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!




  1. Great view of the mountainous terrain! Thanks for the snapshots, and happy holidays to you!

    -Samudaworth Tree Service
    Tree Removal Brooklyn

  2. Thanks Ken. SFGF shuts down most of December so it was a quiet, peaceful holiday for most staff. How's the New Year going for you? Is all the cleanup done from Hurricane Sandy? What about snow in Brooklyn? Would you believe in NC its 70 degrees this week?