Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mark Fierle

Mark and his master gardener associates in the Orange County,CA area have established 
3 SFG beds; a 4x8,a 4x4 pyramid w/ strawberries,and a 3x3 for children at the Cenntenial  Farm  Orange County Fair Grounds.  Of course an SFG Sign and explanation are on the site.   The fairgrounds have about 5 acres,animals, regular row gardens and fruit trees.1.4 million Fair visitors see the gardens, 12 months out of the year including  80,000 school age children.
The former El Toro Marine Base in Irvine,CA  is now called Great Park.There, Mark and the master gardeners planed and designed Farm and Food Land.  They  installed 3 4x8 SFG's in this demonstration area on how to grow different gardens.
     Mark visits 2 schools  on regular basis  where he teaches SFG to the students.
He also teaches at the Braile Institute. Mark volunteers twice a year to do workshops for the blind to teach them  how they can have their own SFG .  This has been very successful and fulfilling to him.  Even by touch the blind can tell if a tomato is ripe. He plays a seed game with them teaching them the different seed sizes and feel.  He tells them what they are and then mixes them up and has them identify them.  Mel worked at one time at the Helen Keller Institute and helped Mark to develop a curriculum
The blind have learned how to locate where their garden should be by feeling the sun on their face.
     The list goes on for mark.  He has aided Habitat for Humanity in San Juan Capistrano,CA where they
built 27 homes for disabled Marines families    Mark was instrumental in  placing  27 SFG's,  one in each home.
     Just last year in April. …Mark worked with University of Redlands in CA .  They contacted SFGF for help and Mel asked Mark to help with their project for Rwanda.  He corresponded through email and then went to the University to teach those who would be going to that country.  He taught them to make a 2x3 garden on wheels. This benefited people in Rwanda because  they could roll their SFG indoors at night to keep it from being stolen. He taught  how to compost,use scrap lumber, old newspaper or cardboard for weed cloth.

Please email for a copy of the powerpoint, HOW TO FEED THE HUNGRY
by Mark Fierle.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mel's Minute

Now that you’re a Certified Instructor, you can not only spread the word and get paid for it, but you can also sell many products that you can either buy at wholesale from the Foundation and sell at retail, or in some cases you can build your own once a sample is supplied and aproved by us, and then make your own copies of that product and sell to your audience.  The most obvious and available things to do are to get speaking dates at places where you can charge admission.  That would be nurseries, auditoriums for rent, sometimes churches, or other types of organizations that would hire you as a speaker.  If you want to give free lectures you can do that at any library or school building.
Back to  being paid for the talk. After your talk,  you can always sell books and videos.  There will be an occasional library that says no, but we’ve been to many libraries that said yes.  As a thank you, we always donate a few books to the library and in an audience of 100 you will probably sell 30-40  books or videos.  If you buy the books wholesale at $14/copy and sell them for $20, you do the math.  I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
Other opportunities would be to open your home SFG to the public with a paid tour, maybe $5/person and you might have 10 to 20 every Saturday (again, do the math).  You could have a workshop every week to show everyone what’s next in your neck of the woods.  What to harvest, what to replant, how to compost…all those kind of easy things from your SFG knowledge.  This could last the whole season from Spring to Fall and if you have a good group of beginners, they would most likely want to buy all of the products for their garden directly from you.  We have a planned program for all of this and I hope you will consider starting with at least free talks at the library, then do some at your church, office, school, even at the local colleges for the continued education programs.  Next would be finding a group that wants advice on starting their own SFG.  You might even consider finding vacant land and starting a community garden.  This idea would also be possible at local nurseries that would have space way out back.  I’m going to keep sending you other ideas, so look them over and make the most use of all of the effort and study you’ve put in to becoming a certified SFG Instructor.  We are very proud of you and all of your accomplishments so far – let’s see how much we can all do together to spread the word of SFG.
If you are doing these things or more, why not share them as encouragement to others in our newsletter.

One Square at a Time in SC

  Events began at the Lexington,SC  Old Mill historic landmark….Davanna Driggers has worked  with the Property manager there to plan community gardens that are going in this week.10 boxes will be installed in an area where trash cans used to sit.  Many business owners at the Old Mill want to partner together to care for the gardens which plan to  feed needy families across the street.
Mel and Victoria toured several community gardens that are dotting the landscape in Columbia.
The Friday night kick off was at St Johns Baptist Church where they gave away 50 crockpots.Saturday was spent installing the SFG's donated by SFGF.
  Young people and adults wearing tshirts with the words"Change the world one square at a time "
Installing gardens in Columbia,SC
The Sunday Afternoon Lecture at the Riverbanks Zoo Botanical Gardens was standing room only,  with over 100 people! Mel and Victoria spoke inside with PowerPoint and live demonstrations
with props. Followed by Q & A time and a book signing.  We had several
people interested in the school gardens programs including a
Montessori teacher and a home-school mom.  Then they went out to the
SFG's we had donated and taught with the weekend before.  The people
planted in the SFG's and were able to get hands on learning and
instruction from Mel & Victoria.

Volunteers Installing gardens at St Johns Baptist Church,Columbia,SC