Our Mission

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Our Mission is Growing ... in more ways than one.

Years ago, when Joel first invented the Straw Bale Gardening method,
he just wanted to have a successful vegetable garden in his own backyard.

That’s our goal for you, too!  We’d like you to be totally delighted by growing your own healthy vegetables, fruits & plants using the SBG method.

But our mission is growing, so there’s more to say.  We want you to…

1. Succeed in growing your own vegetables & plants

SBG works great, even if you’re a newbie. You’ll learn how to succeed with our professionally produced How-To-Videos, written articles & advice from enthusiastic Straw Bale gardeners in our community forum. You’ll be amazed at what you can grow!

2. Add a little garden-calm to your life

Gardening adds a quality to your life that’s hard to explain, but easy to appreciate. A few minutes of breathing fresh air … a few moments away from your electronic devices … it can do a person a world of good!

3. Nurture your family relationships

When you spend time together in the garden with your child, grandchildren, or other family members, good things will happen. We promise!

4. Share the joy with new friends

It’s great fun to celebrate your own creativity & success in the garden. Our Straw Bale Gardening Club Community Forum lets you share that joy with others. More creativity + more gardening success = more joy in everybody’s life!

5. Inspire your community

Will your success inspire a neighbor to start their own garden for the very first time? Could your church or another local organization sponsor a community Straw Bale garden, to help families & create connections in your neighborhood? We hear wonderful stories like that every day!

6. Celebrate with us

Straw Bale Gardening is more than just a great, new gardening technique. SBG is becoming a world-wide movement. Joel never expected that to happen, but we’d love for you to celebrate with us. 

It’s amazing to see how Straw Bale Gardening is making a difference all around the world for individuals, families & communities. How many new gardeners will try it this year? Can this method really be part of a solution to end world hunger? What will happen next with this gardening innovation? Stick around & we’ll all find out!

About Joel

Joel KarstenJoel Karsten never expected to start a “gardening revolution.” But that’s exactly what happened.

Joel grew up on a family farm in Southern Minnesota, helping his Grandma Josephine in a large garden plot where she taught him and his sisters a great deal about how to work hard, grow your own food, & respect your elders!

After graduating from high school, Joel earned a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

His strong work ethic & natural ability to “grow things” inspired him to start a successful landscaping company while still earning his academic degree. 

A few years later, Joel bought his first starter home & discovered the soil in his backyard was such poor quality that he could not plant a traditional vegetable garden.

That moment of great disappointment planted the seeds of a “crazy” idea. Could it possibly work to grow vegetables in bales of straw? Joel put his scientific & horticultural knowledge to good use, experimenting & improving this new technique until it was “foolproof.”

He had no idea how popular Straw Bale Gardening would become!

Today, Joel is the author of several books about the Straw Bale Gardening method & a popular guest speaker.

Joel lives with his wife in Roseville, Minnesota. They’re both amazed at how many people around the world are enjoying the advantages of using Joel’s Straw Bale Gardening method.

You can watch Joel tell the story of how it all began, right here.

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