Two of four cartons of lettuce

One of the main missions of the Square Foot Gardening Foundation is to eliminate world hunger.  I don’t believe we will ever get there for a variety of reasons.  While driving to work last week I heard of a nearby city putting flags in the ground for “homelessness awareness.”  I wasn’t sure what that would do to help the homeless.  It’s become a sensitive subject for me for personal reasons.  This picture shows 2 of the 4 banana cartons that I was able to fill up with 64 heads of lettuce and 1-1/2 pounds of spinach.  I don’t mention this for any accolades at all-none.  It’s nothing to brag about and that’s not why I did it.  It was a desire of mine to show what a simple little plot of land-in this case a 4X4′ square foot garden box-could produce without much effort.  And it was done very cheaply.  The seeds were maybe 4 or 5 years old and I used very little-2 or 3 seeds per hole.  I think the packet were somewhere around $2 each.  The only real cost was watering, and since I started this in early spring, I was able to let Mother Nature do the majority of the early watering.  After that I hand watered, and if you’ve been following this blog,  you’ll know how much less water a square foot garden takes than a single row garden.  When it was time to harvest, I simply filled my trusty blue Rubbermaid tub(I have these all over the garden for little things like this), snipped the lettuce, gave it a quick rinse, drained them, then placed them in the boxes.  I don’t know how many families it was able to feed but I’m sure it was a fair amount.  My whole point was to show how easy it would be to truly make an impact on feeding the homeless.  This was so easy to do and it cost very little.  Fresh, totally organic, and delicious salad greens!  How can you help?  Would you consider taking a small area of your garden and dedicating that portion to grow food to make a donation to the local Food Bank?  This was just one box!  What if you had 3 or 4 boxes?  Or what if you had a single 4X8′ box?  That would give you 128 heads of lettuce in just 32 square feet! They sure were appreciative too-which is not the reason to do it.  While others are sticking flags in the ground(which would have cost a whole lot more money than this did)you could actually be growing food to feed the hungry.  Give it some thought.  It really was simple.

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3 thoughts on “Two of four cartons of lettuce

  • by Gonzalo Paternoster

    Hi Jim!

    Things are going well with my boxes but noticed ants getting into my radishes. Any advice?


    • by Jim This is post author

      I had that happen to me one time. You’ll need to find out where the ants are coming from and get rid of them. For me, they got there when I put my compost in the square-my homemade compost that is. As I looked in my compost bin, sure enough, there were the ants. And the cause? Too many sweet things not mixed thoroughly. I had strawberries, pineapple, cantalope skins, grapes, and grapefruit all just piled in the center of my compost pile. When you think of that, it was nothing but sugar, which ants are attracted to. By finding their “nest” I first poured boiling water on them. Then I mixed my compost pile. Ive never had a problem with them since. Another home remedy that you might try is to sprinkle cinnamon in your square. It won’t kill the ants but they will leave. Hope that helps.

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