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What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

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What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  Velvet Elvis on 6/13/2011, 6:05 pm

Is it predominantly a hobby, or are you mostly trying to cut down on your food budget? Or perhaps something else?

The reason I ask is that it seems counter productive from a budget standpoint to buy transplants as seeds are a whole lot cheaper?

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  martha on 6/13/2011, 7:09 pm

From a budget point of view, yes, seeds are cheaper. But transplants are still almost always going to be cheaper than buying at the store. One tomato plant = ~$3.00 = how many tomatoes.

My motivations for gardening are:

hobby/passion
quality
marketing for DH's and my restaurant
fun
relaxation
availability of specific varieties - i.e.,heirloom tomatoes

my motivations for growing from seed are:

fun, and...
giving me something to do a few months earlier than I would have to wait otherwise!

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/13/2011, 7:54 pm

The reason I ask is that it seems counter productive from a budget standpoint to buy transplants as seeds are a whole lot cheaper?

Some seeds cannot be direct sown into the garden, as least not soon enough to produce a harvest before the season changes to too cool or too little sun for the plants to thrive.

Indoor seed starting is a commitment in planning and time. It requires dedication of a spot indoors that has access to sufficient light (usually artificial as most areas do not have enough sunlight during the winter and early spring). You may also need bottom heat for germination.

That said, I started almost all of my transplants from seeds. And had my successes Very Happy and failures Sad with them. Most of my failures were due to my need to start seedlings much too early and they got too big, old and leggy before it was safe to plant them outdoors. I recently started several types of cucumbers, zucchini and spaghetti squash indoors and they will go out later this week or early next week.

I garden because I love it and I want fresh veggies daily. The difference in the flavor of homegrown as opposed to store bought veggies is amazing. (you have no idea how long ago the store bought was harvested and if they were even ripe when picked)
At home I can try varieties not available at the one little grocery store located in my small town. I grow what I like to eat such as artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lots of varieties of lettuce, many varieties of tomatoes, yellow and red beets as well as bush beans that are yellow, purple and green and a lot more.

Yes this will reduce my food budget, but it also gives me a feeling of accomplishment and something to brag about to my friends and family.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  busygirl on 6/13/2011, 8:27 pm

I am not sure anyone could define just one reason. I do it as a hobby, to feed my family, to balance VALUE in my grocery budget (price versus quality at this point considering the $$ outlay as a first-time SFG-er this year), and as a connection to both past and future (I seed-started all heirloom varieties and will save seed for next year). Efficiency is another reason (sfg vs. row gardening). Before researching this year, I hadn't even realized that Mel had updated his methods. I started with the idea from the old PBS series and worried that I wouldn't be able to find current info (silly me Embarassed )

Many do it as part of their personal political beliefs (sustainability, food independence, local production vs. commercial, organic vs. chemical, etc.)

There are as many reasons as varieties of veggies to grow.

Oh, and the fact that my SFG looks WAY better and is currently producing more than my brother-in-law's row garden doesn't hurt, either. Cool

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  AZDYJ2K on 6/13/2011, 8:37 pm

Here are my reasons:

1) To have something to do with my kids. However, that hasn't panned out (yet!). I still want to get them involved in it and hope this will come with some time.
2) Quality of food. Better tasting and more nutritious. So far, I have not been impressed with the taste of the veggies I have grown with the exception of tomatoes. However, I hope this improves over time also.
3) Link to the past/Hobby for myself. My grandmother gardened and had great veggies. I'm hoping for the same. This also gives me something to do that will benefit us overall.
4) Lastly, I'm hoping to be able to earn an income on this and get out of the rat race and also teach others about this method. I think this one will be the most difficult of all and is not a priority at this point. I'm thinking about it though and hopefully will get some time to put some plans in place.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  walshevak on 6/13/2011, 9:07 pm

My motivation came when I read about the tabletops and I knew I could continue gardening even though my knees couldn't take getting down at ground level anymore. I've had more successes than busts and can't wait to get a fall garden going.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  Goosegirl on 6/13/2011, 9:37 pm

My motivation to SFG is to have my garden (emotional need - link to childhood memories - just plain fun to dig in the dirt) and have it in a form that my OCD -Asperger Hubby can tolerate! So far all is going well. We shall see how it goes as the season progresses.....

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  GreenBlueberry on 6/13/2011, 9:58 pm

I wanted to learn something a new hobby. Also, I've always been a city girl and growing veggies would be something completely opposite to that. After I started last February I've also discovered that it is a great substitute for $110-an-hour sessions at the therapist Very Happy

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Great topic!

