Author Topic: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?  (Read 17090 times)

Offline Pudd

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How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« on: October 20, 2013, 11:00:20 AM »
I’m a beginner. There have been many that preceded me. There will be many to follow. The goal here is to create a foundational archive for anyone new here and/or new to gardening in general. I want to stress that I am not compiling a college course. This is for new gardeners to get their feet wet and find their way from there. I understand we could compile an unlimited amount of information, but I am looking for basic, getting started links.

What did you use to get started in Gardening? What websites, blogs, podcasts, forum posts are the most beneficial?   I would like to focus more on free resources and keep free and paid resources segregated. A lot of the free stuff will point you towards paid media like PDC's and Marjory Wildcraft anyway.

So--back to the original questions. What did you use to get started? What have you seen since that seemed like a great resource for getting started? Please post your replies here with a category, one sentence description, and a link to the pertinent media. I will collect all of the replies, organize them, and post them separately in a dedicated thread.

I am look forward to your responses.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 06:08:55 PM »
I got started with a mix of biointensive and permaculture principals. I have checked out these self teaching videos/handouts and think they would be very good for a beginner: http://www.growbiointensive.org/Self_Teaching.html

Offline Cedar

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 06:22:36 PM »
What did you use to get started in Gardening?

Dad. Talk to elders who have gardened for years in your area. Be prepared to sit for awhile. These folk are better than any book or website.

Cedar

Offline dittyfish

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 07:12:09 PM »
I am a gardening novice myself, having never grown any edible plants besides herbs before 2013. I have learned a great deal in the last 8 months and am looking forward to transferring more of the academic knowledge I have acquired into the practical over the next 12 months. 

Best Free Resources: Jack's Youtube videos on permaculture, Paul Wheaton's videos and Permies forum, chatting up farmers at my local farmer's market, countless TSP episodes on permaculture, Permaculture Voices podcast

Good lick,

DF


Offline Head Farm Steward

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 01:59:25 PM »
Almost no matter where you are gardening you need to build fertility and add organic matter over time.

The best book on composting I have ever read (and I have read a few) was The Humanure Handbook. Even if you aren't interested in composting human waste.

After that there are any number of excellent books you could lose yourself in. I'm a big fan of John Jeavons and Eliot Coleman...all French intensive stuff...all fascinating.

For a quick overview of any homesteading topic you can imagine, John Seymour's Self-Sufficient Life is a fun book.

Outside of books, you just gotta get out there and stub your toes. Find a mentor near you who gardens in your climate...even if they still till the ground. You don't have to agree with everything they do to learn from them.

Once you find success in your garden you'll want the Ball Complete Book of Home Canning.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 02:09:54 PM »
I use the Weekend Gardener Grow Guide for when to plant stuff.

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 03:16:56 PM »
TSP got me started.  Trial and error were my best resources.  I've read a few books, but to be honest, Permaculture appeals to me the most because it's essentially permission to paint outside the lines, experiment, and learn from your mistakes.  No book, video or class is going to be as effective as getting some dirt up under your fingernails and doing it.  The little they really need to know is written in very small font on the back of the seed packet (when to plant, how deep, type of sunlight).

If/when things don't work out, ask someone a question and listen to the multitude of answers.  Try a few of them and discover what works for you.

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 03:19:00 PM »
Check out the Master Gardener website for your county.  These are volunteer programs that are run out of state universities and they usually have a lot of great info on your particular region.  I'm considering moving to the mountains of Arizona and found the Master Gardener website for the county I'm interested in.  They had powerpoint presentations (that you can view) and many handouts that they used in their classes (that you can view).  Here's a list of some:
 Soils and Climate of Yavapai County (427 KB, pdf format)
     Gardening Resources, Seeds, and Supplies (16 KB, pdf format)
     Ten Steps to a Successful Vegetable Garden (1.73 MB, pdf format)
     Vegetable Crops A to Z (88 KB, pdf format)
     Annual Flowers Suitable for Northern Arizona (3,500 to 6,000 ft) (1.73 MB, pdf format)
     Backyard Fruit Production at Elevations 3,500 to 6,000 feet (188 KB, pdf format)
     Turfgrass Identification Table (8.3 KB, pdf format)
     Planting Guidelines: Container Trees and Shrubs (255 KB, pdf format)
     Prescott Area Plant List (462 KB, MSWord format)
     Prescott Area Plant List (174 KB, pdf format)
     Verde Valley Area Plant List (490 KB, MSWord format)
     Verde Valley Area Plant List (82 KB, pdf format)

