Monday, March 10, 2014

March 2014 Square Foot Gardening Foundation Instructor Newsletter

Official Publication of Square Foot Gardening Foundation

 Harvest of  News
In this Issue:
  • Welcome to New CIs
  • Nancy Clarke's How to build a $150 Greenhouse e-book and design
  • Funding Available for Farm to School
  • Key Dates for Farm to School
  • Sample Proposals
  • Links to Further Reading
  • Get Inspired
  • Quote of the Month
  • Announcements and Upcoming Events

Welcome to New Certified Instructors

No photo - sorry!

Larry Thompson of Coppell,TX

Donald Simmons of Paris, TN

Kristin Chesher of Salisbury, MO
Elena Donovan, Caneyville, KY

Francina Hollis Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK

Sarah Fitzsimmons Glass, Yarmouth MA (See an article on Sarah in the March SFGF General Newsletter!)
Daniel Lim is our first CI from Beijing China!

Greenhouse Design and e-Book by Certified Instructor Nancy Clarke:
“…We have also just built a greenhouse based on the '150 dollar greenhouse' plan, it is available as an e-book. Much easier than the 50 dollar version, and where we live (very windy) a better solution as it is heavy enough to stay put. Is costing a bit over 150, but much less than a standard greenhouse. Plastic is coming next week, I'll send a picture after it is covered.” 


Certified Instructor's listings are back online!  Now you can be found with a slick new type-in format at

Funding Available for Farm to School

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of a request for applications for the third round of USDA’s Farm to School  grants, including the addition of a new funding track for training events and conferences.  These grants help to improve the health and well being of students through school meals that incorporate locally produced foods, educate children about food, and create new and expanded markets for local food producers.
To see the complete request for applications, please click here.
Funding Available
Up to $5 million in competitive grants are available for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.
A new funding track available in fiscal year 2015 will make an additional amount of approximately $500,000 available to eligible entities to support conferences, trainings, and events focused on farm to school program development.  The Training and Event funds range from $15,000 – $50,000.
USDA expects to distribute approximately $500,000 in additional funds to support at least one statewide or regional meeting in all seven FNS regions and at least one national conference.
Grant Types Available
With the addition of the new funding track, the following four types of grants are available:
1)   Conference/Event grants are open to all interested parties and intended to support conferences, events, and trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or conferences, events, and trainings that provide technical assistance in the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education and integration of agriculturebased curriculum.
Letters of Intent for Conference/Event grants are due via email on April 2, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
2)   Planning grants are open to school districts or schools just starting out on Farm to School Activities and seeking to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
3)   Implementation grants are open to school districts or schools seeking to expand or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
4)   Support Service grants are open to state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide support services such as trainings, complementary curriculum, and other activities for farm to school initiatives.
Planning, Implementation, and Support Service Grant proposals are due via on April 30, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  For each of these proposals, a 25 percent cash or in-kind match of the total project cost is required.
The Farm to School Grants program was created in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, also known as the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act.  NSAC, together with the National Farm to School Network and the former Community Food Security Coalition, championed the inclusion of the Farm to School program in that legislation, working with many senators and representatives led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ).  Since October 1, 2012, the Act has provided $5 million per year for the Farm to School grant program.

Key Dates for Farm to School

  • April 2, 2014: Conference/Event Letters of Intent due via email (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • April 30, 2014: Planning, Implementation, and Support service proposals due via (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • November 2014: Awards Announced and Funds Available (pending the availability of federal funds)
Webinar Dates
To assist eligible entities in preparing proposals, USDA will host four webinars.  All webinars will be recorded and available via the Farm to School webpage within 1-2 weeks of initial viewing.
  • Planning Grant Webinar: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
  • Implementation Grant Webinar: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
  • Support Service Grant Webinar: Thursday, March 13, 2014
  • Conference/Event Grant Webinar: Friday, March 14
There is no registration required.  For more information, please click here.

Sample Proposals, Frequently Asked Questions, and Information from Previous Grant Cycles

USDA provides several documents on their webpage to assist applicants in preparing their grant proposals, including sample proposals, a list and summary of past grant awardees, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Farm to School Grant Program.  Please click here to access these documents and information.

For more information, please contact USDA Farm to School Grant Program via email at  For regular updates about USDA’s Farm to School Program, please sign up for the USDA Farm to School e-newsletter.

Stakeholder input on Request for Application
USDA also seeks stakeholder comments about this Request for Application (RFA) to consider in developing the next Farm to School Grant Program RFA.  Written stakeholder comments can be submitted via e-mail to: and should state that they are responding to the fiscal year 2015 Farm to School Grant Program RFA.  The deadline for comments on the FY 2015 RFA is 11:59pm EST on May 14, 2014.

Further Reading

  1. Funding Available for Farm to School Projects
  2. USDA Webinar on Writing Farm to School Grant Proposals
  3. Request for Applications for Farm to School Grants
  4. Farm to School Webinar and Resources
  5. USDA Farm to School Webinar Series
 Get Inspired!
Above is the SFG of new CI, Francina Hollis Trowbridge, of Wiltshire, United Kingdom

 Quote of the Month

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Mel’s book, Square Foot Gardening with Kids - Don’t forget your copy – get several for family and friends! Click here to learn more or order

FREE Square Foot Gardening Classes, Georgetown, Texas. An ongoing class held throughout the year, taught by certified instructors.
Learn more

Picayune, Mississippi, SFG Classes February 22, 2014, from 10am-11:30am; taught by Brenda Myers, Certified SFG Instructor –
Learn more

Minnesota – Pat and Connie Lahr, Certified SFG Instructors and Gardening World Wide Square Foot Gardening Community Education

Class Dates:
March 4, 2014 - St. Michael, Minn.
March 10, 2014 - Buffalo, Minn.
March 11, 2014 - Howard Lake, Minn.
March 13, 2014 - Monticello, Minn.
March 18, 2014 - Delano, Minn.
April 10, 2014 - St. Louis Park, Minn. 7 p.m.
Learn more

Canton, South Dakota, SFG Classes by Certified Instructor, Joyce Swanson, at 27450 481st Avenue, Canton, SD 57013. Call (605) 359-0191 for more information.
Here are the class dates:
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 from 1 - 4 PM
Sunday, April 6th, 2014 from 2 - 5 PM
Saturday, April 12th, 2014 from 1 - 4 PM
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 from 1 - 4 PM
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 from 2 - 5 PM
Cost is $30 per person if paid at least 2 weeks before the class. Cost is $35 per person if paid later.

Western Nevada College, Carson City, Nancy & Ken Clarke, certified SFG Instructors offer Square Foot Gardening Classes, 4/12/2014 - 4/26/2014 
Learn more

Western Nevada College, Fallon, Nancy Clarke instructor, Fee: $51.00
Dates: 4/12/2014 - 5/3/2014                 

Days: Saturday Sessions: 4 

Times: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Learn more

Denver Urban Homesteading, Denver, Colorado, March 8, Square Foot Gardening Classes by Regina Chilton- Parris Learn more

Ongoing GROUP classes for 2014 with discounted rates “Introduction to SFG” by Jim Teahan, Certified SFG instructor. Jim offers various groups-only packages featuring classes in Salt Lake City, UT, throughout the state of Utah, and one package is offered in Utah, southern Idaho, and southern California.
Learn more


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