Resources for the Garden

Garden in bloom, summertime

Book Notes

Books that improved how I garden.

All New Square Foot Gardening -

Mel Bartholomew

All New Square Foot Gardening Book Cover
Image source - Find at your local library


I don't want to plant an entire 30 foot row of lettuce all at once and have them all be ready at the same time and Mel says that's ok.

This book was the gateway into gardening for me, in that it made me excited about it. I'd done a little before, but after reading this, I began to think more critically about how I grew things and went beyond the row planting that's suggested on the back of every seed packet. Bartholomew outlines a system for home gardening that makes it accessible, easy and enjoyable, rather than a lot of work.

Quick to read and digestible, if you are new to gardening or are feeling like your enthusiasm for it is waning, this is a great book for you to get excited about gardening.

If you'd like a quick overview of square foot gardening, check out this easy to follow guide from Homesteading Tips 101.

The Market Gardener - Jean-Martin Fortier

The Market Gardener Book Cover
Image source - Find at your local library


Jean-Martin Fortier is a Quebecois farmer, famous for promoting biointensive farming techniques which are highly productive, profitable and rely on low tech, human-powered horticultural practices.

The tagline on the back of the book is "Grow better, not bigger", and in that vein, the book questions the large scale, industrial farming complex and presents a viable alternative that promotes more of a balance between making a living, protecting the environment and producing healthy food for people.

It shows that life as a farmer is possible without large amounts of investment in land and equipment and outlines how to go about achieving that life.

The New Organic Grower - Elliot Coleman

The New Organic Grower Book Cover
Image Source - Find at your local library


This book had a big influence on Jean-Martin Fortier and many other small farmers and is one of the best known books on small scale agriculture. Goes in depth into soil fertility, intensive biological vegetable gardening and the tools and techniques Coleman uses to grow his produce. 

Seed Companies

  • William Dam Seeds -Good variety of seeds at good prices. Family run company out of Ontario.
  • Westcoast Seeds - Beautiful website with growing guides, pest information and harvesting directions for each variety of seed they sell. They even give each variety a difficulty rating, so you know what you are in for.
  • Wildrose Heritage Seed Company - Open pollinated, untreated natural seeds based in Lethbridge, Alberta. The packages they send their seeds in are resealable with the intent that you can save your own seeds for next season.

YouTube Subscriptions

Gardening channels I recommend to others.

Charles Dowding - Has a good variety of videos shot at his working market garden in England. The channel content ranges from how-to guides to garden journals to videos about specific crops. His focus is on no-dig garden methods, using no tillage and focusing on building soil structure and biology, which in turn produces healthier plants and better vegetable yields.

He has a real wealth of knowledge and experience and is genuinely so pleasant to listen to. I find watching his videos relaxing and will often put one on before going to bed.

Josh Sattin Farming - Josh Sattin runs a small farm in the USA and posts videos about the systems and infrastructure he has developed for his farm business. He shares the insights coming from his experience that are useful if you are interested in growing food or farming on a small scale.

Epic Gardening - Kevin Espiritu's channel, featuring Jacques the Garden Hermit and Chris now as well, where they regularly post informational garden videos on a variety of topics. It's light-hearted, fun to watch and always has helpful knowledge to share.

Kevin recently bought a house and has been gradually developing the garden and I've been really enjoying following the journey.

A few more: