Mother Earth News Article – Trial Garden At Home

Rosalind’s latest article is titled “Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet.” It is featured in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of Mother Earth News. You can read the complete article online HERE. I have uploaded some additional information to this website, which can be found under the Featured Content Section HERE.

Additionally, in the Mother Earth News article I promised to make an Excel spreadsheet available that can be used to track garden productivity on your own! You can access the sheet by clicking on the link below:



Another feature in the same issue of Mother Earth News includes my photographs of Heirloom Fruits & Vegetables featuring the Seedsaver’s Exchange.

January 22, 2010 - 8:53 pm

Rose Flowers - Amazing article in Mother Earth News.

March 9, 2010 - 7:06 pm

Nigele Johnson - I dont have much room in my backyard and I’m tierd of shelling out $30 for fresh salad fixing.

March 16, 2010 - 8:46 pm

Katy - I LOVE this idea. I love fresh veggies but simply can’t afford the prices at the store.

March 16, 2010 - 8:47 pm

CHERYL - first time trying this in the ozarks….any tips?????we moved from NJ and never had any trouble there..but….totally different area….i don’t want to do all the work to have it bust…thankx

March 31, 2010 - 3:59 am

shawn - Got the flowsheets and I am excited. Going at it a bit differently. Got a raised bed, horse manure, and top soil ($188.00 so far). Getting plants ( tomatoes, peppers, yellow squash, zuchanni squash, onions, leaf lettuce, and spinish )Easter weekend. Going to look at cost vs yield vs store cost. I think I will be in the hole the first year but $$$$ after. Also going to try and keep seeds. Thank you for the article.

April 2, 2010 - 12:08 am

Margaret Yamaguchi - Just saw an article about this in the SJ Merc. today. I’m having raised beds made. Finally after 40 years of wanting husband to do this I hired a guy. It’s costing a fortune but I’m not even sure I’ll keep track. 1st tomato will probably cost out at about $5. So far a 2x 36′ box against the fence mostly planted with cool weather stuff, flowers and herbs. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini etc will go into 30″ x 8 ‘ boxes as soon as they are ready. Raspberry starts coming from sister in law this Saturday. Total area about 150 ‘ plus walkways. I’m so excited.

April 11, 2010 - 4:37 am

Bill Smythe - It’s such a timely and good idea, that a list/group has been started to promote the concept!

I’m making my Excel Spreadsheet, now!
Beds are in progress. Garden area will double this year!
Victory! I can almost taste it… LOL! ;>)


April 22, 2010 - 1:08 am

Bill Smythe - In fact, it’s SUCH a GOOD IDEA that I’m going to support it on
our main, SQUARE FOOT List!

“Stimulus” has prompted me to create anew, my “Victory Garden!”
I’m expanding it!

May 12, 2010 - 4:03 pm

pat patrick - This is a fantasic idea! I am putting in a garden for the first time in years and trying new things I find in Mother and Grit. I love your stepping stone idea and the spreadsheet sure beats my raggy ole spiral notebook. Thanks! The rotations will be a great help to me as well.

May 12, 2010 - 4:32 pm

Kelly - I use my front yard the past 3 years to garden as well as the back but I get the longest amount of sun in the front. I will try to keep track of costs this year. Already have eaten a ton of spinach. Through seeds out there in Feb when we had 2 weeks of pretty nice weather!

May 12, 2010 - 4:33 pm

Kelly - We are in Oregon.

May 12, 2010 - 4:59 pm

Lisa - Thanks for such great ideas and encouragement. I am doing the raised beds in such rocky soil, but was hit with bad fungus last 2 years. I am trying to rotate the veggies to avoid this. I will never quit! but I sure hope I get something this year. We are Canada/NY state border and having a very cold spring this year.

