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Garden Squared

Growing organic produce in your backyard



As the “farm-to-table” movement continues to gain momentum in Fairfield County, an increasing number of farmers markets, farm stands, and restaurants boasting local farm-fresh ingredients seem to be popping up in our area. Never before has it been so easy to eat seasonally and access fresh-picked produce, which was grown only miles from our homes. 

Many Wilton residents are taking the movement a step further by creating edible gardens in their own yards. Gardening has always been a popular pastime for those blessed with a green thumb. Nowadays, the more we learn about the importance of eating fresh, organic foods, it seems as though anyone with an interest in food is getting in on the action. And it’s easier than you might think. 

“Anyone, any age, anywhere can grow food,” promises Amie Guyette Hall, a Fairfield County-based health coach and certified square foot gardening instructor. “The benefits of growing your own food are numerous. The food is fresher and more alive. It’s more nutrient-dense and has more life force. It’s better quality, and that’s better for us all.” 

So how does one start an edible garden? One of the easiest ways is by creating a “square foot garden” (see bottom of article). Similar to a raised-bed garden, a square foot garden employs a simple wooden box with a square foot grid placed over the top. As long as the box is placed in an area that receives six to eight hours of sunlight daily, it doesn’t matter what’s beneath it: your yard, a deck, or even a tabletop. By using a special soil mix and not relying on ground soil for your garden, there are no contaminants, it’s nutrient-complete, and it is essentially weed- and pest-free, allowing you to create an organic garden at a fraction of the cost of retail organic produce.

Your first stop should be a local garden center. The garden professionals will help you decide on the right type of garden for your needs. Whether you’re digging into the ground or considering a raised-bed, you will want to consider some sort of protection from animals; fencing is key in our area. Sunlight requirements vary for different plants, so the positioning of your garden will also be important. Container gardens can also be an excellent choice for smaller-scale vegetables or herbs. 

Still not sure you’re ready to embark on an edible garden project, but want to enjoy the benefits of homegrown veggies? A professional gardener can come to your house, assess your needs, design a garden, install it, and even maintain it throughout the season. All you need to do is harvest your fresh produce.

One such professional is John Carlson of Homefront Farmers. In 2011 Carlson left a 25-year career in marketing and consulting to follow his passion for organic gardening. His Ridgefield-based company plans, designs, and installs a wide variety of organic, edible gardens at homes throughout Fairfield County. Each garden comes with an automatic drip irrigation system, and for about what it would cost you to have your lawn mowed each week, Homefront Farmers will even maintain the garden for you. Prices vary based on the size of the garden, but start at under $400.

“Our typical clients are families who want to get their kids involved and want to feed them better food,” explains Carlson. He says they’ve worked with everyone from empty-nesters to hobbyists who are just looking for a little assistance in getting the most from their gardens. Homefront will install gardens of any size, even as small is 4-feet-by-four-feet. If you already have a garden but are not getting the results you’d expected, John and his team can teach you how to maximize your plot.

By bringing the farm to your doorstep, you and your family will eat better, you’ll benefit the environment, and you’ll develop a connectedness with the earth you just can’t get at a supermarket.  Whther you create and tend your own edible garden, or pay the pros, having fresh food grown right outside your door benefits your for entire family.

CAN YOU DIG IT? Mel Bartholomew (pictured left) the "Father" of the square food gardening movement. Proper soil, water, and sunlight and voila!


DIY, Squared

Start with a simple wooden box: 4’ x 4’ is most common, but if space is tight, use a 2’ x 2’ or 3’ x 3’ box—also a great size for aspiring junior gardeners. Fill the box with six inches of perfect soil—equal parts coarse vermiculite, peat moss, and blended compost.Create a square foot grid to lay on top of the box (each square being 1’ x 1’), and plant each square with the same seeds, or something different in each. Try a variety of lettuces and easy-to-grow cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrots, and string beans.

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September 2018

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

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The Wilton Rotary Club will again sponsor its traditional family carnival from Friday-Sunday, Sept. 14-16 at the corner of School Road and Route 7. The event is a fundraiser that benefits the...

Cost: Admission & parking free. unlimited rides $25. Individual ride tickets available

Where:
Wilton
, CT


Website »

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Explore three private gardens in Greenwich, Westport, and Wilton, open for self-guided tours to benefit the Garden Conservancy. Highlights include water features, terraced perennial gardens, a...

Cost: $7 per garden, children 12 and under free

Where:
Pixie Perennials
200 Nod Hill Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: The Garden Conservancy
Telephone: 888-842-2442
Contact Name: Open Days Program staff
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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Woodcock Nature Center plans Under the Harvest Moon Benefit Event Friday, September 21 One of the largest fundraisers of the year for Woodcock Nature Center, Under the Harvest Moon on Friday,...

Cost: $80/person

Where:
Woodcock Nature Center
56 Deer Run Rd
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Website »

More information

Wildlife trafficking generates more than $10 billion a year for transnational organized criminal networks. Join us to learn about the work our Nature Initiative is doing to further the strategic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Join Music on the Hill for "An Evening in Paris," its sixth annual auction fundraiser. All are welcome. The evening begins with a cocktail party and silent bidding, followed by a live...

Cost: $45

Where:
WEPCO Parish Hall
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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