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4 years ago when the forum started...

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4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  boffer on 3/3/2014, 1:09 pm

Tell us about that time in your life:  What did your garden look like?  Had you even given a thought to vegetable gardening?   Did you think SFG stood for San Franscisco Giants?  How did you get from there to here?  We want to know!

2010 was when I decided I liked SFG and began a serious expansion effort.

Making a bunch of MM


More TTs


I've been expanding ever since!

boffer

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  martha on 3/3/2014, 1:37 pm

Boffer,  I remember your cement mixer for your Mel's Mix! That was brilliant! 

I'll be back later to post some Then and Now photos. My  "then" photos are on a different computer.

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  sanderson on 3/3/2014, 1:43 pm

Four years ago:  what garden?  Maybe one tomato or bell pepper each summer in pot filled with Kellogg's and dirt mix.  Maybe one fruit. At that time, I was being financially downsized out of a job, recovering from breast cancer, remodeling 2 flippers, and starting to take care of my Mother as she traveled that horrible journey, dementia.

Fast forward to Feb 2013, started some seedlings.  March 2013, stumbled across this Forum and bought a used copy of the book, 2nd Ed., off eBay, and built 4 small boxes.  April 2013, joined the Forum.  Never looked back.  I'm hooked.

sanderson

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love hearing your past

Post  kauairosina on 3/3/2014, 1:56 pm

Sanderson and Boffer, thank you especially for all the great energy you bring to this forum.  Don't mean to slight others of course, but you guys are sure reliable participants.  Hooray for me that you are ahead of my curve on SFG. There is so much to learn.  I am applying the principles to our row gardens also.  Not going to destroy those. My grandson builds up lovely beds with old logs to hold them in.  Raised beds of sorts.

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  recoush on 3/3/2014, 2:12 pm

Decided to make a raised bed, had one heck of a challenge as the yard sloped up toward the fence no thought to using a premix as the bed is 8 feet x 6 x 12” high
 
Used the soil removed and added mushroom compost, vermiculite and peat moss
Who knew was on the right track to mm and SFG
 
Made a seating spot all the way around with 2x6 all cedar and anchored with 4x4 ends. Placed the plastic fence in the bottom and covered with pound rocks to keep the critters out
 
For the sun screen / bird netting used PVC pipe 3 across like a teepee 
 
Worked out very good but as it turns out the 3 foot reach is a bit too far to the center. After finding this forum expecting to make some minor miracle this year.
 
Starting with new 4x4 boxes and do them all as SFG As far as the 3 foot reach easy fix clean out the center and add a support and 2x6 and a ramp down the center and add a grid. Who knew SFG could be so fun.
 


Like the real raised beds room for a wheel barrel great idea, look like a solution to my issue of the trailer storage issue.

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  recoush on 3/3/2014, 2:16 pm

Boffer, 
are those commercial stands or home made/
Guessing i could do something like that with 4x4 and 3/4 Plywood and 2x6 unless cheaper to by something else.

recoush

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  Kelejan on 3/3/2014, 3:08 pm

Four years ago I was not into SFG at all. Instead I was busy running a business and working 60 + hours per week and not getting the return I needed. SFGing was the last thing on my mind.
In 1999 I was caring for my DH who was dying of lung cancer. To while away the hours I was tending the lawn and growing flowers and giving him much pleasure while doing so. They were some of the most bittersweet memories I have of living in this house and that is why I never want to leave it in spite of the less than ideal growing conditions, being on the north side of a hill and getting less sunshine than I would like.
After he died the garden went to wrack and ruin for several years, but four years ago I decided to take back the garden after finding the 1981 edition of SFG on the bookshelf. My DH had given it to me soon after we moved into this house. It cost him all of 50 cents.  Very Happy  After reading that night, I was fired up and decided to start the very next day digging holes on the ground. Later that evening I decided to go on to the Internet to see if there was any update, and I found this Guest Book. I found that I did not need to do the work suggested in the 1981 book, and I also found what a nice and caring group of people are here, ready and eager to help newbies to SFG.
Now I have five SFG beds, two Wiggler Hiltons and a respectable compost pile. This afternoon I am meeting with an Arborist who is taking down my dead and dying birch trees and discussing what I want to do with the remains. I will be talking with him about BTE and Hugelkulture and the best way he can help me at the least expensive cost. I want all the trees to return to the land.
Being a member of this guest book is one of the best things I have done in recent years.
 BIG hug 

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/3/2014, 7:07 pm

Four years ago the only thing I was gardening was sprouts.

Then a while later I recalled how much I enjoyed my respectively miserable and mediocre results gardening in a backyard spot in the tropics and on a balcony in California, and decided to see if I could make a real success of it if I tried one more time. Not quite, the first year. Much better, the second. This year ... who knows?

Marc Iverson

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  boffer on 3/3/2014, 8:29 pm

@recoush wrote:Boffer, 
are those commercial stands or home made/...

