I’ve finally started outlining material for a book on gardening. I’m conceiving an art-book of sorts, more like a cookbook that you can open to any page and find artwork, poetry, diagrams, and inspirational stories from gardeners. Interspersed will also be some practical principles and gardening techniques. I’m envisioning a call for entries to get submissions from folks to include. A rigorous index will make the book practically navigable without a linear narrative. Most gardening books on the shelf at the store are really ugly and boring and uninspired.
Here’s how I organized my random brainstorms so far. Please email if you have additional categories or content that fits under these.
Would you like to contribute content to this book — art, poetry, essays, photography, editing?
“What We’d Like to Tell You About Gardening” (working title)
n raised beds
n shade structures
best things to grow each season in Central Texas
understanding the seasons
growing tomatoes in ATX
when is it time to let go
what should your garden look like (design)
dealing with “disease”
n moisture meter
n rain-water vs. city-water
n garden fork
Life wants to live
“if it looks like good farming. . .” (Wendell Berry)
“let’s say you have a garden with four raised beds at 4×8 and therefore about 300 unique living organisms to tend to . . . what in your previous experience has prepared you for the embodied responsibility therin?”
a garden is not a machine that produces vegetable foods
“the gardener’s shadow”
“plant the right thing at the right time”
“What good is your philosophy if it can’t grow any corn?”
Winona La Duke’s dad
“gardening is cheaper than therapy”
“gardens as the basis of hope” Grace Lee Boggs
annuals (the lifespan of plants) (seasons)
why do we want to teach our kids about gardening?
what are your gardening goals?
Is there such a thing as a “green thumb?”
who is a gardener? (who is an eater??)
who can afford to garden?
What “good” is gardening?
Grandmas and gardening
what is the lineage and history of vegetable plants?
Failure in the garden
What does it take to eat from the garden?
n physical space
n time commitment
n kitchen (recipes)
Why does gardening make us more fully human?
What is local food? Hyper-local food?
How does local food fit in to local economy?
Why is gardening good for the environment?
a thousand gardens later . . .
n CSA (community supported agriculture)
“if you build a 4×4 garden, it could change your life”
Trojan horse gardening
some things you learn in the garden:
n plant biology
n weather watching
n new recipes
n your yard
n heartbreak (Thomas Merton “results”)
n complex systems
n a glimmer of self-sufficiency
n respect for the Creation
n respect for foraging
n interest in animal husbandry
n sharing w/ people and with pests
n fertility cycles
n soil biology
n neighbors-community (human and non)
n To know something grounding and authentic
n call for submissions
n garden art
n garden poetry
n what does gardening mean to you?
n Favorite story
n Gardening inspiration (who?)
n What are your hopes for gardening?
n Favorite thing to grow
n How did you start gardening?
n What have you learned in the garden?
Subsist to Resist
Green Corn Project
Sustainable Food Center