Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 2013 Newsletter for SFGF Instructors

Official Publication of Square Foot Gardening Foundation

 Harvest of  News
In this Issue:
  • Welcome to new Certified Instructors
  • List of Government and Private Grants for Garden Projects
  • USDA Farm to School Program Grants
  • Quote of the Month
  • SFGF Notices: Vermiculite Trial Ends; SFGF Headquarters is Moving
  • Jon Yoshimine Helps Disadvantaged Youth with "Big Wave Project"
  • Joyce Anderson of CA Integrates SFG into her Existing Real Estate Business
  • Spotlight on You Tube Videos by our Certified Instructors
  • Get Inspired!
  • Upcoming Events
  Welcome to New Certified Instructors
Dori Gold of West Jefferson, NC

Joyce Anderson of Chino Hills, CA

                                 Photo of SFGs by new CI, Anastatia Chiurco of Sonoma, CA

River Roberson of Anaheim, CA

Stephanie Coelho of Montreal, Canada

 Anita Hefler of LaPlace, LA 

  Jeryl Gates of Las Vegas, NV

Joanne Westwood of Monroe, OH

Say a Big Welcome to these New CIs - sorry! no photo available

Arlena Creasman of North Wilkesboro, NC
Larry Rosselot of North Charleston, SC

Jon Yoshimine of Half Moon Bay, CA

  • People's Garden Grants
    In 2009, Secretary Vilsack of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) started the People's Garden Initiative. The USDA People's Garden Grant Program is managed by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Past awards have ranged from $1000 to more than $100,000.00. The initiative is a collaborative effort of over 700 local and national organizations all working together to establish community and school gardens.

    Specifications for a People's Garden
    Per USDA literature, "People's Gardens vary in size and type, but all are required to have three components in common. They must benefit the community, in some cases by creating recreational spaces and in others by providing a harvest for a local food bank or shelter. They must be collaborative - that is, the garden must be created and maintained by a partnership of local individuals, groups, or organizations. And third, they should incorporate sustainable practices. The gardens might use compost or mulch made by participants. They might contain native plants or encourage beneficial insects. They also might exemplify water conservation, for instance, capturing rain in a barrel to water the garden."

    Qualifying gardens may be located at "faith-based centers, on federal leased or owned property, at schools and other places within the community. According to the website, "All produce grown at a People's Garden on USDA owned or leased property is donated to help those in need. We invite our partners to join us in sharing your harvest with neighborhood food pantries, kitchens and shelters - which helps improve access to healthy, affordable food at a local level."

    Additional Grant Programs
    Here is a list of additional financial resources / grants for garden-related projects, with private, corporate and government sponsors. ("All" is already filled in on the form; just click "submit" to get the full list - no need for keywords.)

    Photo (C) Connie Lahr teaching SFG in classroom

     USDA / FNS Farm to School Grants

    United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a grant program called USDA Farm to School Grants. According to Matthew Benson, Program Analyst with USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

    "Of the 68 fiscal year 2013 USDA Farm to School Grants distributed, 25 percent included partners from Cooperative Extension. State Extension Systems such as Ohio, Minnesota, and Illinois have already dedicated resources and personnel to leading their states farm to school programs. And at the upcoming national Extension conference, farm to school and local foods are sure to be a major themes discussed."
    However, grants are available to other groups as well, including nonprofits and community groups for "farm to school" programs. Approximately 75% of grants awarded were to non-extension groups. The USDA Farm to School Program is offering a free webinar series to show ways extension agents and other gardening groups may support farm to school initiatives.

    Said Benson, "Through this webinar series, we also hope to show how other farm to school groups can successfully partner with Cooperative Extension."
    You may sign-up for the Farm to School E-letter or learn more at:

    Quote of the Month

  • Classic Photo of Mel with a beautiful SFG flower garden

    The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

    SFGF Notices

    SFGF Branded Coarse Vermiculite Trial Has Ended Per Victoria, the trial run was a great success - everyone loves this product and its pricing. However, the shipping costs have proven prohibitive for most people. So they're back to the drawing board, looking for new shipping methods.
    SFGF Headquarters is Moving! The new address is 3100 North Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina, and offers a great deal more interior space for classes, showroom, inventory and offices, but also an acre of land for display gardens. Victoria and staff have been busy moving boxes of inventory out of the old building into the new one, cleaning and preparing for opening. We'll be sure to invite you to the grand opening festivities!

    A 3X3 raised, handicap-accessible Square Foot Garden

    Jon Yoshimine, SFG Certified Instructor, Helps Disadvantaged Youth with "Big Wave Project" in Half Moon Bay, California

  • Jon Yoshimine works with disadvantaged youth and community members through his affiliation with the "Big Wave Project," a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Half Moon Bay, CA. According to Jon, this labor-of-love project was 12 years in planning. It really took off when someone donated 5.25 acres to the project. Incorporating environmental sustainability, an office park, and a new wellness center, the Big Wave Project works to make sure young disadvantaged adults have a place to live and provide for themselves.

    Per the website, "The heart of the Big Wave Project, the Big Wave Wellness Center, is a privately funded live/work community that will foster independence and sustainable living for adults with developmental disabilities." Statistics show that unemployment rate for people with special needs is 87%.

    Jon is happy that a full two acres of the property can be turned into gardens. Jon and Big Wave associates are putting in an elevated 4x8 Square Foot Garden for wheelchair-bound youth. Each year, Big Wave hosts a Harvest Festival and a Farm Day.  This year, the Harvest Fest is October 5th. 

    Looking to the future, Jon said he hopes to help teach sustainable gardening techniques, including Square Foot Gardening, to residents.

    If you'd like to know more, contact Jon at 480 Oak Ave #1, Half Moon Bay, California, 94019. It's located in San Mateo County. Or visit the website at: See Farm Day Photos 


  • Joyce Anderson

    Joysong Creations
    . . . reviving homes from the inside out!


  •        Jill Hinson (Monroe, NC):

  • StephanieCoelho (Montreal, Canada):

    One great idea... Public Library Gardens for Children

    Photo courtesy of Charlotte, NC, Public Library System

    And another great idea... Gardens for Homeless People!

    Farm Location:
    Shaffer Road X Delaware Ave.
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060

    October 5, 2013, 7th Annual Big Wave Harvest Fest, Princeton-by-the-Sea, California Learn more

    Norma Burnson's book, Sustainable Food For the Globe: One Square Foot at a Time, is now available on Highly recommended by Mel and he is quoted in the book.
    Every Monday, 10:20am PST, FTNS online radio, Get Fit with SFG, by Amie Guyette Hall
    October 26, 2013, 10am-1pm, Bamboo Room, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, SFG Class, Jo Ann Carey, instructor, $25 Arboretum members/$30 non-members. Learn more
    October 27, 2013, 9:30am – 11:00am, Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand, "Square Foot Gardening with Ken Clark" workshop. Learn more
    November 9, 14, 20, 2013, University of Florida, Orange County Extension, Square Foot Gardening Basics, a 1 ½ hour class. Learn more