Garden Library

Cottonwood Garden


Growing Food

Up From the Ground: A Guide to Organic Vegetable, Flower and Herb Gardening by Robin Mittenthal
People have been writing how-to books and pamphlets about gardening for thousands of years. Some of those guides are very good, and today, just about anything you might want to know about gardening is available on the internet. So why write yet another new manual for gardeners? There are several reasons. First, many garden guides provide either too much information about the work of gardening (so much that the novice gardener is overwhelmed), or too little (assuming knowledge of “basic” practices that are actually quite complicated). Second, most books provide too little information about the planting and care of popular crops to ensure successful growing. Third, many manuals tell you to do things but don’t explain why; this manual attempts to give brief, commonsense explanations for why you should do what you are asked to do. Fourth, many books, pamphlets, and web sites talk casually about the use of poisonous compounds that environmentally conscious and health-minded gardeners find unacceptable. Finally, it may perhaps be useful to provide a non-copyrighted manual in electronic format that others can expand, shrink, or otherwise modify to suit their needs and geographic locations.


Vegetable Gardening (Penn State U.)
In my case, my family gardens because you can’t beat the taste of a tomato straight from the garden, and don’t get me started on how tender the asparagus is! Whether you’re new to gardening or have been gardening for as long as you can remember, we put this guide together for you. Who are “we”? We are extension educators in counties across Pennsylvania and specialists at Penn State in various disciplines related to growing vegetables—basically, we’ve dedicated our professional lives to these plants. We study them, we experiment with them, we grow them, wehelp farmers and gardeners grow them, and we eat lots and lots of them. We’re the people who say things like, “Well, actually, it’s not a cantaloupe; it’s a muskmelon and possibly the cultivar ‘Athena’,” at 4th of July picnics or, “Did you know that potatoes are actually underground stems?” at Thanksgiving dinner. We put this guide together to pass on some of this information to you. It’s packed full of information about growing vegetables—from selecting the best site for your garden to harvesting your vegetables. We hope you enjoy this guide as much as we enjoy sweet bell peppers, garlic, zucchini, pumpkins, lettuce, kohlrabi, rutabaga. . . .

— Elsa S├ínchez, Associate Professor of Horticultural Systems Management




Making the Most of your Raised Garden Bed (The Food Project)
Technical Organic Gardening Manual (Grow Appalachia)
Fruit and Vegetable Growing Guide
Guide to Growing your favourite Vegetables (usagardener.com)
Fruit Growing Manual (gardenorganic.org)
Regional Planting Charts (West Coast Seeds)
Crop Planning Tool (West Coast Seeds)
The West Coast Gardening Guide (clayoquotbiosphere.org)
Urban Agriculture Garden Guide (City of Vancouver)
Sustainable Agriculture through Organic Farming (Rodaleinstitute.org)
Urban Farming Guidebook (EcoDesign Resource Society)

Native Plants
B.C. Native Plant Species (bcnature.ca)
Northwest Native Plant Field Guide (nwplants.com)
Gardening with Native Plants (hat.bc.ca)

Composting
Backyard Composting (Washington State University)
Using Compost and Manures (Organic Farming Institute of B.C.)

Permaculture
Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison
A Facilitators Handbook for Permaculture (Idepfoundation.org) 
West Coast Food Forestry (A Permaculture Guide by Rain Tenaqiya)

Gardening
How to Create a Rain Garden (Wwt.org)
The Jar Test for Determining Soil Type (Organic Farming Institute of B.C.)
Flower and Plant Guide (butchartgardens.com)
Waterwise Gardening (GVRD)
Butterfly Gardening (Nanps.org)

Community Gardening
Community Gardens in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and Strathcona
City of Vancouver Community Garden Guidelines
Community Gardening Manual (Atlanta Urban Gardening Program)
Community Garden Guide: Vegetable Garden Planning (USDA)
Central Oregon Community Garden Manual
Community Garden Resource Manual for Southern New Mexico
Community Gardens Manual (Sustainable Gardening Australia)


Weird Stuff
Complete Guide to Home Canning (U.S.D.A.)
Musa Bajoo - hardy Banana plant care
Musa Bajoo Bananas
The Underground Greenhouse: Walipini Constuction (Brigham Young University)
Who Benefits from GM Crops? An industry built on myths (foei.org)

Seed Saving
A Guide to Seed Saving (Navdanya.org)
Seed Saving Guide (Organic Seed Alliance)


Resource Links
Grow Biointensive Learning Centre
Leafsnap Tree Identification
Canadian Honey and Pollen Plants Search
Planting for Pollinators
BugGuide (North American Insect ID from your photo)

* This gardening library is new and growing. If you have any good sources of information that are freely available to the public (not copyrighted) and want to share with us please do. You can contact us at cottonwoodgardenatmaildotcom.  Thank you.

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