Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Harvest of News - October 2012 Newsletter

 Harvest of  News
In this Issue:
  • Welcome to new CI's
  • Gardening for Life: A New Way to Feed the World w/ Wayne & Connie Burleson
  • Mark Fierle showcases gardening workshop videos on YouTube
  • Amie Guyette Hall teaches at "Fall & Winter Gardening Bootcamp Teleseminars"
  • Casa de la Esperanza - House of Hope in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Kris Fleet of St. Vital, Canada, Certified SFG Instructor & SFG Symposium Make the News!
  • SFGF News Update 
  • Photo of SFG belonging to Adrienne Diaz, Fort Myers, Florida 
  • Upcoming Events

Welcome & Congratulations to New Certified Instructors

 Adrienne Diaz, Fort Myers, Florida

Jerry Nielsen, Pasdena, California

Tony Gobert, Lithonia, Georgia


Cynthia Ruybal, San Diego, California
SFGF Special Projects Director (see the article about Cynthia below w/ Casa de Esperanza)


Gina Wagner, Amanda, Ohio


Allan Babb, Marrero, Louisiana


Karen Blum, West Chester, Ohio


(Sorry! We're missing photos)

  • Martha Specht, Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Joyce Swanson,  Canton, South Dakota
  • Pat Wright, Frankfort, New York 
  • Kris Fleet, St. Vital, Canada 

 A New Way to Feed the World 

Wayne and Connie Burleson, Certified Square Foot Gardening Instructors from Absaorkee, Montana, traveled in September of 2012 to Mozambique, Africa, with the Farmer-to-Farmer Program. Altogether, Connie and Wayne have taught gardening classes in South Africa, Malawi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, as well as Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, and most recently, in Mozambique.

The Burlesons said: "We were privileged to teach Small Scale Intensive Agriculture workshops that we now call GO WILD! Gardening with "Black Gold" compost, which is part of Gardening for Life - planting seeds for those in need." In Mozambique, a new crop was introduced: Salmon River Pumpkins (a very rare squash plant). There were six planted, of which five germinated within only five days. Within nine days, Connie reports they had a five-inch leaf spread.  The squash was planted in native soils with dry cow manure mixed in, two meters apart.

A trip to a local market revealed that produce being sold was not locally grown. The intensive gardening methods of SFG, with its high-production capabilities, along with knowledge of feeding the soil with compost, should increase the local produce available.

Connie and Wayne operate a business known as "Gardening for Life."  They are the authors of Go Wild! Gardening Manual. Gardening for Life teaches a unique 12-step composting procedure, "blanket mulch composting," as well as a "composting in buckets" method. Their website is a virtual how-to on humanitarian food gardening. For more information, contact the Burlesons at rutbuster@montana.net


University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Mark Fierle talks about his Square Foot Gardening Workshop on October 6 in this YouTube.com video. To learn more about gardening workshops at the Orange County Great Park, click here: http://j.mp/T02JT6. There will be more to follow, so be sure to watch for more of Mark's workshop videos!


Amie Guyette Hall kicked off a Fall & Winter Gardening Bootcamp "Teleseminar" series with Square Foot Gardening class. The teachers are all experts, including Amie. Teleseminars are growing ever-more popular in today's busy world. It is a great way to teach people who otherwise might not be able to take a class. Although the bootcamp has already started, get more details (and ideas!) about the gardening bootcamp here:

Casa de Esperanza, House of Hope
Senora Maria Bringas and her husband couldn't stand to see so many children of Tijuana go hungry and homeless. The Bringas had room in their home and began bringing children into their family over 50 years ago.  The house was soon full, but Maria couldn't say “No” to the ever-growing number of abandoned children in this border town. Maria approached the wife of the Governor of Baja, California for help in finding larger quarters. Together, these two Christian women appealed to the state and were given an abandoned Casino/Brothel, just south of Tijuana. Today, the orphanage is called Casa de Esperanza, the House of Hope.