You'll notice that many are specific to the county and even some of the towns (there is a large variety of elevations in this area).  I don't know if every master gardener website has this many resources, but it is probably worth investigating.  Not all, but many master gardener groups, have a way to contact them and ask specific questions. 

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 03:20:47 PM »
Dad. Talk to elders who have gardened for years in your area. Be prepared to sit for awhile. These folk are better than any book or website.

Cedar

Don't forget those gardeners of yesteryear who are in veteran/nursing homes. When my oldest son was in 4H, one of the projects he was involved with included putting on a program for the residents at the local veterans home.  After the program was over, while most everyone else wasted no time in leaving, my boys stayed around to visit with some of the residents.  Or rather, my boys sat enthralled while the residents told them stories such as of how life was when they were young, many of whom grew up on farms and in rural communities. My kids (and I) have learned so much from visiting with shut-ins and veteran/nursing home residents.  There are so many wonderful and knowledgeable people that are just locked away from the rest of society simply because they are no longer physically able to care for themselves.  Many still have clear minds and would love to have someone to talk to, to have someone to share their lifetime of knowledge with.  A good percentage of the residents in our local facilities were born and raised in this somewhat still largely rural area. Just because they can no longer plow a field or make a garden doesn't mean they don't know how.  And for some of them, you might be the first visitor they've had in months (if not longer), and I know they would just love to have you "come sit a spell."

Offline Terroir Seeds

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 04:51:18 PM »
Ms. Albatross, I want to welcome you to Arizona, if that becomes your choice! We are in Chino Valley and have been here for 20 years.

There are some great resources on this thread, and I want to second the resource that is the TSP forum. I've got some good experience, but find that I learn a lot from reading others experiences here. A willingness to help others and think outside the box is a hallmark here, very rare in today's world, even more so in a virtual one.

Books - there are lots. Old gardening or agricultural books from pre 1930 back to about 1810 are very informative. 10 Acres Enough is a classic book, now available in a digital format. Growing Vegetables With A Smile is an amazing book translated from Russian, there are so many things that I really connected with, from the success portion and how we are responsible for our own success and no one else's, to the historical and proven soil fertility section and our addiction to working our garden and ourselves to death. Anything from Eliot Coleman, Joel Salatin or John Jeavons won't steer you wrong. 


Offline Pudd

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 05:23:18 PM »
We kind of died down so I wanted to show what I plan to put up. I also want to ask for a wider variety of topics. How about getting started with saving and starting seeds, composting and mulching? There is plenty out there so keep it coming.

As I listen to some of the older TSP podcast's I constantly hear about how much information is contained here inside the forum. If there are some posts you think would fit by all means submit them. I would like to have a subsection for tsp forum posts.

Getting Started with Gardening

If you are new to gardening or are looking for a point of entry into one of gardening's surrounding topics you're in the right place. Fellow forum members and I are developing this thread into an archive for learning to get your hands dirty.

Finding Your Own Information

We will do our best but there is obviously too much knowledge in the world of gardening for us to put it all here. So first I would like to give you some tips on where you might be able to find regional information that pertains to you. This is important because there are alot of variables within your own property without trying to garden like someone in another zone or country. All of these resources are a great way to forge new relationships. Not only can they help you start but they could help keep you going when the going gets tough.

