Growing in Circles
“Attractive, Scalable, Affordable & Effective Backyard Farming & Gardening”
One of our goals with the Growing a Future (GAF) program is to make every aspect of it attractive, effective and unique for both the students and those visiting our farm. Something that can be taught, that our students can build and manage, and something that will inspire and encourage our students and community members to duplicate on a smaller scale in their own back yards.
We believe the Growing in Circles approach provides that unique and powerful approach to sustainable gardening and something that we can share with our community.
What is it?
Many people want a garden, but few are willing to trade their beautiful backyard for unattractive rows of ‘dirt’, ugly raised beds, posts and wire, and scattered greenhouses. They want to gain the garden without losing the beauty (whether the garden is producing or sitting fallow).
Finding a single solution or design concept that can be easily scaled (up or down) to work for all desired garden sizes (and budget) is important to both the buyer and the provider. This allows for easy calculations of design, soil, irrigation and planting cost needs.
To reach all our potential clients, we need a solution that looks attractive and just as effective (growing produce) no matter what landscaping budget they may have.
The concept needs to go beyond beautiful; it needs to have a clear planting, irrigation and service support program that makes it unique and as effective (or more) than a traditionally planted garden (yet more visually attractive).
Circles Concept (almost like growing art)
Although the above 'circles' images do not follow the exact design strategy of the Growing in Circles concept (ours will be much larger and a defined layout), they give you an idea of the range of design (grass to paving stones), flexibility and the visual appeal and planting advantage that it provides.
COMPARED TO OTHER ALTERNATIVES
Although raised bed design concepts can be attractive, they often fall short of beauty (especially the older the wood gets) and costly in time and money.
Although this is a simple and effective growing approach that has a natural beauty when plants are growing, during the winter/fall seasons the planted space can become an eyesore and a muddy mess until the next spring (dead plants or exposed soil).
Scalable & Affordable
The Growing in Circles (okay, hexagon) design concept can be easily scaled in size to fit the growing or planting area needed. It is also easy to add additional circle units that can maintain the beauty of the concept while expanding the area of land planted. This gradual growth process is perfect for our GAF program.
This design also makes it very easy to develop and calculate different irrigation, soil or fertilizer needs per planting bed based the Growing in Circles (GIC) space.
Whether we are using concrete pavers, mulch, or grass as walkways, the true beauty of the GIC concept is in the layout design. This allows us to provide a beautiful product to match our budget and a showcase concept for any community member who wants to duplicate it in their own back yard.
Effective & Inspiring
The success of our Growing a Future program is often determined by our passion for growing our own food and the beauty that comes from leaning to grow it. All the opportunities for successful gardening and harvesting are available with the Growing in Circles approach.
Whether you are donating your time or monetarily, we hope you will join us in the development of our Growing a Future program.