Composting Partnerships

Some of our friends and neighbors might be a little distant from the benefits of composting.  It may be possible however to slowly introduce the use of waste products in a positive way to them.  Let’s call it “The Art of Composting”.

One of our neighbors collects compost and drops it off into our green compost bin.  The composter in the photo gets so heavy that it is hard to turn on the rollers.  Worm castings are very heavy.  I aerate the bin with a little aquarium air pump twice each day.  The pump works on a timer.

All of the Square Foot Gardens in the yard use no soil.  Each spring, I just add compost.  The original soil less mix is: 1 part vermiculite, 1 part peat moss or coconut core and 1 part of five different types of compost.

With this rich organic compost mix, no need for pesticides in our Square Foot Gardens.  Pests pick on weak plants.



The Passing of Mel

Mel Bartholomew passed away in April.  He left an organic cult that should be as revered as much as a surgeon’s knife.  In my opinion, some people are finally catching on.  Check out the following article and do something.


It is the 21st  of March.  The sun is halfway to its peak position.  And yet most people plant their gardens in the Northeast around Memorial Day.  And so what do your plants need?



Place a white reflector behind your Square Foot Garden and watch the plants thrive.  For young children the whiteboard can be a message board.

Try growing things with your children in the yard and see if they will start enjoying vegetables for lunch and dinner.  Or what do you think about a delicious smoothie for them straight from the garden?

Don’t You Dare Try It

Keep doing what you are doing because for you there may be no time for gardening.

How do living things grow to full their potential?  Can we avoid thinking about this as we prepare, plant and harvest a garden?  Can we apply some of these principle to other aspects of life?


The Chinese say: “If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; a week, kill a pig; a month, get married; for life, be a gardener.”

Start When They are Young at Heart

I had a great afternoon at Allerton House in Hingham.  There is a real possibility that we may be able to start worm farming at Allerton.  The presentation on Square Foot Gardening was received with lots of enthusiasm.  Many of the people there have vegetable gardens that they tend however the location is less than suitable.  Summer plants need sun, sun and plenty of sun.  With the flexibility of raised Square Foot Gardens, finding sunny locations is not a problem with all the open space.


It is important that people learn to enjoy organic choices.  It is my hope that as residents at Allerton get involved, they will share their joys, insights and enthusiasm for the beginning of sustainable living with their love ones.

I will be posting as this evolves.  I hope that I will be able to do justice while sharing their enthusiasm for composting with worms and Square Foot Gardening raised thirty two inches off the ground.


A Square Foot Gardener sent me this article from the Boston Globe.  A must read.

The real issue is greed.  Once American industrial farmers find a glimpse of success in Cuba they will attempt to put a giant footprint on the Country and the people.  I have seen it first hand as my wife Kathy has successfully dragged me throughout most of South and Central America.

In Honduras, were we are currently working and teaching Square Foot Gardening, we spent one entire day in Yoro looking for anything that we could purchase that was organic.  We found nothing.

The picture below is an organic garden.   Children in Yoro, Honduras built this space using organic techniques.  They have just begun to build up the soil with composting techniques.


In Honduras, the Monsanto signs are boldly painted on the cement block walls and the people rely on chemicals to farm and to control pests and weeds. This too will become a way of life for farmers in Cuba as American money buys them out.

Garden Gangsters

Rick Swanson is without a doubt the most powerful administrator that I have ever met.  He is not related to me.  Instead of using the administrative line, “I’m not sure we can do that”, he figures out a way to empower students and provides resources.   The students’ environmental work at the school is an inspiration.   He sent me this TED talk that is must see.

Please get back to me and make suggestion of what we can do.

At Hingham High School where Mr. Swanson works, they compost cafeteria waste, cardboard food trays and more.


Teaching Moments

We are in Yoro, Honduras.  We came to Yoro a year ago and then in May last year.  I made raised Square Foot Gardens with the students.  They now have the experience and desire to make them for others.


For those who are teachers or were teachers, these are the real rewards.

The Gardens at the dormitory sponsored by Honduras Hope are ready to be planted.  Check out what Honduras Hope is doing on Facebook (HondurasHOPE)

Up on the ……

If you have limited space for your Square Foot Garden here is an idea that I am experimenting with.  It is working.  However getting the rain barrel water to the garden is something that I have yet to figure out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACurrently I climb the ladder and water with compost tea or spray it with a hose using town water.

The roof is hot and cucumbers like warmth, perfect.

Mel’s Mix is light so weight has not been a problem supporting the box.  The garden is a three by two feet space.  We are getting beautiful cucumbers for our salads on a consistent basis.