Monday, December 10, 2012

December Newsletter - Harvest of News

Official Publication of Square Foot Gardening Foundation

 Harvest of  News
In this Issue:
  • Welcome to new Certified Instructors
  • Photos of Jenny Johansson's class
  • Give the Gift of SFG this year
  • Katerina Hodková:  Goodies For Rooties
  • Get a free full-color Jung Seed Catalog
  • Announcements & Upcoming Events
  • Mel's message for Christmas
  • Happy New Year from Mel, Victoria, Brenda & SFGF staff


    New Certified Instructor Jenny Johansson with a class of students who've just harvested delicious lettuce!
    Jenny Johansson's SFG

    Katerina Hodková, Our FIRST CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR from PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC!! (Read her story below)


    Nick Bell is a grandfather (grandson Harry pictured below) and has a business called Turf Grass Plus. He loves SFG and now wants to integrate it into his business.
    Nick is dedicated to becoming an SFG Instructor.  He attended the Online Certification Course at 3 am Australian time!

    Nick Bell's grandson, Harry, helping his grandfather with vegetables

    Poinsetta Tree in San Diego, CA
     Give the Gift of SFG for the Holidays

    Mel's Latest Book -SFG Answer Book- is Hot off the Press, available for Christmas!

    Get one of the first copies available! The Square Foot Gardening Answer Book has arrived! This book is a "must have" for all gardeners.

    Do you own a business? Are you a member of a club (Lion's Club, Chamber of Commerce, community clubs or local government)? Are you wondering what to give your best clients and patrons for Christmas or Hanukkah this year? What incentives are you giving your faithful employees? What about your friends, family, and neighbors?

    Our SFG books make excellent corporate rewards, incentives and gifts. This is the gift that "keeps on giving" for a lifetime. Reading Mel's books and gaining the knowledge of Square Foot Gardening has literally changed lives across the globe.

    For example, in India, Father Abraham was "gifted" Mel's original book on Square Foot Gardening. He took the idea and ran with it, creating community gardens that help the poor of his Indian community earn a living, grow their own life-sustaining fruits and vegetables, and gain a higher quality of life.

    Everyday, worldwide, Mel's books:
    • Help disabled people garden
    • Help school children learn life skills to become self-sustaining
    • Help depressed, anxious people enjoy life more and become well
    • Help the homeless, poor, and the unemployed
    • Help feed the masses with home-grown, healthy food
    • Help gardeners worldwide to reap greater harvests with less time, less space, less water, and less work

    Hurry to place your orders now so it will arrive before Christmas! The last day to order for Christmas is Dec 19th. Orders placed on the 19th will ship by Dec 21st - those orders will not make it by Christmas but will make it that week.

    Let us help you with your Christmas shopping list! Give a gift with TRUE LASTING VALUE. When you gift the knowledge of SFG, you: give nourishment, teach self-reliance, help save the planet, and put us one step closer to ending world hunger.

    Choose one or ALL:
    ALL NEW Square Foot Gardening – the latest techniques for how-to create a Square Foot Gardening. This is an exhaustive how-to manual for beginners and experts. If you have the original SFG book, you'll want to update to this one because Mel offers 10 improvements to the original system!
    Square Foot Gardening Answer Book – this is Mel's latest book – a brand new release! This reference manual covers hundreds of questions on SFG, pests, diseases, spacing, cultural controls, organic formulas for insecticides, and much more. You'll refer to it time and again. It complements ALL NEW Square Foot Gardening
    SFG Cook Book – Delicious, unique recipes that showcase all your home-grown produce to perfection!
    Cash with SFG – How to make money from your gardening hobby! Turn it into a business!

    Take action today to fill your Christmas shopping list.  Order SFG books now or get the "Getting Started with Square Foot Gardening DVD."

    Every single dollar spent on our products funds the nonprofit Square Foot Gardening Foundation, so we can teach this method to as many families and communities as possible.

