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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Where SFG is really needed...... Toplef10Where SFG is really needed...... 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Where SFG is really needed...... I22gcj10Where SFG is really needed...... 14dhcg10

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Where SFG is really needed......

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TejasTerry
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Where SFG is really needed...... Empty Where SFG is really needed......

Post  tomperrin 5/1/2012, 2:17 pm

I just came back from a first-time-ever visit to Tioga County, NY, near
the PA border. This area was ravaged by floods last year and a lot of
people got wiped out. Many neighborhoods are trailer parks, others just plain hilly and
dirt poor. At the same time, there are literally tons of aged horse
manure in some corrals. Wood is cheap and plentiful. And people need
to eat.

And here on the other hand we have SFG, the initial cost of which is a
fraction of a family's weekly trip to the supermarket for bland,
tasteless, expensive food.

So my question for us missionary types today is, "What motivates people the most to start their own SFG garden?"

Is it workshops that demonstrate the simplicity of the method, is it cost, good example of a neighbor, what....? What approaches have a record of overcoming resistance, and getting people off the inertia island?

For me, it was the book ANSFG and a close friend who was going to try it for the first time, plus good timing.

What is your experience?

Tom
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Post  KelliK 5/1/2012, 2:30 pm

The more I learn about SFG, the harder and easier it gets. Harder because it seems like there are a lot more things to think about, easier because I have great resources.

Of all the gardeners I know, I am the only one to do/ try it this way. Everyone else will just learn from my mistakes and then adapt it to what they are doing.

So for your question, I would say that a community SFG would go a long way to helping these people bounce back.
KelliK
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Post  cheyannarach 5/1/2012, 2:41 pm

I have always loved gardening and never learned about SFG until this year and I'm hooked. I think there is something magical about growing your own food and giving the kids something new and healthy. They also love learning and helping which is fun for all of us. So for me it was family #2, oh and not to mention a little friendly competition to prove my father in law wrong, lol, he used to be a farmer...
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Post  walshevak 5/1/2012, 4:20 pm

What did it for me is tabletops. I have trouble bending down and can't get back up easily if I sit on the ground. I've had gardens off and on since helping my dad with his and missed having a garden while living overseas in an apt. I moved back into my own house in Jan 2010 but was traveling all that summer and just not wanting to get into the hard work of starting a garden. Had decided not to do anymore veggie gardening and to just help my son get some gardens going. But he lives on a sand hill and couldn't afford the water to keep a garden going. Then I discovered the ANSFG book in fall of 2010 and was off and running come spring. And after reading about self wicking earth boxes, came up with a self wicking 4x4 to solve my son's sand problems. We are hooked now.

Kay

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Post  sfg4uKim 5/1/2012, 4:28 pm

Mel says to gather the WOMEN first. Tell/show them how the garden would improve the health/lives of their children. What mom wouldn't want to do that?

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Post  plantoid 5/1/2012, 7:58 pm

Tom ,I think attitude and an open mind enquiring are what get people into ANSFG'ing

I often get the feeling that most people spend more time planning their Saturday evening Pizza & bitching than thinking about anything else in the world .

ANSFG using MM for me was kickstarted by forum members for I'd been using the original SFG method Mel gave in his first book ( That kind of went down like a lead balloon amongst some members ).

I ended up chucking the old book and getting the new one once I realised why things were not so fraternal , read it a few times and got cracking getting the materials together.

I looked at the beds this afternoon and realised how far I have come and the tremendous amount I have learnt in the very short time I've been on here .. hence my pay back by way of lot of posts to try and offer the things related to gardening that may be useful in ANSFG that I have garnered in my 60 odd years .



Taken today , the beds and squares are slowly but surely filling up , ground temp at 6 inches deep 53.8 oF

Where SFG is really needed...... PotatoesandMayday024
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Post  JustMe 5/1/2012, 11:05 pm

Years ago, we had a small, traditional garden. Maybe a dozen plants tomatoes/peppers and herbs. It was a lot of work for a such a small garden. Hubby and I took composting classes, creating our first compost and vermicompost bins.

We joined a CSA a few years ago and really enjoyed the variety of produce. They had 'open farm days' for members where we could u-pick tomatoes and strawberries.