Home made. I don't think I could afford commercial! Search the forum for 'tabletops', and you'll find lots of ideas.

boffer

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  rabbithutch on 3/3/2014, 9:01 pm

First, I must tell Boffer that his new avatar is the greatest!

I have been a very small scale gardener and home landscaper since I can remember.  My first recollections of gardening are being in my Dad's Victory Garden during WWII.  I made a small area where I could plant things.  The first crop I remember harvesting was some small, sweet and tender carrots.  Dad was using decomposed leaves and many organic gardening techniques that he learned as a boy over a hundred years ago. (He was born in 1894 and I was born when he was in his late 40s.  I am the 9th of 9.)

For many years, all I grew was flowers and patio tomatoes, peppers and herbs.  In the last 20 or so years I've gone from about 100 sq.ft. of raised beds back to containers only.  I've now built 4 TTs and plan a 5th 4x4 at ground level for asparagus.

Many years ago I read the original Bartholomew book and subscribed to Organic Gardening when the Rodales still ran it - before the sale to Reader's Digest.  I learned a great deal from those sources and even built a 3 section compost bin in which I placed all my leaves and grass clippings and some kitchen wastes, but it has been nearly 25 years and I've moved 3 times since then.

I ran across a copy of the original SFG book and did an Internet search and found this site a month or so ago.  I posted some questions and got great answers and advice.  I was planning to buy landscapers' soil and compost to fill the beds I planned to make at ground level.  With suggestions from many here, I changed that plan to include MM; so I bought a copy of ANSFG and have read and re-read it.  I also changed the plan to make my beds TTs.  I did not begin early enough this year to start my own seeds and it is still far too cold to transplant anything outside.  Our average last frost is around March 20.  Judging by the winter, I expect this year the last frost will be later.  I should be seeding and transplanting within the next 2-3 weeks for early crops.

So, this site - although I've been here only a very short while - has been a boon and a blessing.  I shall be forever grateful to all the admins and helpful posters.

 

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2014, 10:17 pm

In 2009 I decided to start growing some veggies to help with the grocery bill.  My son cleared space in his back yard and built my boxes.  After losing my husband of 45 yrs in 2004 I built an in-law apt in son's daylight basement.  I love it here and best of all my darling dau-in-law and I get along great.  I just don't interfere in their lives.

April 29, 2009 with my 9 raised beds.  With no more lumber, I built a raised berm in front for a strawberry bed and another two berms in the back for flowers and potatoes. 

I had remembered seeing Mel Bartholomew on some TV programs many years ago and retained some of his teachings.  I started this garden before I got the book but I was eager.  I've bought his 2 editions since then and they are well-thumbed.
I even bought a compost tumbler.

This proved to be a mistake for me.  It's very hard to tumble by hand.

I've since been given a tumbler with a crank which I adore.  I toss in weeds and grass and kitchen waste and lots of dry leaves raked from the fall before.

The old but new-to-me crank tumbler with some new additions.

I wanted to learn more about SFG so I went to google and found this site the following year when it was rather new.
It was also the first year I started my own seeds with help from the members.  The first year I had to buy seedlings at the local nursery.

Early Jersey Wakefield cabbages with peppers and tomatoes in 2009.

Its been a wonderful adventure with SFG.  I've learned a lot from those that know more than me and I've experimented.  I learned I prefer to string my tomatoes when I can but I don't mind staking the overflow I always have each year.   I now have a coldframe I built myself and an A-frame where I start early greens.

I personally built this A-frame over a 4 x 4 bed in 2010.  In Maine sometimes the snow is still in my SFG in March, and even in April so the A-frame means I can start greens and lettuce and spinach out of the snow.


Here's greens and spinach in the A-frame.  It also means I can extend my greens harvest by removing the plastic and tacking on cheesecloth to prevent them from going to seed.

I even extended my gardening to pots and last year to my flower garden where I planted herbs and things like chard and kale and even a few tomatoes since that garden gets only afternoon and early evening sunshine.

A Wapsipinicon Peach tomato in the hosta bed.  It kept producing right into Oct.

I nearly forgot to add that I've added some dwarf fruit trees along the driveway, apple, cherry and peach.  The fruits was indeed divine, best I ever tasted.

I usually check into this forum daily to see what is happening, who's new, who I can help, who has a good tip I can use, or to swap seeds now and then.  I'd be lost without this forum.

If anyone is new or has questions, this is the place to come and learn.  Thank you Mel Bartholomew for starting this forum and for the administrators for keeping it going.  Bless you.

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  gwennifer on 3/4/2014, 12:03 am

Four years ago I had never had a vegetable garden and was still trying to figure out how to landscape our small backyard. Three years ago I read the ANSFG book, found this forum, and built a 4' x 6' bed on the ground. Last year I sold that bed and built three small cement tub table top beds up on the patio where they'd get more sun and my toddler couldn't walk in them.