Post  littlejo on 6/13/2011, 10:51 pm

I always loved to garden, but, since we moved to the country, the clay soil and the weeds just about took the joy out of it.

Veggie prices are out the roof.

Raising my own transplants from seeds is the way to go, but mine didn't grow very well, so 10 toms in a flat for 3.50, you cannot buy tomatoes for that! Everything else this year is direct seeded.

#1 reason
To eat
Go in the garden with the water hose, pull a couple radishes, a carrot, a tomato, some lettuce, a cuke, whatever you have!, Rinse and eat.
Jo

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  varmit on 6/13/2011, 11:03 pm

Its time to be a little more self sufficient here in the desert and that includes growing some food. I've enjoyed various raised bed usage and found it very useful in this sort of climate. The idea that one can garden using 20% of normal resources, including water, time and my energy was the hook which grabbed and held my attention. Our valley has been in severe water over draft for 10 years, with no turn-around in sight.

These are just a few of my reasons.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  Uprooted on 6/13/2011, 11:28 pm

I'd say satisfaction and flavor are my two biggest motivators. And as someone early on pointed out, one transplant pays for itself multiple times over if it stays healthy and produces.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  moswell on 6/13/2011, 11:45 pm

It's a combination of factors really.

1) My dog, who I'd had since she was a puppy and I was just starting grad school, died at the age of 13 just as spring was beginning. Gardening has been a nice way to develop a new hobby that didn't have any memories of her attached to it, to help me get over losing her. I was planning on trying SFG anyway, but the excitement of planning, planting, and watching a garden grow has definitely helped me.

2) Convenience and money. I'm single and I like to cook. As I've become a better cook, I like to use more and more fresh herbs in my dishes, but boy are they expensive to buy in the store. Also, I hate taking random trips to the grocery store, but I prefer to let the mood strike me when I cook during the week. So stopping off at the store to pick up a $2.50 package of basil, thyme, whatever, isn't exactly convenient.

3) Less waste. Since I cook for one and on the spur of the moment, it's hard to buy produce and use it up before it goes bad. I can't count the heads of lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs I've wasted over the years buying on my bi-weekly grocery store trips and not getting around to using! It's so great to just pop out to the garden and pick what I want to use that day!

The flavor of what I've picked so far is great too. My sugar snap peas were so sweet I couldn't even believe it. Very worth the little work that went into planting them.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  shannon1 on 6/14/2011, 4:11 am

You have asked a great question. I think there must be as many reasons as there are SFG'ers. I grew up in AK and never tasted a fresh vegie other than cabbage. We did not have a garden as we moved around alot. I used to watch Mel on PBS and loved all his great ideas.
22 yrs ago my mother, brother, and I moved to north Florida. At last I lived in a place were I could grow tomatoes. SFG does not require permanently changing the landscape and every landlord I have had has alowed me to garden because of that very reason. I'm still a renter to this day.
Back then it was because I firmly believed eating food grow with pesticides and herbisides was bad for you (I still do + GMOs). I never could afford to by all organic vegies, so I grew them. I had major health problems a while back and could not garden Mad . Now I'm back and using the new method. Still saving money growing the SFG way. The start up is costly to be sure. So I'm starting sm. I have one box 4'x6', a TT. I have also have recycled and reclaimed containers filled with MM. In just that very small garden I have grown so much I have had to buy very few vegies this year.
I am a little odd but here goes, I think it is our patriotic duty to grow as much of our own food as we can. It is such a waste of oil to transport and process food. The adverage person living in the US when eating a meal eats food that has traveled between 1,500 and 2,500 miles. IMO SFG lessens our dependence on foreign oil. Not to even say a lot of imported produce comes from countries that still use DDT on their crops. So I believe being a SFG'er makes me a better citizen of our country and the world. cheers

Few things delight me more than to give my elderly neighbor and friend next door what I can spare, yes I grow more than I can eat. She is a wonderful lady living on a fixed income.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  chico on 6/14/2011, 4:54 am

i planted out of dissidence. I came to understand that the only way we will be free from oppressions at all levels is when we start growing our own. i realize that such a simple gesture could make such a big difference at so many levels.

from exploitations of others , who grow our food either migrant workers or farmers who are contracted to spread themselves so thin that the only solution is suicide. the less demands we make on the food industry the more we will be free from it.

the energy used to purchase a tomato is insane compare to growing your own. the same goes for any other type of vegetables. we are killing the earth to feed ourselves. this is a something that we must remedy. one person at a time.

