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CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

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CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/3/2015, 3:12 am

I'm making this request of all of you, whether you are active on the Forum, or just drop in occasionally to catch up.  We are coming up on the 40th Anniversary of Square Foot Gardening, and while the Foundation folks have their job cut out on Celebration events starting in January 2016, there is something that we can do to make this a happy occasion for Mel.  Think of it as a group celebration gift to him.   smiles

Please write a short paragraph and maybe ONE photo about what SFG has meant to you.  [He loves grids]  While his book has reached the 2.5 million mark, it is the real life practice of SFG that will make him really happy.  Please keep in mind that he is not a spring chicken and we may not get to another great opportunity to celebrate like this.

You can write your paragraph and photo right here.  If you are shy  hiddenID  , you can send it in a PM to me and I will forward it.  Or, you can send me an email and I will again forward it.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sfg4uKim on 11/3/2015, 3:36 pm

Thanks Sigrid!

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  Zmoore on 11/4/2015, 7:52 am

I grew up with traditional gardening and enjoyed time with family, gardening in general, and of course the fresh produce.  Once grown up with a family of my own my attempts at traditional gardening kept failing.  I live on a beautiful piece of land surrounded by mature hardwood forest, but open space with lots of sun exposure is limited, the native soil has high clay and rock content, and the deer which are nice to look at played havoc on my previous attempts.  
SFG allowed me to fit gardens in my limited sunny areas, the native soil became irrelevant (make your own), and the compact size allowed for manageable "fencing" to keep out deer.
SFG solved a lot of my problems and allowed me to start gardening again with my family.  I even get some "daddy-daughter" time out of it and it is wonderful.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/4/2015, 1:25 pm

Zmoore, Wonderful! One down and 99 to go!

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  jimmy cee on 11/4/2015, 11:24 pm

4 years ago I found a book with a pretty picture on sale. It was about some kind of gardening so I brought it.

Sat in my book shelves for 2 years, I have a tendency to buy a book with all info about a topic and because I have the book I should know everything in it with out reading it.

Well this book was SFG.

I couldn't sleep one night, so went down to my book shelf and saw this one, went back to bed and I read that book in one night, I couldn't put it down and I was so excited I lost a whole nights sleep.

This was in the beginning of winter, I had to wait till I could get started in my existing beds that looked nice, however never grew anything for I didn't know how....to do it.

Then I found this forum and that changed my life for the good.

I am a very simple man, ask me a question and I usually give you a yes or no.

My wife ? ask her a question, the info she gives, amounts to a book.

This forum is SFG to me, the book is great, however never answers me back when I ask a question and never allows me to give my point of view.

Each time I place a topic, each time I receive a reply, each time I read another topic and study the responses.

fills me with eager anticipation to get out and try it, or think about it more.

I bet there are many out here feeling the way I do, and most likely many more to come in future days.

To the folk who take their time to keep this forum running, I thank you

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/4/2015, 11:39 pm

sobbing  Jimmy, thank you for adding the kind words about the Forum.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  trolleydriver on 11/5/2015, 12:31 pm

Early this year I came across a copy of the “All New Square Foot Gardening” book at a discount bookstore that my wife and I visit a few times per year. I picked up the book from the shelf and went over to a reading area that had some nice soft chairs for me to rest in while my wife continued shopping.  As soon as I got into Mel’s book I knew I had to buy it.  This method of gardening is so unique that it really attracted my attention.  When Spring arrived (following a brutal winter here in Ottawa, Canada), it was time for me to put SFG into action.  I also joined the SFG forum and have enjoyed the interaction with other SFGers who have added to my knowledge.  By following the clearly defined steps in Mel’s book, I was able to make two 4 foot by 4 foot boxes filled with Mel’s Mix (MM).  I made grids out of old window blinds and added chicken wire cages to both boxes and a trellis to one of them.  It was wonderful to see the various vegetables and flowering plants grow and produce excellent crops. The required maintenance activities such as watering and weeding were easy and minimal compared to my regular vegetable garden.  The last time I visited the discount bookstore I picked up a copy of Mel’s “Square Foot Gardening Answer Book” which turns out to be another excellent resource.  I’m looking forward to expanding my Square Foot Garden next year. Thanks Mel!



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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/5/2015, 1:50 pm

Wonderful, 3 down, 97 to go!

May I gently encourage RHs and CIs to post and lead the charge along with our 3 "volunteers?"

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  Mikesgardn on 11/5/2015, 8:23 pm

I was a new homeowner in 1995 when I saw Mel's first book in a local bookstore (still have it).  I noticed that the intro said he was a retired civil engineer who developed a different way to garden.  Being a civil engineer myself, I had to buy it.   I connected with his methods immediately.  He engineered the backyard garden.   As an engineer, he knows what I mean.  Civil engineers make life easier.  Mel made gardening easier.  Thank you.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/5/2015, 10:48 pm

@Mikesgardn wrote:He engineered the backyard garden.   As an engineer, he knows what I mean.  Civil engineers make life easier.  Mel made gardening easier.  Thank you.

