Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mel's Minute

Our very first two-day symposium, in 2004 here in Eden, Utah, was a great success. It all started when a lady from Minnesota wrote to say she wanted to start a small home business utilizing SFG and how could she get certified. Within a few days a teacher from California wrote to ask how she could expand her SFG classroom experience and start sharing this with other teachers so they could include SFG in their classroom work.
I thought by golly, I am going to hold a two-day symposium and invite others, but it all has to happen very quickly, so I should be prepared to teach just these two people if they’re the only ones to come. Well, they did come, and so did twelve others, we had fourteen people at our very first ever symposium. They came from all walks of life and all for a different reason. Now this symposium wasn’t to teach people how to Square Foot Garden, it was to show those that already know how to Square Foot Garden , but want to do something with it. And that desire ranged from a small part-time business out of their home, to all kinds of humanitarian projects around the world. The end result was, one person going to India to teach Square Meter Gardening. Another person went to Africa to teach homeless and orphaned children how to raise their own crops. Another couple from California, who are also going to a different part of Africa for a humanitarian project. Another couple from California are going to teach all of the different subjects taught in school by an association with SFG and how this can be made into a fun project for the children in a classroom situation. Another couple from California are also going to work in a school system as well as interest in various humanitarian projects. Several of the people will be doing neighborhood type work and several will end up with a small business of speaking and teaching in their town about SFG. So, all in all, the results were quite amazing and very gratifying for us.
And the beat goes on, year after year, we hold more Symposiums (now 3 days) and Certify more and more people. It has been very gratifying to me to see this happen and I feel that you, our Certified SFG Teachers are the backbone and lifeline of our Foundation. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and keep up the good work. You will make a big difference in this world. See you on my blog          Happy New Year & Keep up the good work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mel's Minute

$ Making Money $

There are lots of ways to make money with SFG. Sometimes really big money! It’s helpful but not necessary to have small plots of land and you don’t have to go to a farmer’s market either. But we’ll talk about those later.
To me, the best way to make money is to teach. Everyone that starts any new project or hobby wants to learn. Once you become certified, you are the person that can teach them. All you have to do is think: why, how, when, where.
So let’s take each one of these. Young, new or even old gardeners are not all alike. They will all quickly see advantages of SFG. No work, no weeds, no tools, no nothin’. But they want to learn and they need a teacher.
They can read a book. They can watch a video but there’s nothing like an enthusiastic person that give them the excitement of first hand learning. It can start in the classroom. It can go through a workshop and then move to the outdoors. It can be in your garden, their newly created garden or a central teaching garden. Using your imagination! You’ll figure out how to attract them.
Ask yourself, “Where do they gather currently?” Where do they go now to learn something new? Schools all have classes. There’s even continuing education at night at universities for the neighborhood. Another idea would be to think of where gardening equipment, plants and paraphernalia are sold. Another idea is to of where aspiring gardeners gather? And that could be clubs that specialize in gardening of any kind. A rose society or an African violet society would perk up and be very interested in a talk on SFG. Not necessarily to grow roses and African violets, but because that’s where gardening people gather and want to learn new things. Sometimes these locations already have a program for speakers with fees and arrangements and other times you have to create interest and find a location for yourself.
What happens at the end of every garden lecture or workshop? What does most of the audience say? I hope you are thinking, “Where can I buy the book? Where can I watch the video? Where can I buy the supplies? Who can I get to help me? Do you also teach children? Do you have anything for handicapped or elderly?” Your answer of course is “Yes. Yes. Yes. And finally Yes.” You can do it all. The world is waiting for you, so decide with determination to do something with your diploma. Help others, and make the world a better place.
To be continued . . .Mel