over the past few years, i’ve been doing some container gardening in marginal spaces at the eco-village that don’t get very much sun, with limited success. the mizuna and chinese cabbage thrived, but the tomatoes, onions, conventional cabbage and a couple of other sad plant friends did not. after one failed season, i have successfully grown a batch of small onions in a window box off the north stairwell of the 117 building.

i have not wanted to grow in prime garden areas mainly because i’m a novice and didn’t want to waste valuable land when the community’s green thumbs could be growing bounties to feed the world, or at least feed eco-villagers. but now after growing not only edible, but delicious greens and onions, i was ready for more.  so i bought a book, square foot gardening.

this book appeals to my fondness of small things and of things posteriorily retentive. mel bartholomew, the author and quite a character, developed and advocates for a method of planting that uses less space and soil to grow your garden. his “square-foot-gardening” (or sfg) method requires only a 6-inch deep bed and grid system to easily plan, space and maintain your crops.

coincidentally while i was dreaming of my imaginary leafy green grid, federico, the finder that he is, came across a beautiful wooden box that was going to be thrown away at work.  we found a little sunny and underutilized corner of the front garden and set up shop.

raised bed a la square-foot-gardening

raised bed a la square-foot-gardening

sticking strictly to the book, here’s what our sfg raised bed looks like. i’ve transplanted tomatos, basil, and onion, and seeded okra, chinese cabbage, carrots, marigolds and salvia. the carrots and salvia have not yet sprouted after a week  (any thoughts?). i’m not sure it’s a good idea to post this before i know how things will turn out, but i’m very excited about it, and maybe one of you will have some advice or words of encouragement.

to be continued…