Cedar recomends,
Quote
Dad. Talk to elders who have gardened for years in your area. Be prepared to sit for awhile. These folk are better than any book or website.

dittyfish say's,
Quote
chatting up farmers at my local farmer's market

Head Farm Steward asks to keep an open mind,
Quote
Find a mentor near you who gardens in your climate...even if they still till the ground. You don't have to agree with everything they do to learn from them.

LibertyBelle also mentions previous generations,
Quote
Don't forget those gardeners of yesteryear who are in veteran/nursing homes...Just because they can no longer plow a field or make a garden doesn't mean they don't know how.  And for some of them, you might be the first visitor they've had in months (if not longer), and I know they would just love to have you "come sit a spell."

Ms. Albatross suggests,
Quote
Check out the Master Gardener website for your county.  These are volunteer programs that are run out of state universities and they usually have a lot of great info on your particular region.
The Master Gardener program's are generally run through your county extension, another great resource.

Endurance said,
Quote
"No book, video or class is going to be as effective as getting some dirt up under your fingernails and doing it."


Reach into The Web

The Internet is perhaps the most potent resource. The amount of knowledge stored online (and added every day) is difficult to comprehend. This is both a strength and a weakness. Here is where some of its strengths have been saved for you.

First and foremost is The Forum. If you listen to some of the early episodes of TSP Jack can be heard describing the knowledge contained within this forum as being better than a college education. I will include links to some recommended reading but the search feature is right there at the top of the screen.

If you're on the go or just like to sit and listen there are a variety of TSP episodes where Jack talks about gardening. Here are some notable ones.

EPISODE-81- WINTER IS FOR GARDENING PART ONE
EPISODE-99- CONTAINER GARDENING FOR THE URBAN SURVIVALIST
EPISODE-917- 11 COMMON GARDENING, PERMACULTURE AND HOMESTEADING QUESTIONS
I know there are many more podcasts than these three, they're just an example.

mountainmoma posted Grow Biointensive. This website features a robust 8 unit "Self-Teaching Handbook" and strong selection of how-to videos. The handbook is available in a downloadable .pdf in several languages.

dittyfish comes back with Paul Wheaton's website and Permies.com. These two websites combined are a powerhouse of information. They have blog's, articles, videos and a forum with tens of thousands of posts.


I'm going to cut it short here for now. This is a peek at my little work in progress. I like to think I take constructive criticism well so please tell me what you think. There are some things I am not sure about, Do you guys like the quotes format? should I keep referencing the forum members who first suggested a source? Do you think there is a better way to organize the information? Should I better develop subsections now? Is the red glow a poor way to show editing marks?

I'm kind of rambling and I haven't really proof read this, sorry for that. I just want to get this up. Hopefully the information will continue to flow. I will update this at least once a week. If we get to a point where you guys think it's ready I will submit a request to the mods to have it "stickied".

Offline Pudd

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 05:07:52 PM »
Guys and gals here is what I have put together from your responses thus far. Thanks for all of your input and keep it coming! I would love to really push this. Have a good one!

Getting Started with Gardening

If you are new to gardening or are looking for a point of entry into one of gardening's surrounding topics you're in the right place. Fellow forum members and I are developing this thread into an archive for learning to get your hands dirty.

Finding Your Own Information

We will do our best but there is obviously too much knowledge in the world of gardening for us to put it all here. So first I would like to give you some tips on where you might be able to find regional information that pertains to you. This is important because there are alot of variables within your own property without trying to garden like someone in another zone or country. All of these resources are a great way to forge new relationships. Not only can they help you start but they could help keep you going when the going gets tough.

Cedar recomends,
Quote
Dad. Talk to elders who have gardened for years in your area. Be prepared to sit for awhile. These folk are better than any book or website.

dittyfish say's,
Quote
chatting up farmers at my local farmer's market

Head Farm Steward asks to keep an open mind,
Quote
Find a mentor near you who gardens in your climate...even if they still till the ground. You don't have to agree with everything they do to learn from them.