Since discovering SFG I've grown and eaten my own broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, micro-greens, sugar pod peas, bell peppers, banana peppers, potatoes, popcorn, radishes, green onions, bulb onions, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, and spaghetti squash. I've also been able to teach my kids how to plant seeds, read soil temps and germination charts, care for plants, identify good and bad garden bugs, and be excited about eating our very own homegrown veggies!

gwennifer

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  meatburner on 3/4/2014, 12:24 am

gwen, and you also share seeds to other gardeners.  Thanks for that.

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  gwennifer on 3/4/2014, 12:58 am

@meatburner wrote:gwen, and you also share seeds to other gardeners.  Thanks for that.
Awww shucks. You're welcome! How did your carrots do BTW?

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  walshevak on 3/4/2014, 6:58 am

Four years ago I was preparing to leave for Quangzhou, China so gardening was not even a blip.  When I got back in early June my daughter gave me about a dozen mixed varieties of tomatoes and peppers that her sister-in-law's husband had rescued from the Home Depot where he worked.  Anyway, not having any garden space, I popped them into some flower beds.  Well this revived my gardening yearnings but I just couldn't see hiring somebody to rototill and at almost 68, I just wasn't enthusiastic about digging and hoeing and weeding, especially in the heat of the south.  That Nov I was in Lowes and saw the ANSFG book on the rack.  I picked it up and leafed though it a bit, then I went and sat down on a patio display and spent an hour just going through it.  I decided, THIS I CAN DO and bought the book.  While reading it I found the link for the forum and checked it out.  First time I ever linked to a forum.  Decided to join and my first post was to asking about gardening standing up.  Boffer answered with his spiel on tabletops and voila, I was a gardener again.  Spring of 2011 I had 6 tabletops and a great garden.  Spring of 2012 I added 4 more.



Since then I have added buckets, cement mixing tubs and other containers; become a regional host; and earned my instructor's certificate and created 3 compost bins and 2 worm bins. Guess you could say I'm hooked.

June 2013


Now at 71, I'm looking forward to my 2014 garden.  
Kay

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  johnp on 3/4/2014, 11:13 am

The summer of 2010 I built my first raised bed not knowing anything about SFG. It was in response to the fact that my soil is clay and shale. After the season was over my son told me about SFG and I bought the book. It was the older version but I got the ideas and built several boxes over that winter. I loaned someone the book and it was never returned. I bought the All New version the following spring and have been expanding every year. I still use the book every year for something I need to look up. It's missing the first 20 pages because my most recent dog tried reading (eating) it. But it still works. I have always read the newsletter but I didn't know anything about the forum until last year when I just by accident clicked on when reading the newsletter. It has been a great help. One of the best things it has done is learning about and growing new and different things. After we close our business this year I will be a full time sq. footer. happy hi

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  mschaef on 3/4/2014, 11:36 am

Four years ago for me…I just found out I was pregnant with baby number 2. I was also getting ready to start my second gardening season of SFG in Nebraska. I had 1 4x4 and let my son, not the one in my tummy, chose what we would grow. I got some starts for the local farmers market and some seeds. I had built the box and trellis the year prior so just turn the soil and dug in. I had a terrible time that year with bugs which lead me to the Google search which lead me to the forum. I hovered around for almost that first year. When I finally stuck my toes in and became a forum member.
That Spring, 2010, I was asked by ladies in my church to teach a gardening class since so many had seen my little garden and love it. I did my best to teach what I had learned from Mel. There were over 30 ladies that showed up that night and more who wanted the hand out that I had prepared. More than half told me that they were going to get the book and give it a try. The next year, 2011, I was asked again to teach since so many enjoyed the class and had started a garden. We had about the same turn out as the year before but mostly new ladies, love being military the turnover rate are very high…lol. That summer, 2012, we got moved to Montana. I have never lived or garden here but in my church again I was asked to teach a class about gardening. Do I have a green thumb that others see or something? So I taught my class from the book, that I had taught twice before, to almost 30 ladies again. They all loved how simple SFG is and that I have been able to have my kids help me with it. Last year when I was offer the opportunity to become a Certified Square Foot Garden Instructor I figured might as well since I have been teaching the method for three years already. Since then I have become a Regional Host which is fun.
[size=14.6667]I had the wonderful opportunity to learn about SFG 7 years ago while I was staying with my in law. I then bought my own book after constantly borrowing hers.

[/size]

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

Post  Turan on 3/4/2014, 1:38 pm

In 2010 I was adding one more 3x8 bed.  I had had a large garden with wide raised rows, but it needed to be tilled and formed every spring after spreading the compost and my labor was growing up and getting harder to schedule  Laughing 
Back in the 80s early 90s I had gardened using ideas from the original SFG book.  So I had slowly started switching to that again, first mostly for lettuce in an old bookcase laid on its side.  

In 2009 we built a hoop house for tomatoes.  I took some pictures then.
At that point I had 4 beds and a couple raised berms of potatoes and fava beans and a hilled area covered in plastic for corn and squash.  So 2010 is similar but add 1 bed in place of a berm.

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Re: 4 years ago when the forum started...

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