Founder and Inventor of the Square Foot Gardening Method
Despite inventing a brand new, simpler way to garden, and then writing the largest selling garden book in America, most people are startled to learn that Mel is not a horticulturist and has never had any formal agricultural training. Mel is a Civil Engineer, graduate of Ga Tech. After retirement from his own Engineering and Consulting Company, he took up gardening as a hobby. The only method offered back then was the traditional single row victory garden method which to an engineer was so obviously inefficient, wasteful, and just too much work.
After touring the country to ask all the experts why we use the single row method for home gardening and being told from Maine to California “ …cause that’s the way we’ve always done it.” For an engineer that is not a very good answer. So he decided to invent a new way to garden that is more efficient, easier to do, and more friendly to the environment. He named it Square Foot Gardening. Mel then went on to write that famous book in 1981, Square Foot Gardening which sold over a million copies, created and hosted a PBS TV show for 5 years, then 3 more years on the Learning Channel and Discovery Network and today presides over a non-profit SFG Foundation that encourages every household around the world to have a small garden, eat fresh healthy vegetables daily that are uncontaminated with no recalls.
Belinda Jensen was brought into SFGF in 2010 by Mel and asked to create her position as the instructor specialist. She has a passion for SFG and used it to create her own family business in 2009 called Home Gardens To Go. Based near Salt Lake City, Utah, Belinda helped create and hosts the SFG online certification course, training new instructors and guiding the over 600 established instructors around the world. A lifelong gardener, she holds a master gardener certificate with the Utah State University extension service and volunteers at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah teaching SFG classes and maintaining a SFG display there. She has taught SFG at numerous Home and Garden Expos, county fairs, local libraries and churches. She has recently published an iBook available on Apple iTunes called Square Foot Gardening: A Simple Video Guide. She is a beekeeper, keeps chickens and enjoys caring for her many home SFG’s. Belinda considers her greatest achievement to be raising and homeschooling a family of six children with her husband of 33 years. She also enjoys being a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Amie Guyette Hall considers it an honor to have completed her SFG instructor certification in April 2010 in Burlington, VT meeting and spending 3 full days at symposium with Mel. On short notice, she shared a unique SFG 101 power point presentation featuring photos from her many unique SFG projects and was voted class president. A 2007 Graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Holistic Health Coach and member of the American Association of Drugless Practicioners, Amie has combined her experience and ease of food and cooking with her work in SFGF. Both go hand in hand, combining her nutrition school’s mission to “create a ripple effect that improves the health and happiness of the world” with the SFGF’s mission to “end world hunger.” Her belief of “you are, what you eat” guided her to create her wellness practice called From Your Inside Out. Realizing the importance of global reach, Amie led the way as visionary to help create, launch and teach the SFG online certification course, which includes 1-1 coaching calls to support our instructors in business growth and development, and community connections. Through her grant writing efforts and endless energy, Amie has been instrumental in creating school gardens strongly rooted to curriculum. She works closely with all ages and abilities, including Adults on the Autism Spectrum, and Boy Scouts who share SFG as a fundraiser that benefits the troop and educates the community. Considered a grass roots activist, Amie is known as “The Square Foot Gardening Health Coach” connecting individuals, children and families to their food, their community and the land…one square foot at a time. Amie resides in Fairfield, CT with her always positive husband of 29 years. She enjoys being an avid skiing family that includes two young adult sons and a bodacious Boykin Spaniel. Amie loves the energy of her favorite beaches along the coast of Maine and on Cape Cod
Becky Hsu Creative Director
Becky has lived on both the east coast and west coast before settling in San Diego, California. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley and has worked as both a web designer and webmaster over the years. She started with the SFGFoundation in 2011 as a Multimedia Specialist providing graphic, audio and video skills and has since moved up to Creative Director. Becky also owns a photography business specializing in on-location, family portraiture. She loves to be active and get outdoors with her husband and daughter. She’s excited to help others live better, healthier lives through Square Foot Gardening.