LibertyBelle also mentions previous generations,
Quote
Don't forget those gardeners of yesteryear who are in veteran/nursing homes...Just because they can no longer plow a field or make a garden doesn't mean they don't know how.  And for some of them, you might be the first visitor they've had in months (if not longer), and I know they would just love to have you "come sit a spell."

Ms. Albatross suggests,
Quote
Check out the Master Gardener website for your county.  These are volunteer programs that are run out of state universities and they usually have a lot of great info on your particular region.
The Master Gardener program's are generally run through your county extension, another great resource.

Reach into The Web

The Internet is perhaps the most potent resource. The amount of knowledge stored online (and added every day) is difficult to comprehend. This is both a strength and a weakness. Here is where some of its strengths have been saved for you.

First and foremost is The Forum. If you listen to some of the early episodes of TSP Jack can be heard describing the knowledge contained within this forum as being better than a college education. I will include links to some recommended reading but the search feature is right there at the top of the screen.

If you're on the go or just like to sit and listen there are a variety of TSP episodes where Jack talks about gardening. Here are some notable ones.

Episode-9- The Three Sisters Garden – The Orginal Survival Garden Possibly the most simple and highly productive place to start
Episode-89- Organic Companion Planting for Survival Gardening
Episode-99- Container gardening for the urban survivalist
Episode-112- Planning Your Spring Garden Now
Episode-142- Composting, Gardening and Global Politics" The first ten minutes or so are pretty political
Episode-192- Pest Control for a Sustainable Survival Garden
Episode-270- Action Time For The Fall Garden
Episode-374- Time to Plan the Spring Garden
Episode-389- Ten Gardening Steps to Get Ready for Spring
Episode-425- Eight Essential Survial Gardening Skills
Episode-405- Starting Plants from Seeds
Episode-484- 12 Plants for the Fall Garden
Episode-466- Start Thinking about Fall Gardening
Episode-447- Guerrilla Gardeing for Fun, Education & Survival
Episode-616- The How, Why and What of Starting Plants from Seed
Episode-699- Marjory Wildcraft on Producing Your Own Food
Episode-831- Seed Starting Primer for 2012

Featured in an interview in Episode-827, Dave Whitinger founder of AllThingsPlants.com provides stellar resources. All Things Plants has a huge, detailed database of almost 600,000 plant varieties, around 1,000 articles in the ideas section, a thriving forum, web apps, a long list of gardening blogs and more. Visiting davesgarden.com yeilds much more. Geez what a nut huh? Awesome

mountainmoma posted Grow Biointensive. This website features a robust 8 unit "Self-Teaching Handbook" and strong selection of how-to videos. The handbook is available in a downloadable .pdf in several languages.

dittyfish comes back with Paul Wheaton's website and Permies.com. These two websites combined are a powerhouse of information. They have blog's, articles, videos and a forum with tens of thousands of posts.

fritz_monroe uses Weekend Gardener  to track when to start seeds, harden off, and transplant new plants. This website will provide guidance based on your last frost dates to stay relevant.

Not sure on last seasons frost dates for your area or even which Hardiness Zone you're in? Try The Old Farmers Almanac and The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Terroir is the owner and operator of his own heirloom seed company. He can lend you his experience and advice through his website's Knowledge Library located within www.underwoodgardens.com.

How about something that doesn't hurt my eyes

Books have been printed to cover every topic. They smell better than the internet too. Here are some noteworthy books.

Head Farm Steward thinks you should start with good soil, or improving your soil. Specifically he suggest you read The Humanure Handbook. This book provides good information even if composting your own poop is just not what you are into.

Head Farm Steward also recommends two intensive french books, How to Grow More vegetables by John Jeavons and The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman.

Terroir gained a lot from 10 Acres Enough, and Growing Vegetables With A Smile. Both of these titles are available digitally. Terroir also supports Head Farm Stewards suggestions of books authored by John Jeavons, Eliot Coleman and adds Joel Salatin. They "won't steer you wrong.".



Guys and gals here is what I have put together from your responses thus far. Thanks for all of your input and keep it coming! I would love to really push this. Have a good one!

