Sustainable Square Foot Gardening: How to Boost Your Health and the Health of Our Planet…from a Box!
Apr 29, 2011 02:19PM
By Amie Guyette Hall
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates
Picture a piece of graph paper, only 4 squares across and 4 squares down. Now picture each of those squares measuring 12 inches, or one foot each. This 4’ X 4’ square will become your powerhouse to health. Join people of all ages, from all stages of life, across the globe as you discover the ease and joy of Square Foot Gardening! No work, no weeds, no kidding!
All you need is a little motivation and interest in taking a teeny, tiny step toward a healthier, happier you. Square Foot Gardening is an easy way to save money, eat well and feel energized. You will become more connected to where your food comes from, how old your food is and how far it has traveled. As a result, your body will be thanking you, and you’ll be thanking yourself for learning about the freshest, simplest, most economical and environmentally friendly way to optimize your health!
Simply put, it is an easy and successful gardening method where you build a box – fill it with perfect, weed free soil, called Mel’s Mix, place a grid on top and then plant a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers in each square. You plant one, 4, 9 or 16 seeds in each square foot depending on how large the plant grows. The seeds you plant will be the plants you grow, harvest and eat. There is no thinning out or waste of seeds.
Just like the human body, in order to thrive and grow your Square Foot Garden it needs plenty of water. Water comes from rain or by hand. To water your Square Foot Garden by hand, take a cupful of sun warmed water and gently pour this on the base of the plant. As you nurture what you grow, the food you grow and eat will nurture you. Your box becomes a patchwork quilt of nutrient dense food, full of vital life force. Square Foot Gardening teaches built-in sustainability, as one square is harvested a trowel full of compost is added. The seeds you select to plant next, teach crop rotation. Planting can begin in early spring and continue into early fall. This is usually done two to three times during the growing season. Build enclosure for continued year round growing.
Picture your Square Foot Garden as a patchwork quilt – perhaps a crazy quilt! Include the colors of the rainbow! You can grow as many as 16 different crops at one time – what does that look like to you? Start with ABC - arugula, beans, and carrots and keep going from there. When we plant and grow a variety of vegetables, we are more likely to prepare and eat them. Kale and bok choy are two sources of dark leafy greens which are a key nutrient most missing from the Standard American Diet (SAD). These plants hydrate us and help rid the body of toxins. Sweet root vegetables like carrots and beets help us to focus and lessen sugar cravings.
We ask students, “What impact does having a garden at school or home have on our world?” Their answers include that we use less fuel, it reduces our carbon footprint, and that we aren’t using plastics or other packaging that might not be recycled and go into the landfills.
Growing and consuming nutrient dense foods that have been grown from organic non-GMO or GE seed, without pesticides and herbicides using this easy sustainable method is something everyone can do – at home, at school and in any community location.
Small steps, easy steps that will boost your health and the health of our planet. Happy Square Foot Gardening!
Square Foot Gardening was created by Mel Bartholomew in 1981. Books include The All New Square Foot Gardening Book, The Square Foot Gardening Cookbook, and The Square Foot Gardening Lesson Plan Book for Teachers. For additional information, and to “Boost Your Health from a Box” readers may access a FREE recorded teleclass at http://Kendall-Scott.HealthCoach.IntegrativeNutrition.com/Square-Foot-Gardening.
Amie Guyette Hall is Holistic Health Coach based in Fairfield. Her business, From Your Inside Out, offers individual and group programs connecting children and families to their food. If you, your school or group, organization or company is interested in learning more about upcoming Square Foot Gardening workshops, events and demos contact Amie at 203.256.0426 or visit FromYourInsideOut.com.
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