I think Mel will love this part. I love you

4 down, 96 to go. I'll try to do mine tonight.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/10/2015, 2:22 am

Bump

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  trolleydriver on 11/10/2015, 8:51 am

Come on folks!!! Only 4 contributions so far.  If a first year rookie newbie like me can write up something then anyone can do it. Remember this is for Mel.

sanderson ... please delete this post if it is not appropriate.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/18/2015, 1:22 am

I was at a stage where I didn't know what I would do being newly retired.  I stumbled across the SFG Forum on the internet, bought the All New Square Foot Gardening book and never looked back.  It all made so much sense.  Thank you, Mel, for developing SFG so I can have such a nice productive veggie garden.  I use Mel's Mix in all of my boxes and in all of the supplemental pots and buckets tucked here and there in my small suburban back yard.  Mel's Mix is nutritious, water retentive, easy to work with and virtually weedless.  The grids make planting so simple.  I even managed to fit in a 3' x 3' x 3' compost cage for home made compost.


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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/18/2015, 1:23 am

5 down, 95 to go. How about the Regional Hosts being the next group to give a shout out?????

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  has55 on 11/18/2015, 5:30 am

Thank you Mel. I was sold out in the 80's doing directly growing in the ground with my troybilt tiller. I saw your program back then, but was too prideful to change. I got tired of pulling those weeds and tilling the ground, quit gardening in the early 90's. Took a second look at mel's program a few back. Started with one bed on faith, which slowly grew into 12 adults beds and a newly arrived 13th baby sfg bed made with cinderblocks 10 days ago.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  Goosegirl on 11/18/2015, 8:27 am

Thank you Mel!  I found All New Square Foot Gardening at a home improvement store in December 2010.  As soon as I read it I knew this was the answer to my Garden of Weedin'.  I dreamed and planned for the rest of that long cold winter in South Dakota, but as soon as the snow started to melt I started searching for deals and freebies.  By summer 2011 I had boxes, trellises, and a GARDEN!


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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sfg4uKim on 11/18/2015, 8:36 am

Since I'm the one collecting the accolades to Mel and SFG, I've already done it, but let me share a bit of what I said:

I began using the original method in the mid-90s. When the All New method was introduced I bought the book but was resistant to change. "The original method is good enough, I'm not going to change now." But every time I loaned out the book people would tell me how awesome the method was ... and the book was almost never returned.

When we moved to Germany in 2007 I changed to the ANSFG method and wanted to slap myself for being so stubborn. I started on the home study CI course but when we came back to States I saw there was a symposium in Utah and Mel would be one of the instructors.

The rest is history!

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/18/2015, 9:59 am

Yeah, 8 down, 92 to go!

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  WindAndVane on 11/19/2015, 2:46 pm

Am painfully new as a member but have come here for years and always got such great information, thank you for helping make this place fantastic!

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/19/2015, 2:59 pm

WV, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here Thank you for "liking" the Forum. I think this is the friendliest and most helpful Forum for gardening. Do you have a photo you could share?

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  WindAndVane on 11/19/2015, 3:06 pm

@sanderson wrote:WV,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here  Thank you for "liking" the Forum.  I think this is the friendliest and most helpful Forum for gardening.  Do you have a photo you could share?

Thank you and agreed, the quality of the discussion here is unmatched imo and saved my hide more than once last year with my winter garden, I do have a pic to upload but may have to wait until I can get home to the PC, I use dolphin browser on my phone and can't see where to upload one just yet but knowing me, it's probably just something I'm missing haha cyclops

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/27/2015, 3:44 am

WAV- Photo? Very Happy

Folks, 9 down but 91 to go. RHs, please post a comment and photo if you haven't done so. Thanks

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  Kelejan on 11/29/2015, 10:47 am

My dear husband bought me an old gardening book at a garage sale for 50c. Pencilled inside was a price of $13.25. The book is the 1983 version of Square Foot Gardening.  I still keep it on top of my computer desk as it still has information that does not change.

I really don't remember the year he gave it to me, but it sat on my bookshelf with me always meaning to start gardening.  Eventually I was alone and needed something to fill my  time, something that I could get absorb in. Up to then my gardening had consisted of a few flowers and keeping the lawn mowed and looking tidy.

So I started reading the book from cover to cover, and decided to buy some wood and make a couple of beds.  The night before I started digging, I decided to see what was on the Internet.  Lucky for me that I did, as I came across Mel's site with  information from the latest book so saved myself a ton of hard work digging up the ground etc. I found that I could just place on top any bed I needed.  Just as well, as my garden is on ground that has layers of rock from glacial melt and any time I planted a fork in it, it would bounce back. That is why I never did vegetables.