if we speak of injustices of the world, we are the cause and those reasons it occurred. to feed the "first world" the world has been enslaved for our benefit. No one can claim innocence.

i realize that anyone who has the space is negligent and a contributor to the woes of the world. I was guilty and still am, but i am in the path of recovery to make this place better than when i found it, for those who will come.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  shannon1 on 6/14/2011, 5:24 am

@chico wrote:i planted out of dissidence. I came to understand that the only way we will be free from oppressions at all levels is when we start growing our own. i realize that such a simple gesture could make such a big difference at so many levels.

from exploitations of others , who grow our food either migrant workers or farmers who are contracted to spread themselves so thin that the only solution is suicide. the less demands we make on the food industry the more we will be free from it.

the energy used to purchase a tomato is insane compare to growing your own. the same goes for any other type of vegetables. we are killing the earth to feed ourselves. this is a something that we must remedy. one person at a time.

if we speak of injustices of the world, we are the cause and those reasons it occurred. to feed the "first world" the world has been enslaved for our benefit. No one can claim innocence.

i realize that anyone who has the space is negligent and a contributor to the woes of the world. I was guilty and still am, but i am in the path of recovery to make this place better than when i found it, for those who will come.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  cabinfever on 6/14/2011, 9:22 am

A lot of reasons. When you live in an extremely cold climate like I do, you want to get all you can get from your summers, and that's the main reason I garden. Here are a few others:
1.Save money
2. Safe food
3. Hobby
4. It's fun!

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  fiddleman on 6/14/2011, 10:15 am

My motivation for Square Foot Gardening is: it just plain makes sense. Really. To have the best possible harvest, start with the best possible growing medium for the plants. Something which drains well and yet holds moisture like a sponge, and has all the nutrition the plants need to thrive. I am not putting nutrients where I am walking between the squares, so I am not encouraging weed growth which could grow into the garden. Not only that, but it has virtually no weeding! So less work... and since work is a four letter word to me, I do as little of it as I can! Very Happy

I used to row garden, and was very successful at it; huge harvests of great tasting vegetables, but there was a great deal of weeding/watering/worrying about water and the large amount of work was hard since every thing was by hand. I started the transition to Mel's system (his old system) with a good deal of success, and sure as shootin' - I had the same amount of success as row gardening with less work and less worry.

Now I am using the New and Improved version. Big success even better than before - all things are blowing out of the boxes. I think in two months I have spent less than 10 minutes weeding 7 boxes total. So not having to be out in the garden spending time weeding, I get to be out in the garden for fun. Mel's a genius for making my life simpler and helping the planet without me doing anything! cheers cheers cheers

Mark

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  milaneyjane on 6/14/2011, 10:59 am

I started my own garden because I was nostalgic for when we grew up and enjoyed it. But with my type A personality it became an obsession lol! I started all my plants from seeds this year because A) it is cheaper and B) I am type A and really is it homegrown if someone else grows it for you?? I even started seed saving and will be doing more of that this summer.

But the reason I switched to SFG last year was fewer weeds plain and simple. My traditional garden meant I was out there hours a week trying to battle the weeds. I don't have to worry about it anymore in the SFG. It is so much more convenient. It also looks better Wink


Last edited by milaneyjane on 6/14/2011, 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  nancy on 6/14/2011, 11:06 am

Last year I read Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and it changed my life. I want my food to be local and it can't get much more local than this. And if I grow it myself, I know what is (and isn't) in it. I use no pesticides or herbicides - nothing stronger than Neem Oil and Ivory Soap. This year I'm doing as many heirloom plants as I can. I had to purchase a few transplants due to environmental concerns (all that water in April). Most of those transplants came from local nurseries that I trust.

Since beginning sfg, my reasons have grown to include: 1) teaching my kid. My 7-year-old daughter has 2 of her own 3x3s and wants more. She picks the hornworms off the tomatoes with no squeamishness. She can identify many insects and which ones do what. And she is really developing a love of our corner of the world. 2) increasing the variety of things I grow and eat. We are growing 4 kinds of lettuce, 6 kinds of tomatoes, 2 kinds of broccoli, and 5 kinds of watermelon. Very fun! And I'm trying corn for the first time! 3) the social factor. I have an allotment in a community garden and getting to know the other gardeners has been such a joy! The willingness of people to share ideas and seedlings (and tadpoles) is amazing! We can learn so much from each other! and finally 4) this forum. I have learned so much here! And the people I have "met" and the stories they have to tell are so fabulous. There is a great "fraternity" or "sisterhood" here that is very rare for an on-line forum. We get such joy and pride for each other in our efforts. We can brag on ourselves, ask for help, and praise someone else's successes. That means a lot to many of us.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  quiltbea on 6/14/2011, 12:36 pm