Under the Square Foot Gardening Foundation's direction, the orphans at La Casa are growing gardens near their dormitories. With limited resources and staff, the children maintain the gardens with diligence and impressive care.  Don’t try to pick a vegetable too soon or you may be scolded by a 5 year old!   With your contributions, we can make The House of Hope a model for the world on how to stop shipping old food to group homes; and sets them up to be self-sustained  with fresh fruits and vegetables year round.  Doing this not only saves fuel; but increases health and gives the next generation responsibility, life skills and a sense of pride and ownership. (quoted from Spirit of Casa.org)

The Goal: $2500 for 60 gardens to be planted within one year – This goal will help the orphanage become self-sustaining as far as vegetables go. Home Depot has already helped with donations. Cynthia Ruybal, Special Projects Director with SFGF, has been assisting Casa's Kids and orphanage officials with the building and planting of gardens. Now it's our turn – can you help Casa's Kids get more gardens? 

If you'd like to help, go to www.squarefootgardening.org and click on "Donate" or contact Cynthia Ruybal, at cynthia@squarefootgardening.com.

Learn more at:  http://www.spiritofcasa.org/

This photo was in the news article. Mel takes a great picture, doesn't he?
Certified SFG Instructor, Kris Fleet of Canada, made the local neighborhood news in print, as well as the city paper online. Kris taught her first SFG class on September 30, 2012. Here is a section from the article:

"One of the local hosts for the Winnipeg symposium will be Kris Fleet, a human nutrition student at the University of Manitoba and a square foot gardening enthusiast. 

"I started square foot gardening a few years ago after I came across (a) book in a local bookstore. It’s a good way to get a larger harvest without having to increase the size of the garden," Fleet said.

"(The method) is useful in Manitoba because our growing season is relatively short, and any way we can make our gardens more productive (is good)."  Fleet, who lives in St. Vital, said she hopes the method will encourage more Winnipeggers to start gardening.

"There are waiting lists across the city for garden allotments, and not everyone has the space for a traditional garden," she said. "This method allows gardeners to grow in unconventional locations, such as on their deck or steps, and in small spaces."

The method was developed in 1976 by Utah native and retired civil engineer, Mel Bartholomew, who wanted an easier way to garden.

"The method is very easy to learn — you don’t have to know anything about gardening. You don’t need the tools you need for row gardening. Once you’ve built your box and fill it with soil, you’re finished with all the labour that’s involved," she said during a telephone conversation."

Read more at Winnipeg Free Press: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/lance/Digging-into-a-new-method-of-gardening-165330606.html 


Mel's California Symposium is now finished, and by all accounts, it was a great success. Stay tuned for more information on the symposium in next month's newsletter.

In September, Victoria, staff & volunteers worked at St. John's Community Garden in Columbia, South Carolina. This is one of the gardens that contributed to the award-winning Diabetes Prevention Program initiated by Columbia College, in partnership with faith-based organizations and SFGF. (Did you read about that in the October General Newsletter? If not, please check it out at the archive link just given! Are you signed up to receive the general newsletter in your email inbox? No? You can do that on the homepage of www.squarefootgardening.com. Scroll down - the sign-up box is on the lower right. And please forward to friends, family and clients!)

Fall Replanting at St. John's
SFGF played a major role in this Diabetes Prevention model, which is now a program funded by the Center for Disease Control. Columbia College won the Washington Center Award for Civic Engagement for this Diabetes Prevention Program, 2012. We're very proud of the role SFGF played, and SFG principles will continue to play a major part in the future in preventing Diabetes!

Also in the October General Newsletter, you'll get to read a write-up by Institute for Self Reliant Agriculture (SRA) about their partnership with Square Foot Gardening Foundation in the fight to end global hunger. Learn more about SRA at www.feedtheworld.org.

The gardening contests are all officially closed. You can see the list of winners with photos on Mel's blog!


These lovely SFGs belong to Adrienne Diaz, new Certified Instructor of Fort Myers, FL


                                                          UPCOMING EVENTS

Please come out & enjoy

Square Foot Gardening Foundation's



WHEN: NOVEMBER 4, 2012 FROM 3:00 P.M. TO 6:00 P.M.


Come join us for SFG's Harvest Festival!