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Customer Discussions > All New Square Foot Gardening forum

Is Mel misrepresenting his work?

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 17, 2010 10:04:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2010 10:12:17 PM PDT
an1337 says:
I'm mid-way through the book. It's a great work and I'm sure I will have much success in implementing the good ideas presented by the author. However, I feel like Mel Bartholomew has gone a little too far in putting himself forward, sometimes making dubious claims in pompous and flowery language. Take for instance his gross claim that he basically invented square foot gardening as a gift to America and the World (no less!). Square gardening (as opposed to row gardening) was not invented by Mel Bartholomew in the 70's. It was invented way back in the medieval times in Europe with roots in ancient Egypt. Just visit the garden section of any monastery in Europe and you will see how they were growing their medicinal herbs. That's right, in small squares so they can easily be tended to without disturbing the soil. Yet I see no mention of this in the book. Instead the author tells us that basically he saved the world from years of bad gardening practice. Quote from the book: "I have had people ask me, 'why weren't you born one hundred years ago so I could have started with Square Foot Gardening instead of having to do all the work of single-row gardening all my life?' Good question!". End of quote. I think by the end of the book I will have to call him Mel "Jesus returns" Bartholomew!

Posted on May 25, 2010 10:08:35 PM PDT
Jason says:
Ha ha. I see your point... While he certainly didn't invent it (there's nothing new under the sun after all), he did certainly market it well. Beyond just the marketing aspect, he did bring it to masses via TV and a down-to-earth book. So I'll give him props for that. Did it go to his head? Probably. However, if the end result is more people gardening, producing their own healthy organic food vs buying toxic corporate food, then I can live with that.

Now that you do mention it, I would like to read more about the history of it in Europe & Egypt. It cracks me up to think there's a hieroglyphic of Anubis, holding an ankh and standing over a 4 X 4 box w/ the grid lines! =)

Posted on Oct 10, 2010 11:49:01 AM PDT
Mark Stanley says:
OK, you guys are both very funny, but I must agree. As far as personality profiles go, self importance seems to go along with the territory with those that have managed to shoulder their way into the limelight. In spite of the negatives, I like our world full of interesting and dynamic people. I prefer it this way compared to the clone planet. [I hate it when that happens!] Compost Tea Making: For Organic Healthier Vegetables, Flowers, Orchards, Vineyards, Lawns (Volume 1)The hanging gardens of Babylon must have certainly been in containers.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2010 5:38:01 PM PDT
Jason says: has a few other compost tea videos as well. Highly recommended.
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Participants:  3
Total posts:  4
Initial post:  May 17, 2010
Latest post:  Oct 11, 2010

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All New Square Foot Gardening
All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (Paperback - February 14, 2006)
4.6 out of 5 stars (1,424)