Education is massively important to me, not just because I work in education either. Educating yourself on whatever you’re interested in will only help you. Have you ever heard the saying: “Education is the one thing no one can take from you”? If not, well… now you have. & I want to tell you that I did not care about what that meant for a VERY long time- I know, I know… it’s weird cause I work in education but in that sense, I cared about my students’ education- not my own. Now, however, I care immensely about what that means & about my own education. I am a forever learner- especially in the garden! I did an Instagram post a while back talking about different books I’ve read that pertain to gardening, sustainability, and homesteading BUT there are so many other awesome resources that I’ve invested in & I’m hoping they’ll help you to.
Keep in mind that “investing” in something doesn’t necessarily mean with money- you invest your time, interest, energy, resources. When you invest in gardening, you’re investing more than money!
Accessibility to resources can be different for everyone, so I’ve compiled a list of Youtube channels, Instagram accounts, books, & a few extras that I have found immensely helpful in my journey.
Roots and Refuge Farm – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTZN3HhejW1tOiRdLGUCGGA
Whispering Willow Farm – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9XMVRRXIT-eFqJ2rBK0q9w
Hey It’s a Good Life -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY0zr8Z06RCA_3CEX5yfREw
The CityStead – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHffllPtNVdBqQHLTxEWSg
Living Big in a Tiny House – https://www.youtube.com/user/livingbigtinyhouse I know this might seem random but there are so many great ideas about how to maximize small spaces, off grid living, & gardening of all kinds!
Those are the channels I look to pretty frequently to find inspiration or answers to questions I’ve had. Of course there are videos that are suggested and some of those are helpful, too! To be completely fair, I have no idea how I found Roots and Refuge Farm (literally have ZERO idea of how it happened but also wicked grateful I somehow did find it… or it found me…) or Living Big in a Tiny House (again, ZERO idea of how I found this channel… no recollection AT ALL but wicked grateful I did find it) but what I do know is that BECAUSE I found Roots and Refuge Farm, I also found Whispering Willow Farm, Hey It’s a Good Life, and The CityStead. Also, because I found Living Big in a Tiny House, I ended up finding some really cool videos about tiny living. So try to find one Youtube channel you really love and pay attention to who they mention or speak about, search that Youtube channel, & you’ll start to build your own list of resources!
All of these Instagram profiles have served as a resource or inspiration. Most of the Instagram accounts I follow are particular to my grow zone or similar growing conditions but either way, I encourage you to check them out & see what you think, for yourself. Another way to find Instagram accounts for your grow zone is just to go to the “Discovery” tab on your Instagram feed & search your grow zone! So for me, I searched “zone6a” or “NewEnglandGardening”. Search & see what comes up for you!
There are so many online resources but sometimes there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned book. Below is a list of books that I’ve read along with their ISBN numbers- most times, you can Google search the ISBN number and find places to purchase them. You can also go onto your local library’s website and type the ISBN number into the catalog to see if they have it or if they can do an inter-library loan from another library!
“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver (ISBN# 978006852559)
“The First Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables: All the Know-How and Encouragement You Need to Grow and fall in love with! Your Brand New Food Garden” by Jessica Sowards (ISBN#9780760368725)
“Herbs” by Publications International, LTD. (ISBN# 9781640304673)
“Self-sufficiency for the 21st Century: The Complete Guide to Sustainable Living for Today” by Dick & James Strawbridge (ISBN# 99781465489586)
“Growing Perennial Foods: A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables” by Acadia Tucker (ISBN# 9780998862354)
“Grow Your Soil: Harness the Power of the Soil Food Web to Create You Best Garden Ever” by Diane Miessler (ISBN# 9781635862072)
“Old-Time Gardening Wisdom: Lessons Learned from Grandma Putt’s Kitchen Cupboard, Medicine Cabinet, and Garden Shed!” by Jerry Baker (ISBN# 978092243353)
This year I did something I’ve never done before & I really think, if you’re in a position to do it, do it! I decided to enroll in the first run of the “Growing Gardeners” course with Jessica Sowards (Roots & Refuge Farm) & Jillian Ragan (Whispering Willow Farm), & it has been the best money I’ve ever spent on my garden. There are podcasts, videos, & PDFs that contain so much information & really dive deep into topics such as soil health, seed starting, or the multitude of ways you can garden. I have learned so much from these two power house women & I really think this will be my best gardening year yet. Right now I’m at the tail end of the live run but soon the course, in its entirety, will be posted here for you to purchase & complete at your leisure.
One more resource that is maybe… unexpected- my garden journal. I started a garden journal because I forget things & I wanted to document my journey. It’s so helpful to look back at year 1 or year 2 to see what I grew, what worked, what didn’t. It’s also interesting to see what notes on weather patterns I took!
This is a massive list of resources & they have all been immensely helpful BUT there is also a lot I’ve learned by trial & error because, as with most things in life, the best way to actually learn is to get your hands on it.
Are there resources you turn to? Let me know in the comments below!