Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hi from the midwest

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Hi from the midwest

Post  claudiamedic on 4/21/2012, 6:23 pm

Hi! I'm Claudia and I'm trying SFG for the first time this year. I've grown small gardens and tomato plants in containers in the past but not for several years. The main goal for our SFG is to provide a source of healthy, organic food for our family. Our situation is complicated by disabilities')" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">affraid, but we're determined to have a great time doing this...I'm so excited!

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Re: Hi from the midwest

Post  givvmistamps on 4/21/2012, 6:42 pm

glad you\'re here

You're not the only person here who has disabilities to contend with. I have severe fibromyalgia, which complicates my efforts, but my husband and sons have been wonderful helpers! We're just getting started in SFG, so only have a few boxes and planters to start with. I already have plans to increase my garden next year.

There are a lot of experienced people here who answer questions for us newbies. We love pictures, so plan on posting them!

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Re: Hi from the midwest

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/21/2012, 6:47 pm

Hi and welcome to the Forum!


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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Re: Hi from the midwest

Post  CCgirl75 on 4/21/2012, 10:35 pm


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Thanks for the welcome!

Post  claudiamedic on 5/2/2012, 11:53 am

I'm so excited to be doing this, but living in the Midwest, surrounded by "experts" I'm finding that I'm running into lots of "you'll kill your plants using 5 types of manure".....I've read the threads here on soil analysis so I know that this is to be expected. I just need a little boost of confidence to stick to my guns. To complicate matters a bit, my son is doing his first 4-H project in gardening and the helper (he can't do it by himself...he's a young man with autism and Fragile X Syndrome) is a multi-generational farmer (and a wonderful person) who doesn't think SFG is the way to go. I'm thinking I'll let them do his plants in containers separate from mine and let them do what they feel is best. What do you all think?

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Re: Hi from the midwest

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 5/2/2012, 1:42 pm

Welcome! It's nice to have another midwesterner here! Smile

Yep - living on some of the best natural soil there is definitely complicates matters when folks who farm for a living see SFG... Smile I'm right there in the corn belt with ya. Smile Not to mention, the older master gardeners who thought that non-organic chemicals made their plants look so much better...why would anyone not use them? Kinda like older smokers who started before anyone knew about the dangers of smoking... Smile (Can you tell I have one of those in my family? ...older Master Gardener I mean.... ) Smile

I think your approach is right on by doing your own SFG beds and having a setup where he can do his plants his way with your son. He's obviously kind enough to help so trying to forge a friendship seems easier than creating a hostile relationship.

I LOVE SFG and would never do anything else. I think it's the answer to more people eating better, hands down. I didn't have any experience and it was a perfect fit for my time, my space, and my needs. But, as Kim is wont to say, I'm not a Garden Nazi. I'm not going to deny that folks who have farmed their whole lives on large tracts of good land don't have something to offer as well. Smile

When I talk to people, I start slow and sort of make it out like hey...I don't farm... I want something I can learn more easily and manage and that will grow with me as I age. I also want to grow tomatoes in the vicinity of a black walnut because I have no other space...lol. Smile I try not to put them on the defensive but instead listen to what they have to say and apply it where I can. Sometimes, especially if they are older, they see the value in a garden that is easier to care for, etc. But it's just so different from what they know, it's hard for them to wrap their heads around it until they see it.

For you personally, follow the book, use the forum, and you will reap the benefits. If something isn't going right in the SFG, then use the forum and ask your farmer friends. They have to battle squash vine borers and deal with funky weather, too. Smile One of the major differences may come up if they are non-organic, but I usually just downplay it and say, hey...I'd like to try to see if I can be organic and see what happens...usually they'll just shake their heads and think you are crazy....but still talk to you... Smile But honestly, I can see where if you are trying to grow for market and you have an acre of broccoli, it's time consuming to go through it and pick off cabbage worms by hand and squish 'em. Smile (Guess what I did yesterday?)

I find that if I talk about the commonalities...how do YOU deal with pests, and what about that bolting lettuce? Smile...you might just forge a friendship and he might just come around and realize that BOTH ways are viable ways of producing food. That would be a great first step! okay

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Re: Hi from the midwest

Post  walshevak on 5/2/2012, 2:45 pm

Showing the sameness and differences in 2 comparable size beds and the final results sounds like a 4-H project all by itself.



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Re: Hi from the midwest

Post  CindiLou on 5/2/2012, 4:10 pm

Hi And Welcome Claudia!

I am in south central Iowa, talk about farmers! I have an ongoing arguement with a cousin here in town. I do sfg, he does row garden. BUT he has to add fertilizer and soil amendment and watch all that! I don't So he borrows my old tiller from my row garden days and I sit on his porch with a glass of tea and watch HIM sweat It is so fun!

But to be serious. I switched to sfg for my health. Row gardened all my life, but I had heard of the sf method. Finally my multiple sclerosis got the better of my weed pulling! To hot to weed and it would just get ahead of me! So in 2010 I had found the OLD book. I was using it but in a raised bed. I loved it! Found the forum and the next year I switched to Mel's mix for new beds. I love only taking a few min per bed to weed, water, and check my veggies. I take longer of course if I am harvesting the goodies.

Now this year I really get even with the cousin, he moved. No raised beds, no sun...no where to garden with the area a row garden needs. Stubborn man. I would have just took my boxes and mix with me and set up in the areas that had sun. I guess I will have to share with them so they get some fresh veggies lol...

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Post  claudiamedic on 5/2/2012, 8:38 pm

@walshevak wrote:Showing the sameness and differences in 2 comparable size beds and the final results sounds like a 4-H project all by itself.


That's a great idea, Kay! Since we're new to 4-H (first year) I'm thinking we'll do my son's plants the traditional way and have this opportunity to see what all I need to learn this year. Praying that I can still do stuff next year (I have Lou Gehrig's disease but it is very slow-progressing compared to most) and thinking that might be an ideal project for him then!!

I've got my first "supervisor's sunburn." It was hot here in Indiana today! Thanks again for the encouragement!

Last edited by claudiamedic on 5/2/2012, 8:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : couldn't get photos to post... I'll try again later!)

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Re: Hi from the midwest

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