells tickets for a drawing ....for the treasury.....and I am planning on making a 2x2 box and donating mel's mix....and have some plants in my portable greenhouse to share with the winning ticket holder....

I also have the 3 DVD's that I can show the intro with Mel talking....just a teaser........

With our weather here we are lucky we can grow all year long......with people in apartments they can have small boxes by their door....front or back......

I am sure you will do a great job of sharing......Ruth

Are you really? What a good idea. I swear I feel like such a slacker for not doing anything BIG community wise. Am willing to build someone's garden for money tho. LOL. Smile
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Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/5/2012, 10:20 am

@peanut0915 wrote: I would love to be able to do a powerpoint, but we will be doing this outdoors (hope the weather will be nice!). I also plan to give out some seedlings. I'm getting excited!

I'm loving all the ideas. Please keep them coming to help calm my nerves!

I know you will do fine! Smile If you are comfortable with ppt - you might collect emails or start up a facebook page or??? where you can post/send some links/materials for them to review later. So if you want that ppt...you could send it as a follow up... I find that to be really helpful - especially if they are outside and may not have the easiest time taking notes. I LOVE presenters who say - don't worry about writing this down -I have all this for you on my ppt I will provide (on the conf website, on my fb page, through email...etc...) Smile
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Post  sfg4uKim on 4/5/2012, 2:46 pm

@UnderTheBlackWalnut wrote:
@peanut0915 wrote: I would love to be able to do a powerpoint, but we will be doing this outdoors (hope the weather will be nice!). I also plan to give out some seedlings. I'm getting excited!

I'm loving all the ideas. Please keep them coming to help calm my nerves!

I know you will do fine! Smile If you are comfortable with ppt - you might collect emails or start up a facebook page or??? where you can post/send some links/materials for them to review later. So if you want that ppt...you could send it as a follow up... I find that to be really helpful - especially if they are outside and may not have the easiest time taking notes. I LOVE presenters who say - don't worry about writing this down -I have all this for you on my ppt I will provide (on the conf website, on my fb page, through email...etc...) Smile

Another link to send everyone is the 3-minute intro (maybe even BEFORE your talk):

Mel's SFG Introduction

____________________________

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


sfg4u.com
FB: Square Foot Gardening 4 U



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Post  peanut0915 on 4/5/2012, 3:09 pm

Thank you for the link Barbara! I have forwarded it to be sent out to our women's ministry as a reminder for our gardening day.

You have all been so helpful. Thank you so much!
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