    Katerina Hodková Goodies For Rooties

    From her Great-Grandfather's Unjust Imprisonment During a Communist Takeover & The Confiscation of their Family Farm in Slovakia to Katerina & her husband founding a recycling business, and then Katerina starting an Outdoor Kindergarten & SF Gardening Business ~Katerina Remains True to Her Family's Roots in Czech Republic

    Katerina Hodková is Square Foot Gardening Foundation's first certified instructor from Prague, Czech Republic. Katerina supported her husband, Tomas, when he left a secure job to start his own business,  HBABio.  HBABio produces and wholesales biodegradable bags and other equipment that make kitchen waste and home garden composting easier

    Later on, Katerina got a brilliant idea to start an outdoor kindergarten, Šárynka Outdoor Kindergarten, one of the first in the country. Alongside the kindergarten, a community garden was started with the assistance of Tomas and other volunteers.  

    Most recently, Katerina decided that a Square Foot Gardening business would perfectly complement her family's businesses and life philosophy. "Goodies For Rooties," or Laskominky pro kořínky, is "a result of high-quality soil needs, fusion of usage and care of allotment, the family business HBABio, a belief in meaningful activity on the local level -- and at the same time -- making use of extensive personal experience with education of the public in the field of kitchen waste separation and composting. Katerina interacted with SFGF teachers via her home computer by taking SFGF's online certification class.

    Katerina said that both her father's and mother's families had a homestead, so she and her husband really had a love for self-sustaining lifestyles, and returning to living off the land helped her reconnect to her roots. 

    "Care of one's soul and body mingles with the care of the environment that we live in." ~Katerina Hodková

    Katerina shared her great-grandfather's story: "My grand-grandfather Samuel Roštár was a respected farmer in Slovenská Ľupča at Slovakia. The entire village used to borrow a threshing machine from him. He had horses, cows, sheep and fields. Even though he was set up for life, he worked hard with his farm workers, not unusual in the past days. When the communists took control, he refused to join the collectivisation. He was named a "gulag" and put in prison for 15 years. The large farmstead was confiscated from him. It does not exist anymore; the communists demolished it and built a block of houses there. Further, one of the nine children, my grandfather Samo Roštár had a blueprint family-run workroom. That was also closed by communists and the machines were destroyed.  Apík, which is what everybody called him, could only stay and helplessly watch the workroom. He made his own living by driving a van. This sad family history is rarely mentioned by my Slovak mum in front of us, four children."
    Today, Katerina lives with her husband, Tomas, and their three children at Podbaba in Prague 6. Here they are homesteading on part of Tomas's family allotment. Said Katerina, "On our little city farm we have our lovely dog Fira, chicken, Indian runner ducks, sheep - a herd of three, and bees. To make the list complete, I should not skip our pet friends - one budgie, two guinea pigs, and thousands of worms (sure, the last named neatly dwelling in a bin and eagerly eating our kitchen scraps)."  

    During her spare time, Katerina volunteers at Ekodomov, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that she co-founded in 2004. The mission of Ekodomov NGO is the education and motivation of people focusing on organic waste separation and home / community composting. 

    Learn more at



    Our new partnership with Jung Seed is a very happy one for all concerned. We are now offering their catalog to our customers, friends, and newsletter subscribers. Jung Seed Company asked us to please supply them with any of our SFGers who would like to receive a catalog - name and mailing address. These catalogs will ship a few days after Christmas. There will be a lineup of very special products and offers!

    If you are a die-hard gardener, you probably do like the rest of us – on cold winter days, you curl up in a chair and gaze longingly into the pages of a seed catalog! You place your orders and wait with great anticipation for the seeds to arrive. Then you wait with great anticipation for the moment to finally arrive when you can go outside to prepare the garden beds and plant the seeds! Don't worry – if you do this, you are a true gardener. We do it too!

    Get your free J.W. Jung Seed Company catalog on its way to your mailbox today.

    Email your name and mailing address to and we will put you on the list for a FREE FULL COLOR SEED CATALOG. Simply put "Mail Order Seed Catalog" in the subject line or somewhere in the email. Never miss SFGF and Jung Seed Special Offers again!

