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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)

 

BASICS

garden structures

raised beds

trellises

paths

coops

shade structures

sunlight

fruit trees

herbs

Soil composition


LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

best things to grow each season in Central Texas

         cool season

         warm season

         hot season

understanding the seasons

planting calendars

growing tomatoes in ATX

Bermuda grass


TECHNIQUES/PRACTICE/PRAXIS

succession planting

when is it time to let go

what should your garden look like (design)

composting

soil preparation

dealing with “disease”

mulching

cultivating

fertilizing

chickens

watering

moisture meter

rain-water vs. city-water

companion-planting

square-foot gardening

garden tools

tiller

garden fork

 rake

diamond-hoe

seeder

sharp-shooter

weeding

buying seeds

buying transplants

seed starting

buying soil

 

SAYINGS/QUOTATIONS

what-gives gardening

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”

Wendell Berry

Michael Pollan

Vendana Shiva

Masanobu Fukuoka

“What good is your philosophy if it can’t grow any corn?”

Winona La Duke’s dad

“gardening is cheaper than therapy”

Hobbits

“gardens as the basis of hope”  Grace Lee Boggs


TERMINOLOGY

thigmotropism

Permaculture

“sustainable”

manure

Living soil

Humus (human)

Compost tea

Heirlooms

“organic”

bacillus thuringensis

neem oil

insecticidal soap

fertility cycles

annuals (the lifespan of plants) (seasons)

perennials

 

CONVERSATION PROMPTS

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?

physical space

time commitment

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?


RG BACKGROUND

a thousand gardens later . . .

5-Mile Farms

wholesaling

retailing

CSA (community supported agriculture)

“if you build a 4×4 garden, it could change your life”

Trojan horse gardening


GARDEN-TO-YOU

some things you learn in the garden:

plant biology

wonder

weather watching

pests

new recipes

your yard

economy

heartbreak (Thomas Merton “results”)

complex systems

history

health

a glimmer of self-sufficiency

humility

respect for the Creation

respect for foraging

interest in animal husbandry

sharing w/ people and with pests

fertility cycles

soil biology

gratitude

provisioning

neighbors-community (human and non)

To know something grounding and authentic

Relationships


 

GoFundMe

call for submissions

garden art

garden poetry

what does gardening mean to you?

Favorite story

Gardening inspiration (who?)

What are your hopes for gardening?

Favorite thing to grow

How did you start gardening?

What have you learned in the garden?

 

AUSTIN RESOURCES

Subsist to Resist

YardFarm

Texas Permaculture

Natural Gardener

Green Corn Project

Fertile Ground

Sustainable Food Center

Seedlings Gardening