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{article} Intro to my Square Foot Garden

GreenChefAcademy_Square-Foot-Garden::rubs hands together::

I’m SO EXCITED to share the beginnings of my square foot garden with you!! But I want to be straight up about my (non!) expertise in this. I’m learning as I go!

Funny, it reminds me of my start with raw foods. Sometimes you just jump in as a total newbie, and seek guidance where you can. So that’s what I’m doing. Maybe one day someone will call me an “expert” with this too?!

I’ve gardened before, but…

It was always in a garden that was shared!

1. A ‘lil ‘ol community garden plot in Jax, FL. I was pregnant with Lilla and felt that I MUST have more time with my feet in the dirt. That was at the Beaches Local Food Network in Neptune Beach.
2. A shared garden (here on our shared property in Brazil) along with our property’s caretaker. Who happens to be a Master Gardener. Yes, that’s official that he’s a Master Gardener! (I think…).
3. A community solar greenhouse on Martha’s Vineyard COMSOG is a super-cool setup. YES – fresh foods and such in the height of winter in New England.

This is different.

It’s MINE! And I don’t have much space that’s technically all mine, so I’m working with what I have. (Our property is HUGE, but it’s shared with two other families. Technically, our private piece of land is only 20 meters x 10 meters. Including the house and porch!)

So here’s what I’m doing…

Step 1. Ripping up the grass!

GCA_SquareFoodGarden_GRASSI’m actually ripping up grass my own husband planted 9 years ago. Cute.

The Tools

I’m using exactly one hand-made tool to pull up the grass. :-) In Portuguese it’s called “enxadao”.

GCA_SquareFoodGarden_DIGWhat to do to rip up grass

Swing it high then WHACK! hit the grass with it. Once it cuts through the grass, I wiggle it back and forth like a lever. I do that in a line, piece by piece, kind of like cutting just the top of a square.

Then I go back from another angle to get the sides and bottom. I’m just cutting out maybe 20 centimeters at a time because I’m finding it far easier to cut little chunks than big chunks.

I shake out as much of the soil as possible, then toss the dry/grass bits into a pile to compost later.

What to do next (for now) + WHY


Grass sucks the moisture + nutrients from the soil, so I’m working to get this soil ready for planting. On top of that, the roots will keep coming back, but I don’t want to kill them with chemicals, so while I mix up the soil I’m removing the roots before they grow much.


After ripping up the grass with the enxadao, we’re now starting the process of preparing the soil for planting. So now (at least) daily, go back to break down any left over roots + mix the soil using an enxada.

ALSO: Put some LOVE into it.

I almost feel silly sharing this with you, but I sing a special song when I’m gardening. It’s a made-up song that was the ONLY way I could help my daughter when she was teething. It’s lovely, but very simple.

So I have a few simple questions!

GCA_SquareFoodGarden_Close1. Would you like me to share my Lilla + garden song with you?! I’d be up for recording it if you really want me to! It’s hard to explain – but I feel like it was divinely inspired and connects me to a “Space of Love”. Almost like a song from church. But not.

2. Do you have any questions so far? (If I don’t know the answer, I can ask Jair!)

3. Do you have any TIPS for me? I could sure use ‘em!

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