    J.W. Jung Seed Company is an established and reputable family-owned seed company – they sell high-quality organic seeds, bulbs, and plants. They are not the same company, and are not affiliated with, Jung Genetics!


    Announcements & Upcoming Events

     SFG "Garden Time" Potting Soil is now available at select Lowes® and Home Depot® stores – look for it at a store near you!

    • Learn about how to get fit with certified SFG Instructor, Amie Guyette Hall, on her web show; Fitness Radio!  Amie features SFG every Monday at 10:20am PST
    • SFG Certified Instructor Steve Howard has podcasts on gardening and pursuing a country life. He's got a big following. Give him a listen at
    • Fort Worth Garden Club ( 18 Jan 2013 - 10:00 am. Located in Fort Worth, Texas. Don’t miss Julie Whitis, certified Square Foot Gardening Instructor.  "Julie takes delight in teaching others how to create their own Texas Veggie Garden.  Julie loves to quote, “NO Digging, NO Weeding, NO Tilling, NO Kidding”. Join Julie and learn more about this innovative style of gardening.  It is a simple, successful and delicious way to have your own vegetable garden. Please remember, February is the starting month for spring vegetable planting-don’t miss out!"
    • Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, January 19, 2013 10am-1pm/Ayres Hall with Jo Ann Carey, instructor; $25 Arboretum members/$30 non-members; "Nothing compares to the flavor of food that is grown in healthy soil, without pesticides, and allowed to grow until just the right time for harvesting.  Square Foot Gardening uses only 20% of the land space of a conventional garden and saves both water and time. There is no tilling of the soil so anybody can do it."
    • Julie Whitis & Karen McFarland teach SFG at 1106 Almond Drive, Mansfield, Texas on January 12, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Learn more

    Yes, this is Mel staring at a waterfall, thinking of what else he can do to make the world a better place!
    From the desk of Mel Bartholomew
     Mel’s Message for Christmas
    The Christmas Season is here, the time for Giving -- giving of gifts and giving of ourselves.

    First let me tell you what a gift you have given me by being a supporter, follower, and user of the SFG system. It makes my life so complete. When a person creates something new and different, the real joy and pleasure is seeing it being used by others and bringing pleasure to them. Of course SFG is more than pleasure. For many it is life. It is subsistence. It is hope for the future because it’s all based upon a seed sprouting. That seed can be many different things.

    It’s been a long time since I invented Square Foot Gardening. In 1974 (How many of you were even born then?) then SFG was presented to the public at the Bicentennial Celebration of 1976 in Setauket, NY. Then came the first book in 1981 along with the PBS TV series from 1981-1986.

    Gosh how long ago was that! Now it all feels like almost a grandchild that has grown up and is successful on its own and even starting its own family, growing even more, so fast and hard to keep track of.  SFG supporters have made an impact by spreading this unique gardening system all over the world.
    And guess what?  IT WORKS ALL OVER THE WORLD.  We have SFG projects in India, Africa, Haiti all over South and Central America and throughout the Pacific Rim countries.  We will soon have a special UK edition of the Square Meter Gardening book. It will be published in many different languages throughout Europe.

    My Christmas present to you is a heartfelt “Thank you” for making all of this possible. Use this SFG gift for your family and all of the people you can show it to. Help us take this special Holiday present to others. Start in your family with kids, grandparents, siblings, their families and then friends and neighbors. Give them SFG books or DVDs. Show them around the SFG websites. Share your experiences. Help them lay-out and get started with their own SFG next spring.

    Get active in the
    SFG Foundation. Become a Certified SFG Instructor. Start a school, church, or community garden. That will be your present to the world, and in turn that will make me so grateful for this wonderful season. Use the method and do something good for the world with it. The world will be grateful to you.  I promise, I know.


