Mel's Reply to Martha

Dear Martha,

What a dear letter! I really appreciate your writing and offering your experiences. I would like to share them with others (I won't mention your name or address.). I bet if your husband sees that, he would smile. Now, onto your garden. 30x30 is a HUGE area and I don't want you to make the mistake that others do. They build boxes to fill that same area but remember that SFG can be reduced to 1/5 the area (or 20%). Under most conditions, you can harvest enough for a dinner salad for one person every day of the growing season from just one 4x4. An additional 4x4 will give that same person all the supper vegetables they would want. So that's a 4x8 per person. Some people would like extra room to experiment, have an extra vertical frame, and just to show off. That's a 4x12. Of course, they don't all have to be together. You could have individual 4x4 boxes with 3 foot aisles all around them.

Your vertical frames go on the North end of the boxes. If you wanted to build 4x12 boxes and you wanted a lot of vertical vegetables, then you could turn your boxes so they run East and West. Three vertical frames or twelve feet of frames would go on the North side and the boxes would all face South. I hope that's clear; it would be easier to make a drawing for you. If you have any questions about layout, please feel free to write me.
I'm assuming you have the all-new book and you might want to re-read certain parts just to make sure you're starting and doing everything according to the method.

I have another idea for you and this might even provide an end to the war and a peace treaty! Pick one part of your present garden that is either all finished, not being used, or you don't like it and build at least one box right now. Then you can have a fall crop and have a very gentle introduction to SFG techniques. I strongly recommend this because I find people that wait until spring, which is always a busy season - cold, damp, and wet outside. The fall of course, warm, dry, and pleasant. If you build just one box now, make the Mel's Mix from all the ingredients, and plant a cool-weather fall crop, by springtime you will have had all that experience and have no apprehension about enlarging the garden to it's ultimate size that you want and can take care of. You might even find that just one person can take care of the new SFG.

Again, I want to thank you for your letter and I'm going to start including more affirmations each week in my blog, thanks to your comments. You might even like to buy that book. I've listed the EIN number on the blog in the previous letter…

You can  order your boxes and vertical frames from our website store and you don't have to do a lot of shopping, cutting, building. You could plant your new garden within the first two weeks of August… Then you could proceed with the building, planting, and gardening. We've never had an SFG built right in the middle of a row garden that has seen its day. (Take some photos!) I think that would be a dramatic visual message and you and your husband could be standing with big smiles on your face saying "We did it!" Happy Gardening and please stay in touch.

Happy Gardening!

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