One thing that connects Pat to my mother is his love of growing fresh vegetables. In the 80's he noticed a program on PBS which featured a gardening technique that compacts crops into square foot sections. The technique, by Mel Bartholomew, is explained in his book Square Foot Gardening.
Living on an acre + of land, we do have plenty of room to have a traditional garden, but we also have maybe 40' of limestone below a 1/2" layer of dirt. For that reason, most of the beds that have been established by Pat are raised gardens. Another reason for the small area is if you use the Square Foot gardening method, you really do not need a lot of space! Pat dug this 16' x 8' plot in December 2006. I actually helped a little.
The main advantages to Square Foot gardening are:
- ease of weeding and cultivation
- uses less water
- high yield in a small space
- it looks good!
upper right: Pat stands by the newly created garden
left: Our garden for the 2009 growing season (3/18/09)