I tried lasagna gardening in flower beds, which worked but then the weeds were always an issue. Our neighbor dug out an 10x10 garden one summer but gave it up because it was too much work - weeding, amending, etc. She shared lettuce with us, and I'd never really seen a backyard garden with lettuce all in rows. I wanted to create a garden at our house, but I knew traditional gardening wouldn't work based on our previous experience.

ANSFG appealed to me b/c it is:
simple - no soil tests, figuring out what to add
easy to maintain - minimal weeds
high yield - thinning always seemed like such a waste
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Post  RoOsTeR 5/2/2012, 7:52 am

plantoid wrote:Tom ,I think attitude and an open mind enquiring are what get people into ANSFG'ing

I often get the feeling that most people spend more time planning their Saturday evening Pizza & bitching than thinking about anything else in the world .

ANSFG using MM for me was kickstarted by forum members for I'd been using the original SFG method Mel gave in his first book ( That kind of went down like a lead balloon amongst some members ).

I ended up chucking the old book and getting the new one once I realised why things were not so fraternal , read it a few times and got cracking getting the materials together.

I looked at the beds this afternoon and realised how far I have come and the tremendous amount I have learnt in the very short time I've been on here .. hence my pay back by way of lot of posts to try and offer the things related to gardening that may be useful in ANSFG that I have garnered in my 60 odd years .



Taken today , the beds and squares are slowly but surely filling up , ground temp at 6 inches deep 53.8 oF

Where SFG is really needed...... PotatoesandMayday024

Beautiful. Absolutely amazing Dave! You've done an incredible job...let the drooling begin drool

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Post  plantoid 5/2/2012, 8:45 am

It won't be long for your drooling .....

For those two dwarf curly kales on the bottom of the picture and some PS Broccoli in the other block of beds are getting the taste bud test this evening with knife and fork gravy out of beef & carrot stew plus a few plain boiled spuds .

Note ... bottom right of picture ... the window cill produced celery stump is now planted out after it formed a couple of roots for a regrowth trial .

I've also put another celery stump in at the adjacent square this morning. this time however I've not got it up & growing in a water filled pot but have carefully trimmed a very thin slice off the root of the stem to remove the " crust/scab " and given it a dusting in a rooting compound on the root points then bunged it straight into the MM of the bed to see if it wil root on it's own outside in a fairly moist bed.
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Post  TejasTerry 5/2/2012, 9:24 am

My mom always had a garden. Of course growing up I was more interested in boys and other stuff like working and making money.

I guess a few years ago I came to the realization that all the money in the world can be gone overnight. Disasters such as Katrina, etc., can change your whole life without a moments notice. The economy is bad, etc. I'm not exactly a "survivalist" or "prepper" per say, but I'm not stupid either. I think everyone should have a back up plan in case one day we wake up, and heaven forbid, the grocery shelves are empty. So I decided I wanted to really learn gardening now, so if that ever happens, I know what the hell I'm doing.

I also am wanting healthier food than is available at the store. In the last several months, I've lost 30 lbs, and my hubby has lost 40 lbs. We live in South Texas where the greasy mexican food, etc. just takes its toll on you after years of eating this way.

When we lived in San Antonio, we had neighbors that had a small back yard, yet had it all tilled up and did row gardening for years. All they talked about was the hard work involved, and we would watch them all the time sweating all summer keeping this thing going. I'm not lazy when I want to take on a project, but I couldn't see myself working this hard. I then came across the SFG method online, bought the book, and here I am...eating food for the first time out of my own garden this year.

I've found that it is also very therapeutic. I can spend hours out in the garden, just watching things...My squash blossoms are covered with bees right now. This morning I watched a tiny honey bee chase off a large bumble bee while defending his flower. How cool is that!!!

Anyway, that is my reason for SF gardening....
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Post  Turan 5/2/2012, 10:55 am

plantoid wrote:
Taken today , the beds and squares are slowly but surely filling up , ground temp at 6 inches deep 53.8 oF

Where SFG is really needed...... PotatoesandMayday024
My DH just walked by and complimented this garden. " So orderly and masculine! Nobody is going to move those beds." I wonder if I can press that thought.... a brick strawberry bed to galvanize his attention for instance. I am trying to make the garden more appealing ot him this year so he would stop buying vegtables rather than go get them from the garden Mad So far I went over the planting list with him to make sure I have what he wants, and I trying hard to label blocks for him. If he did make a brick strawberry bed it would be the only thing still standing if Yellowstone ever blows. Very Happy
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Post  hruten 5/2/2012, 11:56 am

My husband's work relocates him about every 5 years. SFG allows me to grow a lot of stuff in containers and bring the containers with us to the next locale. I was all containers last year, but have a 3x4 and a 2x3 this year along with 13 additional planters (not counting my flower pots Wink ).

