Ail New Square Foot Gardening

our method is awesome. My 3-year-old and I have a blast with two 4X6 boxes."

-Rich from North Carolina would enable them to have four or more boxes. One of the best things about using SFG in a community garden is that since there are no weeds, the garden doesn't become an overrun eyesore by the middle of the summer. This means it is much easier to operate and get public and official approval. If you want to start a community garden, I would emphasize the need again to start small, gain experience, become successful, and then expand during the second season or year.

Community gardens do require a set of guidelines for what participants can and cannot grow so they don't interfere with their neighbor's garden; the guidelines should also cover the hours of operation, use of water, and maintenance of the gardens so they look neat and attractive. The use of pesticides and fertilizer has always a big concern with community gardens, but that issue can be totally eliminated with SFG.

In the layout of the garden, it would be nice to have several tables where people in wheelchairs could wheel right up to their assigned garden plot. Also, several benches and some shade are always a good feature.

Group Projects

A SFG could be a demonstration project for many different groups, including children's gardens, scouts, 4-H'ers, Master Gardeners, botanical gardens, and garden clubs. A group could create a salad garden with all the fixings—lettuce, tomatoes, root crops, and edible flowers. Each square would have a nice sign stating what is there and how it is used in a salad. Another idea would be an herb display with signs and an invitation to touch the plants.

The nice part about the idea of using a SFG is it requires so little maintenance yet produces such a spectacular showcase. It is an easy way of attracting new members or of putting on a demonstration at a function. Another nice thing about it is, at the end of a fair or show, four people can pick up the garden, put it into a van, and take it home. In that situation, you can even include a shortened vertical frame so that it would still fit in the vehicle and yet would add a third dimension to your display.

Humanitarian Projects

For some, gardening is an enjoyable hobby, but for many it can mean the difference between life and death. One step up from starving— the worst condition in the world—is poverty and continual hunger—and that's where SFG comes in. We can help solve the hunger situation. We have a billion people who need help, and the

Special Gardens and Gardeners

solution is to teach them how to help themselves. They need to be shown how and then helped to start just one Square Meter Garden of their own; the rest will follow. We teach them to use straight compost in their gardens because of the lack of peat moss and vermiculite in many of these areas of the world; they can create compost for free, while improving their environment. We believe that, instead of our governments and humanitarian organizations sending food, they should start educational programs that teach people how to compost and how to create a SFG garden. It would cost less, produce more, allow people to become self-sufficient, take very little effort, and yet deliver worthwhile results.

That is why the SFG Foundation is so intent on taking Square Foot Gardening worldwide with its international counterpart Square Meter Gardening. We feel it can truly make a difference in the everyday lives of so many millions of people.

On My Soapbox

Well, here I am, on my soapbox trying to solve worldwide problems when you just want to learn how to have a better garden in your yard. But what this book is all about is how SFG can reach and help so many more people.

That's the significant and imperative message I want to bring to the world. Will you help me? You can—by encouraging others to have an SFG. Get involved in your community or stretch your involvement to the entire world. Anyone, anywhere in the world can now have a small square meter garden right at their back door. The nutritional value of the children's diet will improve dramatically and step-by-step, as they expand their garden, that family will be closer to self-sufficiency and independence from government and private aid programs. You know the saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." The world hunger problem can never be solved until we help people help themselves, step-by-step, square-by-square. Then, maybe the saying will be, "Show a family how to Square Meter Garden, and they will feed themselves forever."

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