Square Foot Gardening
When I do seminars on Nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle, most of my audiences do not live in the country. Some are in the suburbs, some in town houses and some in the urban dwellings. They do not have the time, energy, or room to put in a garden like we have. This year, I am doing a new garden project that anyone can do. It is a wonderful enabler. I totally believe that every one should have a garden.
It takes little space, little time, and is super easy to maintain. I am following the plans and directions in Mel Bartholomew's book, “All New Square Foot Gardening”. It is a wonderful book and very worthwhile to read and DO! If you would like to buy the book for yourself, click on the image to the left to be taken to the Amazon web site.
I am keeping a record of my garden boxes and of how much I can grow in them. He says that you can grow enough fresh produce for one person for a whole season in one 4 foot by 4 foot box.
I think that this would help solve some of the food production of the people I speak to. Bob built four boxes and he spaced them out in a row of our garden. I made a basic plan of what to plant in all my squares. This is amazingly FUN for me to work on. We still have our big garden (10,000 square feet)—but right in the middle of it, is the new square foot garden project.
We will take pictures and write about the progress. We will try and update the web site every few weeks. So far so good!
Thanks Mel for this great idea!
New Boxes for 2014
Bob is putting the finishing touches on a 4' x4' square foot frame. Falafel, our thirteen-year old cat, inspects the frame as a potential napping spot. The sides are 2" x 6" lumber and there is a layer of landscaping plastic on the bottom. The lumber is the untreated kind as treated wood may pass along undesirable chemicals into the food. Wooden laths mark the planting areas.
I'm planting the the four boxes. Three of the boxes are made of 2" x 6" boards and the one I'm sitting next to is made of 2" x 8" boards. I'm using the deeper one for root crops. The planting medium is called "Mel's Mix" and consists of equal parts compost, peat moss and vermiculite. We had the mix soil-tested and have adjusted it to be balanced for better plant growth. The ammended "Mel's Mix" produced vegetables that tasted sweeter coming from plants that looked healthier.
This is FUN! I spend a few minutes each day inspecting my plants. The plants are growing well and appear very healthy. I water the boxes every other day. It is amazing how much fresh produce I can grow in just one of these boxes and how easy the whole process is.
So far so good!!I have been harvesting some wonderful "green things" for salad and sit fry dishes. We have enjoyed turnips, red beets, rutabagas, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers. I picked a cabbage last night. We are having green beans and wax beans for lunch today. We love the Swiss chard, mustard greens and Oriental greens in stir fry dishes. There are a lot of carrots planted, but it is too early to pick them. We are harvesting cinnamon basils and parsley. The flowers are pretty and helping to attract bees who pollinate my garden.
We built and planted two raised boxes. These are for folks who need to sit down and do their gardening. These are wonderful for people in a wheelchair. I have a group of senior citizens who will be visiting. Some of them are in wheelchairs. These raised beds enable them to have a garden that they can manage.
I have had friends and neighbors come to the farm to see the square foot boxes. Of the people who have seen it, seven out of the eight families have ordered Mel's book and are planting their own square foot garden boxes.