Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Square Foot Gardening Instructor Newsletter - April 2013

Official Publication of Square Foot Gardening Foundation

 Harvest of  News
In this Issue:
  • Welcome to new Certified Instructors
  • What's New at SFGF?
  • Message & Announcements from Belinda Jensen
  • Special 1/2 Price Sale on Vinyl Boxes
  • Busy Gardening Season is Upon You
  • Amie Guyette Hall: SFG'ing with Boyscout Troops
  • Pat & Connie Lahr Parade Link
  • Get Inspired: Featured Photos by Mick Manfield & Belinda Jensen
  • Announcements & Upcoming Events



    Bob Ridenour Avon IN


    Karine Roch
    1st Certified Instructor in Waadt,Switzerland!

    Amber Pacheco Maynard, MA

     Jennifer Telford San Diego, CA

    Hughes Roberts Waynesville, NC

    This beautiful garden belongs to Renee' Curlee, Powder Springs, GA

    More new instructors (sorry no photos!)

     Mike Reust of Oak Park, IL

    Colin Legge Loveland, CO

    Tammy Adams Keene NH


    Out in California, Mel and Cynthia Ruybal are working on a new partnership putting SFGs in a prison for juvenile offenders. Cynthia also helped with a program in schools to bring school-grown vegetables into the school cafeteria.

    Mel's writing a children's book - SFG for Kids! He's also looking for a telecommute / volunteer typist / admin assistant. Email him if you're interested.

    Victoria taught a certification class in Halifax, North Carolina, in March with around 30 participants. It was a great success and received a lot of local press! In the past month, Victoria and staff participated in two SC festivals and Mel spoke at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois, at their annual flower festival.
    Check out the upcoming events section - there are a lot of classes being sponsored by your fellow certified SFG instructors! You can get ideas from what others are doing.
    Online classes are still being taught by Belinda Jensen & Amie Guyette Hall and the program seems to be a great success!

    Heads up -- Home Depot has Square Foot Garden Potting Mix available online. If you order over 6 bags, shipping rate will stay at $55 even if you order 100 bags. Mel worked out this special deal with them, but we do not know how long it will last.

    Send us your news & photos so we can publish them for you. The more details you give, the better story we can write about it. Also indicate if you want it to appear in this newsletter and/or the general newsletter! You can send story ideas to Do you have a success story you'd like to share with other instructors? Let us know! The newsletter goes live on the 10th of each month.   


    We're proud to announce the new and improved WWW.SFGTEACHER.ORG
    Now all the resources included in the Home Study Kit and much more
    are available online for download.  See photos, power points, publicity helps
    like lawn signs, banners,handouts,and brochures. Be sure to bookmark this site
    for all of your future SFG teaching and business needs! The user is sfg and the password is sertified.

    To Licensed Business Instructors: If you produce and sell Mels Mix under the SFGF licensed business contract, please contact to be listed on at  for customers to purchase Mels Mix in your area. If you would like to see the licensing contract go to  under business forms. The user is sfg and password is sertified.

    Mark this on your Calendars - GRANT APPLICATION - "Sow it forward" is a program by Kitchen Gardeners International that offers $600 grants for nonprofit garden projects that benefit the community. It's closed for this year, but you can mark your calendars and come up with a brilliant idea for next year's grants. The deadline to apply is in early January. Read about it here:

    Study Guide Answers that Stand Out:
    Q.Why is it important to add a grid to the top of every SFG box?

    1. There are many benefits; appearance of course, planning, organization and on-going management and focus around the square grids. In my opinion the benefits of the grids with the mix make the SFG system work for anyone,"Without the grids,its guesswork."  Victor Gann of Dacula GA

    Q  Describe SFG in a short, concise sentence. 
    A. A fresh food garden grown in a 4 x 4 box, divided into 16 square foot sections with a permanent grid, grown in improved soils without chemicals that will provide a fresh garden salad harvest every day with less seed, water, weeds and work than a conventional garden. ~Meriel Cromarty of Alisa Craig Ontario,CAN

    Happy Gardening
    Belinda Jensen


    SFGF has a number of less-than-perfect vinyl boxes with minor blemishes or scuff marks. These are being offered at 1/2 price until the inventory is gone. They are sturdy and will still make very pretty gardens -- it's a great time to stock up if you need long-lasting vinyl garden boxes.

    The Busy Garden Season is Upon You... What to do Now?