Reasons:
1. Save money
2. Tasty, healthy foods
3. Exercise
4. Love gardening

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/14/2011, 1:44 pm

I started gardening for a lot of the same reasons listed above, political/social views, save money, the joy of eating home grown food, a hobby to get through these tough economic times. My first love is cooking and baking. Gardening just seemed to be the next logical step in becoming a great cook.

I started a SFG because my previous semi-row garden experiences weren't all that great. I wasn't invested enough to keep up with it properly and only the strong survived in my garden. I don't have a mentor and teaching my self was not improving my motivation. I decided the winter month would be filled with internet researches and book reading. After doing research last January I decided SFG might be my ticket to really learning how to garden. I have always had great success in container gardening and I would like to move into edible landscaping also. I think having all three will really help to move me toward self sustained food supply and a pretty yard to relax in and enjoy. I haven't had much of a harvest yet due to a late start but things are going really well. I've only lost a few lettuce leaves and one kale leaf to bugs. I'm fairly impressed so far. I do live in an area that is VERY easy to grow food. I really don't have to amend the soil here, it's a hot desert with a large river/water supply so it is more expensive for me as far as start up goes but it's so much easier and it looks so much better in a highly landscaped yard. I do plan on moving so this will be easy to take with me and I think the learning curve of a new climate will be easier because I know how to SFG.

There are so many great home projects to go along with gardening too. It's been a lot more motivational I think because it's set up so well and Mel had so many great motivational speeches in the book to keep me going. And finally, We don't have community gardens here (yet, I hear they are putting some in) I feel like I'm apart of a community more due to this forum. I know there are other gardening forums but everyone here is doing the same thing.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/14/2011, 2:51 pm

My motivation initially was money. I was at Lowe's (big box store) shopping for a tiller. I had borrowed tractor, plow, disc and a tiller for a couple years. Dad taught me if I borrowed a tool twice, to get my own. I recoiled at the $750 rear tine tiller's price tag.

Then I saw Mel's book on the rack. No tractor. No tiller. $17.95 bargain at twice the price...

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  Pam Nix on 6/14/2011, 3:18 pm

My motivation was my husband. When he gets something in his head, there's no stopping. We've been geared towards getting back to basics and this fit in. However, I was born on a farm, grew up around gardens and so I didn't battle with this method. Anything had to be better than traditional gardening. The unplanned benefits are the most satisfying. I watch my 2 yr old grandson talk to the babies. I have my peaceful time in the garden. We're reaping the rewards of what we've sown, in more ways than just better food.

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What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  sherryeo on 6/14/2011, 8:09 pm

I sfg for so many different reasons. I've tried traditional gardening and the amount of work involved just has gotten more and more difficult to manage as I ease on closer to 60. (I'm holding onto my 50s by my fingernails.) I have done practically no weeding in my sfgs when my row gardens either would have been taken over by weeds by now or my back would have gone out because I hunched over so long weeding.

Gardening makes me feel close to my father, who was a row gardener (he really didn't know any better) because he helped me with my first gardening attempts as a grownup, married daughter.

I, like so many others who've mentioned it, want to know what's gone into and onto my plants - I want to be organic and not have chemicals used on my family's food.

I, like so many others, want to be more self-sufficient, rather than having to depend on a grocery store for all of my food.

I also like the comraderie on this forum and the willingness of the members to help, commiserate or celebrate with each other.

I love the taste of fresh vegetables so much more than the produce in the grocery store.

But the main reason I sfg is because it satisifes something deep down in my soul that nothing else seems to reach. It makes me feel a closeness and connectedness to the earth that makes me feel as though I do truly belong here. I can have a stressful day at work and just the thought of getting home to my gardens soothes me. Going out to my gardens and checking on my plants to see who has a new bloom or new baby vegetable coming on or to actually harvest something puts me in a different, kinder world and the stress just melts away. I just, simply, love it!

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

Post  westx on 6/14/2011, 8:24 pm

Two simple reasons, 1) 2 inches of top soil 2) under the top soil is 4 ft of limestone. They don't call this place the cement capitol of Texas for anything. LOL.

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Re: What is your motivation for SFG-ing?

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