Offline theremart

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 02:34:19 AM »
The best resources->

1) Your neighbor's garden, your neighbor's garden.

     A.   They know the bugs in your area, and what grows well in your area.    They know where to get free mulch, and may share seeds with  you.     The grey haired old timers can tell you secrets you never knew, I had a gent point out to me that beach sand near me will kill the bugs around the base of my plants.    Amazing what you can find out.

2)  Youtube, for those questions you are afraid to ask, like, how deep do I plant my seeds?    Look at the results of the people on youtube, if they can grow it then it is a good thought that what they share should work for you.    I look for people that are growing in my agriculture zone.   See USDA zone chart.

3) As mentioned before, podcasts are great,   Jack mentioned a method by Larry Hall that I HIGHLY recommend ->

http://www.pinterest.com/mart85yahoocom/larry-halls-rain-gutter-grow-system/


3)  Seed catalogs that are regional for your growing location.


These keyword searches on youtube:

1) organic gardening
2) permaculture
3) bio-dynamic gardening
4) square foot gardening
5) propagation of plants
6) self watering containers


Cheers!

Offline complete7

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 03:32:57 PM »
thanks for the podcast listing

Offline complete7

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Growing your Greens youtube channel
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 04:27:00 AM »
lots of good info there

Offline JReed

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2013, 09:01:48 AM »
Free mulch from the city!

I'm still in L.A. and have only a tiny plot to garden in, but I have often taken advantage of the city's mulch program.  People here have to separate their green waste from regular trash and it is picked up and taken to a central processing area where it is ground up and it starts to compost. This stuff is delivered to several sites around the city where anyone can come and pick up as much as they want.  I put mulch into a couple of 5-gallon buckets, others back up their pick-ups to the big piles and fill the bed.

Surely other cities are doing the same.

While some may be think they are getting pesticides and herbicides in the waste, I don't worry about it at all.  This is a free resource and I have yet to see harm done to my garden.

Offline MichiganNimrod

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2014, 11:35:18 PM »
What did you use to get started? What have you seen since that seemed like a great resource for getting started?

Lots of great ideas listed so far.   Pudd...  awesome collection/break down of the old TSP shows. 

My advice is just get some damn seeds and put them in some damn dirt.    ::)

I say this because I get analysis paralysis with something new and know others are the same way.   We (well at least I) just need to remember we ain't doing anything if we ain't planting.  Plus chances our our first attempt will likely fail.  Wasn't it Joel Salatin that said something like "anything worth doing is worth doing wrong the first time."

Seeds into dirt,  water as you think.  Then start what the others said.     :beer:

Offline David in MN

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2014, 07:08:36 AM »
I would determine your goals first. How long will you likely be in the house? What kinds of foods do you like? What seems to work in your area?

Maybe you want to start small and try a "salad garden" or a "salsa garden". Maybe you want to plan longer term and plant fruit and nut trees. Maybe you want to make wine and need grapes. Maybe you bake pies, are into kale, use lots of fresh herbs, make kraut, infuse alcohol, want hummingbirds, ... You get my drift.

It's really up to you. Every planting method works. Before going nuts with it, I did simple rows and it worked. Now I do more interspersed planting. I know a lot of nice people with a couple tomato plants and basil just to make Italian salads. Nothing wrong with that. I think to start, you can't beat a couple pots of herbs. Low cost, high return and pretty easy.

Get to know locals who garden. Neighbors, farmers, and small garden shops are great resources.

Don't fear failure or feel overwhelmed. I can't get blueberries to grow here. After much time and money I gave up. Sometimes it's better to focus on the winners. If you put in an apple tree, it's gonna be a few years. Be realistic. Also look for farmers. We buy our strawberries from a local guy at a fair price. Sometimes buying an trading is easier than trying to do it all.

Offline busymomx3

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 08:15:05 AM »
I've learned a lot from this forum and online at Texas A&M agg extension. But that doesn't apply to others outside Texas. Your local 4H can be a good resource though and friends and family that garden. FB has lots of groups as well.

