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SFG eBook review

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SFG eBook review

Post  boffer on 2/21/2012, 2:14 pm

The SFG Foundation is currently promoting an eBook on its homepage that is called 'The Wealthy Earth' by Jim Teahan. I have purchased and read it. This is my review for the benefit of forum members.

On the SFGF's website promo page, somebody wrote:
Jim's initial thought behind this book was simple: to help fellow Square Foot Gardeners overcome the two main failures of a successful garden.

Originally he planned on writing only a small pamphlet, but says one idea led to another and resulted in a 60+ page book that "not only addresses why people have the challenges they do in this gardening system, but at the same time gives many other helpful suggestions. This book is directed to those who have had experience with the Square Foot Gardening method, but could easily apply to other intensive gardening methods".
What are the two main failures the author wanted to help SFG gardeners overcome?
1. Failure to make Mel's Mix properly.
2. Failure to water properly.

No secrets there; we see them frequently here on the forum too.

The majority of the rest of the book is a re-hash of some of the ANSFG topics such as Compost and Composters, Crop Rotation, Grids, Chemicals Pesticides Fertilizers, and Watering Systems. To be fair, there may be a nugget or two in those chapters, but if your copy of the ANSFG book is dog-earred and you're an avid forum reader, they will be hard to find.

The remaining few chapters are filled out with some of the author's favorite recipes, information about basil, a basic cost analysis of a SFG, and selling gourds on Ebay.

In this book, the author conveys his sense of frustration with the mis-information about SFG that is being propagated by ignorant gardeners, gardeners who can't follow directions, and stubborn row gardeners. It was the non-believers who created the author's desire to write a book that targets experienced SFGers. I don't understand the benefit of preaching old material to the choir.

If you're an individual who has no contact or exchanges with other SFGer's, then this book might be of some value.

However, if you're reading this, and you're happy with the SFG system, this book is not for you. If you're happy with your SFG gardens, but would like to tweak them here and there, re-read the ANSFG book again for ideas that you missed the first time you read it; this book is not for you. If you've become a SFG forum junkie, always on the lookout for new ideas, this book is not for you.

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  camprn on 2/21/2012, 2:23 pm

Thanks for that Boffer, good to know. I hope Jim does have success with his ebook through the SFG Foundation website.

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/21/2012, 2:41 pm

Thanks for the review cheers

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  Chopper on 2/21/2012, 3:54 pm

Haha! So we are not the only ones who deal with dismisal of the importance of MM followed by complaints of so-so crops? Smile

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  snibb on 2/21/2012, 4:39 pm

"...the author conveys his sense of frustration with the mis-information about SFG that is being propagated by ignorant gardeners....It was the non-believers who created the author's desire to write a book that targets experienced SFGers. I don't understand the benefit of preaching old material to the choir."

I don't think I've ever called another gardener "ignorant." And I was certainly not preaching to the choir with this book. I stated right up front that it was directed to those who have struggled with a SFG. There are an awful lot of people who have read Mel's book that still cant seem to get it right. If my points augmented his then that's great. This book obviously was of no benefit to you. But what about the person who has tried to have a SFG, who whole-heartedly beleives in the concept, but has failed a few times. Every year they might try it again but they end up with the same results. Assuming they have read the book, what about that person? Thats the audience. In your own words there are even a lot of folks right here on this site who struggle with things. Why not offer some helpful suggestions? Most of them have probably already read Mel's book in the first place.

I'm curious as to why you purchased the book? You seem to be an expert SFGer who knows all the answers and doesn't need any advice. Their was no deceipt involved in who this was directed to. After reading your review it seems it's not helpful to really anyone except those living in caves who have no knowledge about square foot gardening. I don't know-maybe it's just me but I'm thinking that if the inventor of SFG liked it, found it to be helpful and put it on his site, then it's probably got some value to others. Part of the mission statement for the Foundation is to "..support the use of the gardening method.." That is all I have tried to do in my own way. And for a measly $6 I certainly wasn't going to set the world on fire, nor was that my goal.