    Happy Holidays! Seasons Greetings! We Wish You a Very Happy & Healthy New Year!
    from Mel Bartholomew, Victoria Boudman, Belinda Jensen & all of the SFGF staff!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Harvest of News - November 2012 Newsletter

Official Publication of Square Foot Gardening Foundation

 Harvest of  News
In this Issue:
  • Welcome to new Certified Instructors
  • Announcing SFG Answer Book Hot Off the Press!
  • Steven Howard: Growing Your Own Grub Podcast
  • San Diego Symposium Update and Photos
  • SFGF Supports Saint Vincents in San Diego
  • A Poem on Square Foot Gardening  
  • Upcoming Events and Announcements
  • Open Letter to Hurricane Sandy Victims 
  • Vote for Transitions in the Citgo Fueling Good Contest 
  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • SFGF is hosting a Drawing with Great Prizes Month of November


                      Cindy Kinney, Paw Paw, MI  & the photo above is her beautiful SFG


                                                       Steven Howard  Oroville, CA    


    Barrett Bright Cyprus TX   

                                                        Willie  Pate  Jackson, TN  

                                 Keith Fabisiak Soquel, CA (now THAT is broccoli - wow!!!!)

    Betty Bianconi, Littleton, NC (Betty will be hosting a SFG symposium  in March 2013 Halifax, NC - no photo - maybe next time. Check out her fun poem below!!)
                                          Alexis Price, San Diego, CA  SFGF staff
                                                    Joyce Swanson, South Dakota

                                                Joyce Swanson's gorgeous SFG's!

    SAN DIEGO SYMPOSIUM GRADUATES (Check out photos of the Symposium in the write-up below)
    Ben Norman      Palmdale, CA 

    Roberta Murray     Denver, CO  
    Suzanne McHenry    La Mesa, CA  
    Abigail Gonzalez   Chula Vista, CA 
    Carolyn Juarez   Santee, CA
    Joyce L White     Las Vegas, NV  
    Janelle Rideau   San Juan Capistrano, CA  
    Jim Hamilton     Oceanside, CA   
    Quenby (Q) Dunlap    Ojai, CA
    Bowen W Coen     Victorville, CA 


    Mel Bartholomew's new book will hit the shelves in time for Christmas - the SFG Answer Book has arrived! But YOU can get it in the SFGF online store on Cyber Monday - November 26th!!

    Get 100s of answers straight from Mel himself! SFG Answer Book covers a wide range of questions that people have always asked Mel. Now, they're all in one book, indexed, with Mel's answers. This is a reference book you'll return to time and again. Teachers - this is a great manual to add to your teaching tools! Get answers and solutions to questions like:
    • What to do about garden pests
    • Organic pesticides
    • Plant spacing
    • Troubleshooting
    • Vertical gardening
    • Keeping pests out of the garden
    • Gardening for the disabled
    • Tips and tricks to increase production
    • & so many more!

    It will be available in our online e-store on Cyber Monday, November 26th
    It will be available very soon at Barnes & Nobles, Amazon and major bookstores!
    Order yours today! Never be without the answers to your SFG questions again when you have this book.

    Remember if you order products from SFGF as gifts, our last order date for Christmas orders is December 19th. Place your order at least one week before December 19th if you want it to arrive before Christmas! Those who wait to the 19th to order, the orders will ship on December 21st and will not make it before Christmas, but will arrive sometime that week. Remember all proceeds from the SFGF online store go to fund the foundation's work in the U.S.A. and abroad.

    Steven Howard:  Growing Your Own Grub Blog and Podcast

    Steven (or Steve) Howard of Oroville, California (but formerly of Texas) is one of Square Foot Gardening Foundation's latest certified instructors. He's also the owner of and

    Here's what Steve says about Born to Farm:

    "Fresh food, fresh air, how to do it yourself, and enjoy doing it... Showing how I do it is the goal of Growing Your Grub."

    Steve does a lot of podcasts and he has developed a large following. His business is called Farmcast Network. This network includes:

    • Born To Farm (Small Farmers, Clean Food)
    • Growing Your Grub (growing, preserving and cooking your own food)
    • Pursuing a Country Life (Planning and living on a country homestead)

    San Diego Graduates - Ready to change the world one SFG at a time

    San Diego Symposium

    The San Diego, California, Symposium, held at world-famous Balboa Park has come and gone, but we have photos to share with you. It was a great success, and SFGF now has many more certified teachers to take SFG to the world! Congratulations to all who participated! We are really on our way to changing the world!