May 12, 2010 - 6:56 pm

Terri Rogers - I’m tackling this project in Knik River, Alaska. Peppers and tomatoes have to be greenhouse-grown where I live, but the rest will be okay with a good summer, and we’re still hoping for that this year. Temps in the 50′s now but the last 18 inches of snow melted a couple of weeks ago. I’m using chicken and horse manure but cannot plant outside until the first of June to avoid late frosts. My sneaky black Bantam hen, Betty, just brought three tiny chicks out from under the shed yesterday. We’re brooding them inside in the bathroom under a light while she hatches the rest on a nest I cannot reach. I’ll keep you posted. Reach me at

May 14, 2010 - 3:30 pm

Dayna Greene - This is awesome, thank you for sharing your wisdom. I live in the Ozarks, we’ve got a rain forest going on here right now. My garden is full, but I hate to go into it as it is so muddy. Where & how do you put your stepping stones in, down the middle? Duh, probably! Something I’ve learned is don’t make your small gardens to wide that you can’t reach over them to the middle. When you get older &/or handicapped like my husband is, you need to be able to reach the middle from a wheel chair or on your knees. I’ve started raised beds & are trying to make them a little higher each year so I don’t have to bend so much.

May 15, 2010 - 3:15 am

Regan - I have a 18 square foot raised bed that I started last year. I grew 5 Purple Russian heirloom indeterminate tomatoes, 18 Soleil bush beans crammed WAY too close together, 6 bell peppers, one jalapeno, a few carrots, basil, chives, stevia and 5 Fairy Tale eggplants. I wish I had kept production records now because we’re STILL eating those delicious beans and I had so many tomatoes I didn’t know what to do with them all. This year I have strawberries, radishes & carrots inter-planted & cilantro in that bed plus one volunteer tomato & my chives that came back. I have to make another raised bed too this year for all the other peppers & tomatoes I’m going to put out plus four blueberry bushes and some sweet potatoes! This gardening stuff is pretty fun but the best part is eating all the goodies you’ve grown yourself. And this year I’m definitely going to keep a spreadsheet so I can crow about how much precious $$$ we’ve saved!

July 28, 2010 - 12:59 am

im covin-gordon - Planning a small garden is no easy task. This sample for an urban backyard garden is really good news. The motivation to stay focus can send you surfing for information, all over the internet.

October 23, 2010 - 11:03 pm

Lucy Dunn - Love the ideas Rosalind & Cathy. I live on 9 acres of rental property and I have wanted to put out a garden for years. Now I know I can put one out and it doesn’t have to be the size of my Grandfathers old garden. He and Grandma had a very big garden when I was growing up, my Dad and step Mother did too. I never thought back then that I would miss gardening. The sense of accomplishment; as well as what it’s like to go out and dig potatoes up or pick green beans and peas. After picking those I remember sitting under the shade tree with Grandma snapping beans and opening pea pods just for supper. Thank You Both for the idea of a smaller easier managed garden. I think I will ready the soil and start shopping for seeds and supplies for next years small garden. So glad I ran across your article. I hope to learn more as I plan for my new project. Thanks again.

May 17, 2011 - 9:57 pm

Roy Gibson - I have a garden in my back yard, a 4 foot by 20 foot along one fence and a 3 foot by 20 foot along another. I also have a 16X32 spot in the middle of my yard. I grow many veggies and along the fence I have thornless blackberries. Strawberries in containers and watermelons along the other fence. I love it.
I buy the seeds and use half of them then save the rest for next year. I plant orange and red meat watermelons and save the seeds.The plants I buy from Walmart and plant early. If it freezes I buy more. If it don’t, I have veggies before anyone else and can preserve twice during the year.
It is a lot of work but I am retired and the savings are great. I also give veggies to the neighbors. At the end of the season I give the green tomatoes to a neighbor that makes us several jars of green tomato salsa.
I enjoy Mother Earth News and have read it for 20 years.
Keep up the good work. Roy

May 23, 2011 - 5:00 am

Owldancer - I really liked this article and thought it was very thurough. My only other question would be the garden layout; for the pole beans and other verticle rows… plant the rows North/South or East/West?

April 29, 2013 - 4:43 pm

Grow 0 of Food in 100 Square Feet! | Foodarian - [...] I’m growing all of this in a bed that is just 5-by-20 feet! You can check my website to follow the progress of the garden, and to download easy-to-use spreadsheets to help you track your own garden [...]

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