Offline DanielBoone

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2014, 11:38:37 AM »
I too learned alot from my local ag extension office.

They are a great resource because the have a ton of info specific to your climate growing region.

Every state has one and you can find yours here

 
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/


« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 10:57:08 AM by Archer »

Offline Bolomark

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2014, 05:46:08 PM »
i learned from grand parents and parents.
also library, magazine and catalogs are great (mailman hates me).
local gardening shows on tv, now would be youtube. gardening forums, local extension office, garden show if you have one near.
sunset gardening book good beginning resource.
trail and error, its just gardening not rocket science.
 we like to think we are doing alot but the plants don't really need us they were designed for this planet.
remember have fun and experiment.
 ;D

Offline rikkrack

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2014, 08:35:54 PM »
 :popcorn:

Offline Oldhomestead

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2014, 12:59:21 PM »
I grew up gardening with family. My Grandmother who passed at 103 this last summer was still keeping fruit trees.

But the first gardening book I bought myself and applied was "How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine" by John Jeavons. Excellant resource for stacking crops in a limited space while increasing fertility. Definitely not a "no-till" type method, though.

Offline rikkrack

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2014, 04:11:28 PM »
After my PDC I found Plants for a future a good resource. But I wish I would have had it before then. If you have a certain condition (Wet, shady area) and want a plant it can spit out some ideas. Now it is limited on some species, but I still find it very useful. Or is you want a plant to do X say for a dye. It can spit out possibilities for your zones and rainfall etc.

http://www.pfaf.org/

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2014, 10:45:16 AM »
I second plants for a future for a great look up table. ANd, the 8 unit self teaching videos I posted about previously are put out by John Jeavons and teach the techniques from grow more vegetables

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2014, 07:41:07 PM »
I just watched this today to check out and see how it was for beginners, and I would recommend it. It is for beginners who want to grow back yard fruit trees.

So, I would add this to your list of resources for beginners

http://www.davewilson.com/community-and-resources/videos/backyard-fruit-tree-basics

Offline Pudd

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2014, 03:13:34 PM »
Getting Started with Gardening

If you are new to gardening or are looking for a point of entry into one of gardening's surrounding topics you're in the right place. Fellow forum members and I are developing this thread into an archive for learning to get your hands dirty.

Finding Your Own Information

We will do our best but there is obviously too much knowledge in the world of gardening for us to put it all here. So first I would like to give you some tips on where you might be able to find regional information that pertains to you. This is important because there are alot of variables within your own property without trying to garden like someone in another zone or country. All of these resources are a great way to forge new relationships. Not only can they help you start but they could help keep you going when the going gets tough.

Cedar recomends,
dittyfish say's,
Head Farm Steward asks to keep an open mind,
LibertyBelle also mentions previous generations,
Ms. Albatross suggests,The Master Gardener program's are generally run through your county extension, another great resource.

Reach into The Web

The Internet is perhaps the most potent resource. The amount of knowledge stored online (and added every day) is difficult to comprehend. This is both a strength and a weakness. Here is where some of its strengths have been saved for you.

First and foremost is The Forum. If you listen to some of the early episodes of TSP Jack can be heard describing the knowledge contained within this forum as being better than a college education. I will include links to some recommended reading but the search feature is right there at the top of the screen.

If you're on the go or just like to sit and listen there are a variety of TSP episodes where Jack talks about gardening. Here are some notable ones.