    SFGF Supports St. Vincent de Paul Village

    St. Vincent de Paul Village is a homeless shelter and transitional facility in San Diego, California. We established a garden at the shelter last year. Saint Vincent's holds a weekly gardening class for its clients and gives its long-term clients the opportunity to apply for a $50 a month "internship" to water the garden twice a day and to be responsible for taking produce to the kitchen for meal preparation. 

    Some of St. Vincent's clients were once professional gardeners before falling into hard times. St. Vincent's allows some of its clients who want to have "their own plot" a space in the garden for them to grow what they wish, when they wish. That's not  much of a "community" garden, but it has been good for some of St. Vincent's clients to have a garden space to care for that is solely their own.  
Santa's coming early this year!  Hurrah!
  • Monday, November 26, 2012 at

    Get ready! Get Set! Go! This is the sale we've all been waiting for! It's the perfect time to buy unique Christmas gifts & to reward yourself for being good all year!

    Cyber Monday Sale –All of our newsletter subscribers, instructors & SFG fans are eligible for a coupon for 10% off all merchandise (excluding shipping).

    Get a free signed SFGF Cook Book with orders over $100.00.

    Mel's latest book - SFG Answer Book – is hot off the press! It will be available in our online store for Cyber Monday and Christmas shopping!

    Enjoy the convenience of Paypal™ "Bill Me Later®" to help with your Christmas shopping – now available for all of your orders from SFGF!

    Be the only one in your neighborhood to own our beautiful, white, powder-coated, LIMITED EDITION SFG Garden trellis. We have a limited supply on hand, so be at the website first thing on Monday November 26th to snag this limited edition item at a very special price!

    Get the ever-popular SIGNED SCHOOL TROWEL for only a 10.00 donation – this donation will empower SFGF to place boxes in classrooms.

    Get your "SFG Snow" for Christmas - Coarse Vermiculite will finally be available for purchase from our online store - shipped direct to your door.

    NEW ITEMS: We will also be carrying coconut coir and worm castings. Great for plumping up your SFG or making your own Mel's Mix.

    Handmade Veggie Sun Dryer - this is a wooden box with Plexiglas® and screened shelves for natural drying of your harvest - tomatoes do amazingly well with sun drying.

    STOCKING STUFFERS!! Come to the website Monday 11/26 to see our selection!

    GET A FREE GIFT WITH EVERY NEW ORDER PLACED! With each new order placed, you get a free download of one of the classic PBS-series videos featuring Mel!

    Gift Wrapping is available for early Christmas shoppers. We'll even include a free Christmas tag with your inscription for a family member or any gift recipient.

  • Veterans Day
    Square Foot Gardening Foundation would like to say THANK YOU and tip our hats to all of our armed forces personnel, and to offer our services to any member of the armed forces.

    Hero Gardens

      The SFG Foundation has instituted a very special program for our deployed service members and their families. We knew the pain of separation and the loss that occurs within the family unit when one member has been removed and answered the call of our nation. Quite often the only connection between home and the loved one will be a brief phone call. This can be sometimes awkward and a sad moment. Especially between parent and child. We are moved by the need to help reconnect families. Our idea is to send the deployed family member a SFG and also send the children at home one. This creates a common bond and gives a piece of home back to the service member. There is nurturing and healing in the care of the garden. The ease of conversation is the sharing of what is growing and happening between the two gardens. This is a small idea that can really make a difference and if you know anyone who would benefit from this program please write to us at We support our Troops. We salute you this Veterans Day and also want to offer a free Original SFG Book in honor of your service to the United States of America.

    Please email & let us know your name & address so we can rush your free book to you.
    On November 11th - WE SALUTE YOU!

    Square Foot Gardening

                                                 (Apply a rap beat as you read it!  )

    I’m telling you what you need to know
    About Square Food Gardening  Yo!

    It’s easy, simple, and for you "no hoe"
    Involving families, elders, the common Joe.