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  ashort on 2/21/2012, 4:44 pm

@snibb wrote:

. Part of the mission statement for the Foundation is to "support the use of the gardening method.." That is all I have tried to do in my own way. And for a measly $6 I certainly wasn't going to set the world on fire, nor was that my goal.

Jim, does the foundation get part of the proceeds from your book? I thought I read somewhere that they did.

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  snibb on 2/21/2012, 4:46 pm

Hello Ashort-yes, they get 50% of it. How's that for trying to rip people off like some have sort of implied?....oh well

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  snibb on 2/21/2012, 4:47 pm

By the way...I think you've got some nice looking gardens...love the vertical stuff too...

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  camprn on 2/21/2012, 5:53 pm

Book reviews can be quite valuable and be helpful but are not always comfortable for the author. I know that the above review wasn't saying that the ebook wasn't any good, but that it would be a better read for some folks and not others. I have not bought the book, nor have I read any part but after reading Boffer's review I think it will be valuable to the intended audience.

By the way, it is my belief that Boffer probably wanted to read the book, which is probably why he bought it. AND I know for a fact he ain't got all the answers, but he sure does have a lot of valuable knowledge. I don't know that anyone has all the answers, but if this little ebook will help the poor soul that has had ongoing trouble with the SFG, HARRAH! Good luck with your book Jim!! Very Happy

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  boffer on 2/21/2012, 6:09 pm

@snibb wrote:I don't think I've ever called another gardener "ignorant."
Using the word 'ignorant' was my choice as it was the appropriate word to use:
ig·no·rant/ˈignərənt/

Adjective:
Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.
I sometimes refer to myself as 'the most ignorant sixth year SFGer on the forum.' It's quite likely that I am ignorant because I only own, and have read, two gardening books in my life: the original SFG book and the ANSFG book. Obviously, there is a lot of other gardening information out there that I could learn about, but I'm not interested. All I need to know to put veggies on my table is what I have learned from Mel's two books.

Now then, when someone writes a promo that suggests that there are two secrets to a successful SFG garden, that piques my curiosity. It also perturbs me that I have to spend money to learn if there are things about SFG that I don't know about. I purchased your product. Then I shared my opinion of your product. When the forum was started, the intent was to "...help each other, share our experiences and show off our gardens." I was only helping out other forum members by sharing my reading experience. I was careful to state that your product would not be of much value to forum members. I tried to be objective through the lens that I might know more than others, but the fact is, we talk about the stuff you wrote about all the time.

I feel I have written an honest and fair review. I have not, nor will I, disrespect your work by giving your eBook to others. But with your permission, I will take the time to email your book to ten forum members of your choosing if they will post their reviews. I will certainly make an honest, public apology if my review was not accurate.

Somewhere, you wrote that putting out an eBook was quite an educational experience. Getting feedback on the product that one has worked so hard on, is part of the experience also. Think how much easier the second book that you said you have in mind will be!

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  snibb on 2/21/2012, 6:21 pm

Please ask for your $6 back


Last edited by snibb on 2/21/2012, 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  camprn on 2/21/2012, 6:26 pm

OK, please, that is enough! Quibbling wont get any one any where.

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  llama momma on 2/21/2012, 6:31 pm

Hold it Snibb

There are plenty of new people visiting this forum and may certainly want to see your book. Sometimes saying things in a different way from the original author is extremely helpful. I was able to help someone just the other day simply by restating Mel's words a little differently. Boffer comes on strong, that's all. It's his style but he's not a monster.

You'll be fine and besides, you have Mel's backing. Really, that's what really counts here! Best Wishes to You!

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  snibb on 2/21/2012, 6:48 pm

Good thought...your right and Boffer and I have already settled it....no worries....all is good here between us....I do have to say that it's tempered my desire to do it again.....

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  januaryX on 2/21/2012, 7:06 pm

Boffer read a book and wrote his opinion about it. Is that not permitted? It wasn't rude, crude, hurtful, disparaging, or personal. What am I missing?

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  plantoid on 2/21/2012, 7:08 pm

I was wondering what secrets you had discovered as well Snibb , when it is really just common sense when you understand the whole of Mel's 2006 book

Not being of the good ole USA nor speaking the lingo but being an Englisman from Yorkshire & speaking real english I did find the 2006 book a wee bit ambigious & cloudy sometimes.