Episode-9- The Three Sisters Garden – The Orginal Survival Garden Possibly the most simple and highly productive place to start
Episode-89- Organic Companion Planting for Survival Gardening
Episode-99- Container gardening for the urban survivalist
Episode-112- Planning Your Spring Garden Now
Episode-142- Composting, Gardening and Global Politics The first ten minutes or so are pretty political
Episode-192- Pest Control for a Sustainable Survival Garden
Episode-270- Action Time For The Fall Garden
Episode-374- Time to Plan the Spring Garden
Episode-389- Ten Gardening Steps to Get Ready for Spring
Episode-425- Eight Essential Survial Gardening Skills
Episode-405- Starting Plants from Seeds
Episode-484- 12 Plants for the Fall Garden
Episode-466- Start Thinking about Fall Gardening
Episode-447- Guerrilla Gardeing for Fun, Education & Survival
Episode-616- The How, Why and What of Starting Plants from Seed
Episode-699- Marjory Wildcraft on Producing Your Own Food
Episode-831- Seed Starting Primer for 2012
Episode-1277- Listener Calls for 1-10-14 The very first question is about this thread, Jack gives his thoughts. Transcript available below.

Featured in an interview in Episode-827, Dave Whitinger founder of AllThingsPlants.com provides stellar resources. All Things Plants has a huge, detailed database of almost 600,000 plant varieties, around 1,000 articles in the ideas section, a thriving forum, web apps, a long list of gardening blogs and more. Visiting davesgarden.com yeilds much more. Geez what a nut huh? Awesome!

mountainmoma posted Grow Biointensive. This website features a robust 8 unit "Self-Teaching Handbook" and strong selection of how-to videos. The handbook is available in a downloadable .pdf in several languages.

dittyfish comes back with Paul Wheaton's website and Permies.com. These two websites combined are a powerhouse of information. They have blog's, articles, videos and a forum with tens of thousands of posts.

fritz_monroe uses Weekend Gardener  to track when to start seeds, harden off, and transplant new plants. This website will provide guidance based on your last frost dates to stay relevant.

Not sure on last seasons frost dates for your area or even which Hardiness Zone you're in? Try The Old Farmers Almanac and The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Terroir is the owner and operator of his own heirloom seed company. He can lend you his experience and advice through his website's Knowledge Library located within www.underwoodgardens.com.

How about something that doesn't hurt my eyes

Books have been printed to cover every topic. They smell better than the internet too. Here are some noteworthy books.

Head Farm Steward thinks you should start with good soil, or improving your soil. Specifically he suggest you read The Humanure Handbook. This book provides good information even if composting your own poop is just not what you are into.

Head Farm Steward also recommends two intensive french books, How to Grow More vegetables by John Jeavons and The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman.

Terroir gained a lot from 10 Acres Enough, and Growing Vegetables With A Smile. Both of these titles are available digitally. Terroir also supports Head Farm Stewards suggestions of books authored by John Jeavons, Eliot Coleman and adds Joel Salatin. They "won't steer you wrong.".

Jack's Thoughts:

Quote
“…I have to say that my greatest resource in learning to garden was my grandfater on my father’s side who maintained a very large garden and provided a lot of food for his household for many many years and in my youth, first when I would go on summer vacations to Pennsylvania from Florida and when we eventually moved and he was even older I probably did 90% of the work at that point in the garden under his tutelage and that was my greatest reasource and I think it is the best resource you could have for a variety of reasons. The person who would be doing that for you at that point has massive experience on the property that you’re working on or the area you’re working on and really knows it. The multigenerational thing is so missing in todays world. There is not enough multigenerational teaching in anything let alone gardening. But that said there are things that I know today that my grandfather probably would have balked at that worked better. We didn’t really use mulch. We got away with it because the soil was so fertile.  The piece of land he was using was sort of down grade from the rest of the property and it had almost no erosion. It was gardened very intensively and it never seemed to not produce. We rotated things, we did basic row cropping, rows double dug simple stuff. But there was a lot of things we didn’t do that would have worked better. We did tomatoes individually staked but a teepee trellis system would have probably worked a lot better and been a lot more of a sustainable thing where I would have been cutting stakes every year like he had me doing. I know that we grew lots of cucumbers for pickles it was a huge crop for us both for cucumbers for fresh eating and for pickles because my grandmother pickled everything basically.  We grew the cucumbers on the ground instead of trellising them which would have been a much more productive way to grow. So those are things I have learned more and more from modern gardening techniques and from trial and error and the permaculture school of thought. It’s hard for me now because you are asking me to back pedal a little bit. If you just want to garden, I think that either getting a book on bio intensive gardening, if you want to do really large gardens, doing lasagna mulching or square foot gardening are probably the best things you can do when you want to run a few raised beds and get maximum productivity over a small space and be as error free as you possibly can. That said, I believe permaculture is superior to gardening.  There are gardens in permaculture but permaculture is not gardening. I think that if you want long term sustainability, minimal work, maximum production, maximum biodiversity the healthiest soils and food you can get. It makes sense to go straight to the permaculture world. But it takes a higher level of thinking it takes a significant amount of study it takes greater effort to get started even though it takes less effort to maintain, develop and work with over time. So I think that it actually does make a lot of sense to start with basic gardening and move on from there. But thinking about a more holistic integrated system would probably be a good idea. Getting a book that opens your eyes to permaculture without getting too deep something like paradise lot by Eric Toensemeier and Jonathan Bates. That would be a great book to open your eyes to whats possible, being more narrative than scientific. I think that it is very very helpful to read a book like that. You’ll get a little more politics in it than you probably need but it’s more than tolerable for the message and value you get out of the book. It’s not in your face it’s just what’s important to him, I’m fine with anyone putting that in their own book for god sakes. If you just wanted to grow stuff fast: Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Follow his instructions and you will have success. The one thing I will caution you with is I have found a lot of his planting densities where he says “in this grid plant 9 seeds of this plant”, are a little overly optimistic. Its too intensive and you will get more by planting less, by planting 4 instead of 9 for instance with certain plant types and you’ll learn that over time. The beauty of Square Foot Gardening is that you manage the soil literally one square foot at a time. So when you’re worried about this one plant and it’s come to its end of life and you’re removing it and planting something new you’re just fertilizing with compost and mulching that one spot. There is a lot of value to that intensive management technique. Again bio intensive is pretty good. But my biggest initial resource was my grandfather’s teaching and even after that when I came back to gardening which would have been right after 9/11, that’s when I planted my first garden in years. When we lived in Arlington before we moved to Pennsylvania for that job I had planted some grape vines and stuff like that in that backyard but I didn’t really have a garden. We had a small yard, two big dogs, everything we tried to do got dug up.  I didn’t really have any knowledge of permaculture at the time. It just didn’t seem right. When we moved to Pennsylvania we had an acre the dogs were fenced in one area, there’s another area available but when I thought about it, being away from my family on that day that just said “go back to your roots”. So that spring I planted a garden. That very month, when I got home, I built a fire pit with my son and we began doing community camp fires and stuff like that, starting a whole walk back to where we are now. That spring was the first garden. All I did was dig up the plot and plant it. That’s what I did. I did what I knew to do. I knew that certain plants grew well there and I planted it and it just started. I think it’s more important that you do something, than who’s method you use to do it. You will have failures. The failures will lead you to corrections. The corrections will lead you to success. Those are my thoughts.”
This quote has been modified from it's original format for clarity and may not accurately portray the speaker's voice. For the complete audio, please listen to Episode-1277 Listener Calls 1-10-14 (16:43-24:30)


Thanks for all of your input and keep it coming! I do not have everything you suggested in here yet, wife is stealing the computer. I will update again soon. Feel free to throw out information about any segment of gardening so I can work it in.  Have a good one!
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Offline Spadalach

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2014, 11:25:01 AM »
Pudd, have you considered posting this on the wiki? (http://tspwiki.com)

Offline Pudd

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2014, 07:10:14 PM »
I mostly just want to get it into some sort of completion. Once there I will probably put it on the wiki, unless someone beats me to it.

Offline Oldhomestead

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Re: How did you get started? What was your best resource/s?
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2014, 10:02:27 AM »
One of my go to resources in the last couple years has been youtube. Pictures and video is a great help in explaining concepts. And despite what you may think about your new idea, someone else has not only tried it before, they've filmed it.