    Start planting seeds, you’re ready to sow.
    In a 4X4 box, special soil, grid to go!

    Enjoy the box; forget the row.
    A few months later, a vegetable show.

    That’s Square Food Gardening.

    ~Betty Biaconi

    Announcements & Upcoming Events

    • SFG "Garden Time" Potting Soil is now available at select Lowes and Home Depot stores – look for it at a store near you!
    • Learn about how to get fit with certified SFG Instructor, Amie Guyette Hall, on her web show; Fitness Radio!  Amie features SFG every Monday at 10:20am PST
    • Cyber Monday at on Monday, November 26, 2012! 
    • Get a free full-color seed catalog from J.W. Jung Seed Co. Send us your name, mailing address & "request catalog" in email subject line; you will receive your catalog after Christmas. Special offers & products for SFGers.
    • Look in the November General Newsletter for a 10% OFF coupon for Cyber Monday -- or get it on the website.
    • Please mark your calendars: The online store will be closed Dec 19th to January 3rd for inventory and season prep - and maintenance. There will be a small selection of items available for sale and download during this time - but not the full store. Emails and phone calls will be answered in January.

     City of Columbia, SC, Family Day Harvest Fest, Nov. 18th, 2-5 pm:

    The City of Columbia and the Department of Parks and Recreation present a fun-filled family day to celebrate the arrival of the harvest season.  The event date is Sunday, November 18th from 2PM to 5PM. Stop by to see Victoria & SFGF staff, who will be on hand giving SFG demonstrations!

    The location is: NOMA Community Garden, 2700 River Drive, Columbia, South Carolina 29203. For more information, contact The Department of Parks and Recreation, 803.545.3100. Festival-goers can:

    • Browse and support the wares of local restaurants and food growers and enjoy low-cost samples of their tastiest, healthiest dishes.
    • Place orders for additional dishes just in time for Thanksgiving.
    • Visit with local artists as they share their creative ideas.
    • Talk with health care providers who will provide information needed to improve wellness and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle

    Message to the Victims of Hurricane Sandy – 'Storm of the Century'

    From Mel Bartholomew, Victoria Boudman, and all of our SFGF staff, teachers, and volunteers:

    Our thoughts, love, and prayers go out to all who have endured, and continue the cleanup from, the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

    The storm barreled down the east coast, and made landfall in New Jersey, leaving devastation in its path across several states. Prior to hitting the USA, Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc upon Haiti and the Caribbean. We know there are many who have suffered greatly.

    God bless all of the brave men and women who are helping others during this trying time. We applaud you & our hearts are with you!

    Square Foot Gardening Foundation supports Midlands Housing Alliance, Inc. (AKA Transitions)

    SFGF donated and planted SFGs at the center to teach the patrons self-sustaining life skills and provide food. Programs and services offered by Transitions help homeless clients in Midlands S.C. to achieve stable, permanent housing & income. Emergency needs such as overnight housing, food, & showers are also provided.

    For this reason, we ask you to vote for Transitions in the Citgo Fueling Good Contest. Citgo gift cards will support the well-being and health of more than 2000 individuals who receive services at Transitions every year. Gift cards will help fuel their transport van to get clients to local provider services, job fairs, and job interviews. It only takes a few minutes to vote & you can cast one vote daily until November 28th
  • Happy Thanksgiving to You & Yours from Mel, Victoria, and all of the SFGF staff!

    We are currently hosting a contest in honor of our Grand Opening and fully operational headquarters on Two Notch Road in Columbia, S.C., as well as the SFGF Retail Store! Everyone who stops in and says hello the Month of November is automatically entered in the drawing. 

    We are giving away:

    • A grand prize of one complete SFG (that's the box, the grid, and the Mel's mix)
    • 1st prize – A free garden consultation and garden plan with Victoria

    Plus FOUR MORE PRIZES of Mel's latest, hot-off-the-press book - SFG Answer Book - personally hand-signed by Mel.

    Office & Retail Store Hours:
    Closed Sunday and Monday
    Open Tues thru Fri, noon to 7 pm
    Open Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm
    Consultations are available by appointment