At the same time I found the Forum connected to SFG and ever since since it has been a part of my life.  Kind of like a sanctuary to get away from all the  world's problems.

I have been able to utilize my garden to get the best result for a garden that has far too much shade.  It allows me to garden without digging and makes me aware of the way that the soil is vital to living. I could go on and on, but I must say that Square Foot Gardening has been a life-changer for me. also the people who frequent this Forum are some of the nicest people on Earth.

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  sanderson on 11/29/2015, 4:11 pm

Thank you, KJ. thanks

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Re: CALLING ON ALL MEMBERS

Post  plantoid on 11/29/2015, 5:34 pm

Now for a little thanks to Mel for the other side of the pond .. the UK in South Wales
 I've been gardening since I was a kid ( born 1953 )
 By  the time I was 30 yrs old  I'd become disabled in my left arm & shoulder due to injuries sustained at work .
Determined to carry on gardening I had a special set of 60 inch long traditional British  pitchfork handles set on to new light weight ladies border garden tool bespoke made for me. Had to learn to use them on handed for several years till I managed to think of taping my left hand to the top of either the fork or spades shaft .
 This was hard soul destroying work , one day I read about simple raised beds  where the bottom was dug down into the earth to about 2 feet deep and the sides raised up around 6 inches or more . Once the initial hard graft had ben done no one needed to tread the bed and it was  fed with manure or artificial fertilizer n from the top

 Over several years I converted my garden over to all beds like this , it was still hard work even more so as the shoulder injury was causing me to also have spinal problems .

 In 1998 my wife rediscovered her birth mother and as a result we went over to Canada for several weeks to meet  her mum & new husband . Whilst there Hubby ( Eric ) said to me , Dave have you ever seen this guy on TV " and gave me a hard backed book called "  Square foot gardening by Mel Bartholomew".

 I was intrigued by the book , or in the main it was doing what I'd been doing for about 15 years save for the grids & the fact that my beds were about 30 inches wide 24 feet long with 36 inch wide concreted paths between and all round the perimeter  so I could garden & harvesting wet weather fairly cleanly .I'd also been using plenty  expensive chemical fertilizers that were high bin nitrates and not so good for filtering out via the kidney's as well as pure composted well turned stable muck with out any other material in it . This meant I had weeds a plenty to deal with .

 We came back to the UK and the contents of the book eased away to the back of my mind.

 Fast forward to summer 2000 my disabilities suddenly took a turn for the worse, I could no longer do my share in the business.
It wasn't fair to expect Alison to try and do it all on her own as it was quite physical as well as needing a lot of office work .
So after much hear break we sold up home and farmstead , moved into a stinky city to a massive bungalow so big you could clean all rooms without ever unplugging the cleanr from the power point just inside the back door  ... That big !

In 2003 we had another trip to Canada this time for several months, Eric still had the book .  I avidly read it ,cover to cover many times during our visit , he wouldn't part with it though .

After a few years of this miserable existence in the tiny match box of a semi detached bungalow  we managed to sell up at an excellent profit and move out to a lightly populated area here in Wales . My big regret was that the soil here is acidic blue coal mine clay,  Very little would grow on it , save for willow and moss ( it rains a lot here in Wales as well )

The only way I could think of growing some food was to pay someone to construct some rather high raised brik built beds and get them filled with a quality " John Innes "  loam type mix and it wasn't going to be cheap either the construct or the filling up.
 Fortunately we were left a very nice legacy and this paid for the first set of beds and some of the expensive factory made bed infill .

 Once they were set up I decided I wanted to try Mel's way , as the beds are 36 inches tall ( 900 mm ) .
Reaching over them supporting myself on the raised  brick walls was the only way I was going to grow stuff for the disabilities have hit me big time recently .


 I'd made a simple wooden ruler to gauge the squares but for the life of me couldn't recall the various spacings Mel had suggested ,  other than needing to make a pair of horns with my little finger & thumb .
 I resorted to the Internet and Google for the info ..
I found the site  and some of the spacing distances needed and also joined the forum . Not being au fait with Americaneese & playing on the Internet forums  I found it difficult at first.

After sticking with it (  pig headlly sometimes)  I gradually started to make head way , found me changing my approach to things  & the site opening up to be a world wide group of friends with a common interest , where there is no such thing as a stupid question ..just questions that a lot of people want to ask but daren't .

Thanks to much   what Mel said in his last book of , "  All New Square Foot Gardening " I now have about 250 square feet of 3 foot high raised beds all made with a soil free growth medium that is around 32 inches deep .
All this has over the last five years led me to do a lot of research into compost making , long term seed storage & growing plants from bud tips etc etc. I've also been  conducting all manner of interesting ( to me ) experiments to see where I can do even better.


This journey has been  a very interesting and rewarding one for me and my family as well as adding many thousands of £/pounds to the value of our property & giving it a brilliant  pleasing aesthetic character .


 Thank you Mel

 Dave aka Plantoid  and family

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