Square Foot Gardening

As UCOM’s first project in our Growing Green Neighbors initiative, the Square Foot Gardening program is intended to help members of our community become more self-sustaining.

Gardeners are given a 4x4 raised garden box along with soil and seeds.  The boxes are sectioned into 16 one foot squares and program participants choose 16 crops, including up to four trellised plants, to grow in their gardens. Clients are able to select from plants that grow well in these types of garden boxes.

What can people Grow? Here are just a few examples:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Okra
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • And many more! 

See the list of our Gardeners' 2011 choices here.

Those in the program attend a monthly meeting hosted at UCOM where they talk with a master gardener or farmer, ask questions, and receive helpful hints and advice. Program participants will also be visited by volunteer gardeners periodically throughout the summer to help address any specific concerns they may have.

As a condition of enrollment in the program, all gardeners are asked to teach the skill to a friend or neighbor who will then receive their own garden box the following summer.

Within five years UCOM hopes to have 300 Square Foot Garden boxes dotting the landscape of our community, helping our neighbors become more self-sufficient while making our slice of Greater Grand Rapids just a little bit greener.


To see more pictures and stay updated on the project, feel free to check out our facebook page!

If you want to try and make your own garden box you can check out the plans here.