Resources for new gardeners – or for those considering a fresh approach.

1. Rely on your instincts, knowledge, research abilities and desire to learn. It won’t all happen the first season – or the tenth – but you’ll get ever more comfortable with the learning, experimenting, teaching process.

2. There are likely people around you who are keen to help with knowledge, labour, seeds, whatever. Don’t be afraid to ask family, friends, neighbours – even strangers. If you ask a stranger who’s a gardener (they usually leave a trail) you’re highly likely to get a generous response. If you feel the responses you’re getting from your neighbours are not broad or natural enough, get together with folks you admire in the region. We have lifelong friends we’ve made by meeting occasionally regionally. Yes, this involves a bit of driving, but you’re searching for support, right?

3. Printed Materials on Nature Based Gardening – a few from our library. What are your favourites?

Author Title(s) Theme(s)
Eliot Coleman The New Organic Gardener
Four Season Gardener
A master’s manual of tools and techniques.
Extending seasons and greenhouse use.
Louise Riotte Roses Love Garlic Companion planting
Lois Hole Northern Vegetable Gardening
Also many other titles – like Tomato Varieties, Herbs, Perennial flowers, etc.
Info on best varieties and family gardens
Carol Ford & Chuck Waibel The Northlands Winter Greenhouse Manual Low-Tech solutions to cold climate vegetable production
Suzanne Ashworth Seed to Seed Seed saving and growing techniques for vegetables.
Findhorn Community The Findhorn Garden Spirit-based communication with plants
COG member writers Canadian Organic Gardener – quarterly Practical, inspiring stories and techniques
Permaculture practitioners The Permaculture Activist – 3 or 4 / year Articles on creating permanent culture – gardening and more.

4. Themes to Search for on the Internet – or in the Library for that matter. (Specific websites to be added and bookmarked as they become clear.)

  • Biodynamic – preparations, cosmic connections
  • Permaculture – forest gardening, water retention, layering
  • Organic – certified and non-certified, buffer zones
  • Xeriscaping – mulching, selective irrigation
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • No-till gardening, minimal till, earthworms
  • Companion planting, three sisters, intercropping
  • Soil Food web, soil communities
  • Compost, vermicomposting, compost teas
  • Cover crops, green manure, allelopathy, catch crops
  • Crop Rotations, nitrogen fixing
  • Tobacco offering, prayer, gaia *
  • Seed saving, pollination
  • Nutrient dense foods, nutrient cycles

Silly perhaps to search for ‘prayer’ online. But, if it’s not part of our tradition to seek celestial, spiritual, cosmic grounding, why not start wherever we feel most comfortable getting information. The important thing is to be in touch with all that connects us to the natural world. Blessings.