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Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

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Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

Post  johnbmarek on 3/28/2014, 2:56 pm

Hello, my name is John Marek and I just signed up for the certification course on April 4, 11 and 18. This will be my third growing season using Square Foot techniques. The first year I established a simple 4X4 raised bed. Last year I began composting and expanded my growing area. My results so far have been good, but not trouble-free, and I am looking forward to learning more and interacting with more experienced gardeners. Ultimately, my goal is to develop a program whereby disadvantaged youth learn to garden as a way of promoting discipline, self-respect and fiscal responsibility. To give you an idea of what I am working with, I have included a picture from June of last growing season.


johnbmarek

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 25
Join date : 2014-03-28
Age : 54
Location : Huntersville, North Carolina (7b)

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Re: Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

Post  sanderson on 3/28/2014, 8:18 pm

John, Welcome to the Forum!   glad you\'re here   You have been Square Footing for 3 seasons and you are just now joining the Forum?  I don't think I could have made 3 seasons without being here.   Embarassed  I learned so much in my first 13 months from all these folks and I finally I felt ready to take the class last month. Don't be a stranger. You probably have a lot to share, the good, the bad and the ugly. We all learn from it.

sanderson

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Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

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Re: Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

Post  johnbmarek on 3/28/2014, 10:06 pm

Well, I guess I'm not much of a joiner. LOL! 

Seriously, though, I have a long and troubled history with gardening. Twenty-five years ago I bought a small farmhouse on an acre of land in rural Wood County, Ohio and set about living like the smiling people with their chickens in Country Journal magazine. To make a long, expensive and exasperating story short, that was something less than a roaring success. Eventually, we sold that house and moved to a condo with zero yard. In 1995, we moved to NC and a suburban house with a little bitty yard, most of which was wooded. Then, a couple of years ago, we had a 50 foot cedar tree come down in a storm, narrowly missing our house. Shaken by that, we had an arborist evaluate our remaining trees and he recommended that a couple of them close to the house be removed. This left us with a relatively sunny patch in the backyard, and I decided to try my hand at gardening again, in a very limited way. About that same time, I was browsing the gardening section at my local bookstore and came across Mel's book, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Year one, I had no idea what to expect. While the patch where the raised bed is placed is "relatively" sunny, it is not full sun, and it is still shaded by trees a bit in the morning and by the house in the evenings. It had also been 20 years since I had bought seeds, and I found myself somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer variety available. In the end, I settled on a little bit of everything, which was, in itself, proof of concept for square foot gardening. The idea that I could grow a dozen different kinds of plants in a space that small was pretty eye-opening. And just about everything turned out, albeit some things (tomatoes) better than others (carrots).

Year two, I was a little more confident. But that confidence was completely shattered when most of my seedling starts failed and I had to buy seedlings from the farmers market. Having said that, once I got over the idea that I wasn't raising everything from seed, the farmers market plants worked out great... and it's not like I was buying plants from Walmart. I added a Compost Wizard Jr. and started making compost and added a small herb area. I also experimented with combining the square foot concept with a traditional Native American planting scheme called three sisters in which beans, corn and squash are grown in proximity. The corn, of course, was problematic, so it really wound up being more of a two sisters arrangement.

johnbmarek

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 25
Join date : 2014-03-28
Age : 54
Location : Huntersville, North Carolina (7b)

View user profile http://www.porchdogjournal.com

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Re: Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/29/2014, 9:38 am

Hi John.  Welcome!  I'll be in class with you.

AtlantaMarie

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Age : 53
Location : Buford, GA - Zones 7B/8A

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Re: Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

Post  johnbmarek on 3/29/2014, 11:01 pm

Nice to meet you, Marie, in the virtual,sense.

johnbmarek

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 25
Join date : 2014-03-28
Age : 54
Location : Huntersville, North Carolina (7b)

View user profile http://www.porchdogjournal.com

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Welcome

Post  Windmere on 3/30/2014, 12:17 pm

Welcome John.  I have learned a great deal from folks participating in this forum.  I've side stepped quite a few possible mistakes by reading the experiences here.  I wish you much success.  Your cause is wonderful and I'm sure reading information here will make you that much more successful.

Windmere

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Join date : 2013-02-26
Age : 47
Location : Fayetteville, GA - Zone 7B - 8A

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Re: Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

Post  johnbmarek on 4/2/2014, 1:22 pm

Thanks, Windmere. I hope to get a lot from the class, and from interacting with you all on the forum.

johnbmarek

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 25
Join date : 2014-03-28
Age : 54
Location : Huntersville, North Carolina (7b)

View user profile http://www.porchdogjournal.com

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Re: Hello from Huntersville, North Carolina

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