Hopefully I will be able to teach my 3 kids what my grandma taught me. It's not just the food, it's the peace (sanity) gardening brings. Perhaps it's about making sure each place we live feels like home. flower
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Post  givvmistamps 5/2/2012, 3:48 pm

Turan wrote:
My DH just walked by and complimented this garden. " So orderly and masculine! Nobody is going to move those beds." I wonder if I can press that thought.... a brick strawberry bed to galvanize his attention for instance. I am trying to make the garden more appealing ot him this year so he would stop buying vegtables rather than go get them from the garden Mad So far I went over the planting list with him to make sure I have what he wants, and I trying hard to label blocks for him. If he did make a brick strawberry bed it would be the only thing still standing if Yellowstone ever blows. Very Happy

That's hilarious, Turan! I've never heard of a garden being feminine OR masculine!

I've had trouble getting my husband interested because he's just not a veggie eater (he's a meat & pasta guy), though he's been wonderful about building boxes for me and toting the bags of soil from store to car to backyard. He knows this garden is therapy for me, as well as producing veggies that will help me feel loads better than the store-bought stuff. He's seen the difference my eating organic makes on my health.

Truly everyone, I think showing that once a SFG is set up, it's pretty low-maintenance and you get a lot of produce in a small area. Just quote Mel on how much you get compared to a row garden, and the fact that it's worked for so many people around the world, and SFG sells itself. I hope to promote the SFG method with the low-income folks in my city just so their children will have more healthy foods...and learn where food REALLY comes from.
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Post  Turan 5/2/2012, 9:05 pm

givvmistamps wrote:

That's hilarious, Turan! I've never heard of a garden being feminine OR masculine!

I've had trouble getting my husband interested because he's just not a veggie eater (he's a meat & pasta guy),

Me either Wink He qualified it by saying the bricks were permanent fixtures and he would never be asked to move them. He hates it when I move furniture etc. So I guess my desire to change up the house and yard occassionally he defines as feminine and his desire to have every chair placed as if cast there in brick is masculine. I am not sure I agree on his definitions there... Rolling Eyes

But in the world of getting people involved, at least eating from, a vegy garden seems like make it available and some how do not hold the ownership too close so they feel like they are intruding. I think that my DH feels he is intruding and might pull up the wrong thing etc. So this year I am putting out labels.

The food pantry here has raised beds set up out front for growing vegys. In general there are hugely more amounts of people gardening here than in the past. Raised beds are almost the norm now, not quite but close. I know this because of my peering at back yards as I drive through town Razz
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Post  givvmistamps 5/2/2012, 9:27 pm

Raised beds (or even pots & planters) really are easier. It's great to hear of a town where lots of people have them! I'd love, Love, LOVE to get more people gardening here!!! I see families in the grocery store, and the stuff they're feeding their kids is sad to me. Super-processed foods, loaded with sugars and very little true sustenance. That's why I want to get that certification; I can help make a difference in the diets of families in my region, one small group at a time. Too bad food stamps won't help pay for Mel's Mix! Seems like it should; after all it pays for soda pop, potato chips, and all the other junk food out there. I remember a social worker from the food stamps department in NC telling me, "If it goes in your mouth and doesn't contain alcohol, food stamps will pay for it." Sad.
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Post  Daniel9999 5/2/2012, 9:58 pm

I think the most important thing you can do motivate people to start SFG's in America is to get people excited about fresh produce and cooking in general.

We live in a fast food nation addicted cheap and easy processed calories.

I think that is the biggest barrier by far in America for SFG.... so many people out there are just not that interested in fresh vegetables and consider cooking a bothersome hassle that they would rather avoid with a quick trip to the local Mcdonalds.

There is such a huge lack cooking skills/food knowledge out there.

I think once you get people excited about vegetables and teach them how to properly prepare delicious wholesome meals with them people will naturally gravitate towards thinking about growing their own.

I think a love of good food has to come first before a person learns to love veggie gardening.
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Post  givvmistamps 5/2/2012, 10:30 pm

Perhaps accompanying the SFG teaching with some delicious but fast, basic and easy recipes would be a good idea.
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