AG-USA



Conquer Nature By Cooperating With It
 

All New Square Foot Gardening
by Mel Bartholomew

I believe that this book, All New Square Foot Gardening, could be your key to surviving the difficult times that are surely coming to the USA.  First, by growing your own food, you can include nutrients needed to make what you grow highly nutritious, which can help you to live a healthier life.
Second, I believe the hard times ahead will force many millions of people to try  to grow enough food to sustain themselves by utilizing whatever little space is available.  This is the perfect book to teach people how to do this.

Wonderful enough, many of the problems associated with a "row" or "raised bed" garden are avoided by following Mel's advice.  Watering (only a cup of water a day per plant), weeding (almost none is required), planting, protecting, harvesting - these are all covered well in this book. Mel also covers the specific needs of numerous types of crops. 

I believe that learning to grow a "square foot garden" now could literally help you to survive, as you can expand on your gardening experience to grow more when it  really matters.  Square Foot Garden boxes are portable when you put in a plywood bottom, and most everyone can find a place for a number of them. If nothing else, you can move them inside and use a grow light - about $13 of electric a month using LED grow lights for a 3' x 3' box. 

I would recommend that people begin now, when the vermiculite and peat moss for Mel's Mix (which is 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost) are readily available. Once you have your box filled with Mel's Mix, you just add a scoop of compost each time you replant a square foot.  You never have to add in any more vermiculite or peat moss, only compost.  Best of all, Mel shows you how to easily make the compost yourself, from readily available materials.

The one assertion Mel makes that I take issue with is that compost WILL provide all the nutrients needed by a plant.  First, most composts are lacking in many trace minerals, since most soils are lacking in them, and you can only return to the soil  what is there in the first place.  The best way to make up for this is by fertilizing with sea minerals.  Second, calcium is so important to plants, so it is important to include crushed eggshells or some other form of calcium to your compost, to give your plants needed calcium.