Boffs rewiew is fairly accurate .. of your ebook , he covers the salient points and says if your a competent ANSFG'er perhaps it's not for you .

I too get the strong feeling that a lot of people who do have probs don't read the new book and /or really comprehend the importance of the method of making the initial MM to the recipe nor of the importance of making the balanced compost that you use for replenishment .

It took me several re reads of the 2006 edition and much use of this site to finally get the picture but then I'm not a full ANSFG'er as yet so for me perhaps your ebook would have helped speed up my learning curve.

( have played Mel's soil system SFG though and am a long time sucessful propagator /gardener)



Is your ebook vailable on UK Amazon yet?

If not when will it be , for 75 ,000 ANSFG books were sold on UK Amazon last year if I have read things right ?

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  snibb on 2/21/2012, 7:15 pm

Its not available on Amazon..not yet anyway. I'm not sure it will be to tell you the truth

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  martha on 2/21/2012, 7:53 pm

Well, I'm glad you and Boffer have worked it out, Snibb. (I wouldn't have even realized that it was your book, except for the way the discussion on this thread evolved!)

JanuaryX, I don't think you missed anything. Being critiqued can be uncomfortable, without a doubt! I'm a restaurant owner - when I read some of my reviews.... Shocked Shocked

And some of the less than stellar reviews have merit. It's not easy for me to accept, but it's often true.

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Self publishing

Post  tomperrin on 2/21/2012, 7:58 pm

As a long time bookseller, I have always supported self publishing as a venture every bit as authentic as the other kind. Amazon has made it relatively simple for those who are so inclined.

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin?language=en_US

Go for it!

Tom

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  camprn on 2/21/2012, 8:06 pm

@tomperrin wrote:As a long time bookseller, I have always supported self publishing as a venture every bit as authentic as the other kind. Amazon has made it relatively simple for those who are so inclined.

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin?language=en_US

Go for it!

Tom
Tom what do you write about?

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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What I don't do in my spare time

Post  tomperrin on 2/21/2012, 8:49 pm

Tom what do you write about?

Almost all of my previously published work is in the field of substance abuse. If and when I ever recover from my terminal laziness and short attention span, I'll republish some of the out-of-print stuff on Kindle. Someday, I would like to be knowledgeable enough to write about gardening. In the meantime, I'm researching a couple of biographies but have not yet reached sufficient critical mass to start writing. I also have a couple of dormant blogs. This is one of them: http://northcountrythen.blogspot.com/

Gardening and scrambling to make a living have taken priority. Thanks for asking.

Tom

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  camprn on 2/21/2012, 9:21 pm

@tomperrin wrote: If and when I ever recover from my terminal laziness and short attention span
Oh boy, I have a bad case of that too... Wink

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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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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The Wealthy Earth - the review from another point of view

Post  victoria on 2/21/2012, 9:45 pm

Hi All - I am the person who, along with Mel, decided to promote the ebook we are offering on the website. This book was written by one of our very own - Jim was and has always been a huge positive impacting Certified SFG Teacher. He looked at all the reason people fail at such a simple method of gardening. I receive and answer so many emails that this book directly answers,Mel laughed at the premise of the book and how true to life the words Jim wrote really are. I believe there is much to be gleaned from this ebook. I know and feel this way because I am also a Certified SFG Teacher - I have been out in the field, so to speak, teaching and more importantly, listening. I would never have supported a book to our audience that I did not feel would be a benefit. We all have our own opinions, we are happy to give you a place to express them - just think before you write - words have a way of impacting more then just your own small square - we are a World Wide Foundation - let's represent a higher class of people - we are SFGers for goodness sake ! Let's show how great we are - lets MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!! Laughing

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  llama momma on 2/21/2012, 9:50 pm

Excellent!!

way to go way to go way to go way to go

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Re: SFG eBook review

Post  januaryX on 2/21/2012, 9:56 pm

You all are killing me here LOL What was out of line with Boffer's review? His conclusion was that experienced SFGers on the forum wouldn't learn much from the book. What in the world is wrong with that?

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Re: SFG eBook review

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