    Here are some ideas that other CI's are doing for spring: 

    • Create a front yard SFG as a display at your home, a friend's home, your parent's home, etc. It will generate interest in the neighborhood, plus provide great vegetables!
    • Create a float or just a classic car with a sign on the side to go in local parades to advertise your business.
    • Host a booth in spring festivals - There are lots of flower and garden shows this time of year! Make sure you have business cards and / or flyers and lots of photos. You can even have posters made cheaply online.
    • Ask to teach a class at your local library or community college.
    • Use photos of your SFGs in advertisements (a picture is worth a thousand words - you might put it beside a photo of a messy, weedy row garden to increase the effect)
    • Expand your business to sell garden supplies, herbs, starter plants or cut flowers
    • Set up a roadside stand to sell spring vegetables
    • Work with a local girlscout or boyscout troop
    • Send a PR kit to local radio and tv stations to let them know you're available as an expert for interviews related to gardening  
    • Start a community garden in your city or community
    • Ask everyone you work with to refer a friend - word of mouth is still the best means of advertising
    • Start a blog or website   

    Amie Guyette Hall & Scout Master Bill Hall: SFG'ing with Boyscouts is Rewarding for All Concerned

    A recent March event in Fairfield, CT, had scouts and Amie Guyette Hall representing SFGF and healthy eating, and teaching the world new ways to end world hunger. Here's a link to an online writeup about the event.

    There were over 1200 attendees at this free community event!

    Said Amy, "The scouts were fabulous -- now in their 4th year of doing this community service project and it has become their main fundraiser for the troop. They are very knowledgeable of SFG - over 20 names and contact info was taken for their scout-made SFG boxes - their first go-round will be making 20 boxes, with round two and three following that.

    Scout Master Bill Hall says, "This is a community service project that truly makes a difference not just in the community getting people to grow food, know where their food comes from, but watching these boys take ownership and seeing them use life skills to make it happen - doesn't get better than that - it's why we provide hands on learning experiences in scouting."

    The article was online and in print in the Fairfield Citizen.

     See Pat & Connie Lahr's Parade Float

    Pat & Connie Lahr sent us this link to City of Maple Lake Parade. They had a float promoting Gardening World Wide and Square Foot Gardening. Click on the emblem on the lower left of website.


    A new look at Mick Manfield's (Manitoba, Canada) exuberant SFGs...

    Hip hip hurray for Belinda's April 2013 seed starts! Growing your own transplants saves money and gives you a head start, but also brings a great sense of satisfaction!

    • Every Monday – Get Fit with Amie Guyette Hall 10:20am – 11:20am (Pacific Time) Online at Amie is a Certified SFG Instructor & co-teaches our Online Certification Classes with Belinda Jensen. Hear different guests weekly.
    • April 2, 9 and 16, 2013 – Online Certified Instructor Course 6:00pm – 7:30pm. We educate Square Foot Gardeners on how to teach the SFG method. Certified Instructors use their knowledge to start their own SFG businesses, educate others in their communities about SFG, and implement hunger alleviating SFG projects in their communities and around the world. Become a Certified Instructor! Enroll here
    • April 10th & 17th, 2013, Layton, Utah SFG 4-Week Course 7pm – 8pm, Layton High School. 440 Lancer Lane, Layton, UT. Contact Todd Liddiard
    • April 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29 & May 4, 6, 11, 13 & 18, 2013, Fallon, Nevada, SFG Course at WNC Community College (map) Go to  Select "Non-Credit Class Schedule," and look under "Home and Garden." Hours vary. Call or email Susan Emmons if you have any questions. Phone: 775-423-7565, ext. 2240; Fax: 775-423-8029; E-mail:  Class taught by SFG instructors, Ken & Nancy Clarke.
    • April 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, 2013, Canton, South Dakota, SFG Classes 481st Avenue, Canton, SD, 57013  (map) Cost is $30 per person or $35 at door. Call Joyce Swanson at 605-359-0191 or email for info.
    • April 13, 2013, 10 am – 12 noon, Ann Arbor, Michigan, SFG 2-Hour Workshop Project Grow Community Garden and Leslie Science Center, 1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Cost is $10.00. James Lee, instructor. Email or visit
    • April 15, 2013, 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, Maple Lake, Minnesota, Open SFG Garden, 4936 54th Street NW, 3/4 mile east of Maple Lake Off Hwy 55 North on Ferman (gravel Dead End) between Cenex Country Store and Shell. Hosted by GARDENING WORLD WIDE 501c3. Info: 320-963-3690 or
    • April 20, 2013, Salt Lake City, Utah, Introduction to SFG, 10 am – 11 am, Utah Associated Garden Clubs, 1602 East 2100 South (on northeast corner of Sugarhouse Park). Contact Todd Liddiard
    • April 20, 2013, Alberta, Canada, SFG Course, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, Harry Ainlay School, Room 457. Contact Harry Adam Register at
    • April 27, 2013, Bountiful, Utah, SFG Intro Course, 1 pm – 2 pm, J & L Garden Center, 620 North 500 West, Bountiful, UT. Contact Todd Liddiard at
    • June 1, 2013, Puyallup, Washington, Mother Earth News Fair, SFG Workshops Three "Gardening for Life" Workshops at Puyallup Fairgrounds, 110 9th Avenue Southwest Puyallup, Washington, 98371. Saturday Fair hours: 9 am -7 pm; Sunday Fair hours: 10 am -6 pm. Contact Wayne Burleson at

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