We’re guessing that, like us, you’re constantly striving to improve your garden and your gardening methods … to make your composting processes a little bit more efficient … to strengthen the microbial activity in your soil a little bit more … to improve your favorite vegetable variety through seed saving and experimentation … and the list goes on!
And while you can achieve those goals by yourself, no one would argue that getting a little help from others makes the process a whole lot smoother, faster, and more fun!
So where do our Community members turn when they’re looking for advice and information on gardening, homesteading, and home medicine (besides The Grow Network, of course!)?
We asked them recently and compiled the following list of recommended resources. (Many thanks to Fibrefarmer, Marcia, Mary Kathryn, Permies949, Scott Sexton, tracyWandling, and all the other TGN Community members who contributed their ideas!)
Wildcrafting, Foraging, and Plant Identification
- Eat the Weeds (blog and educational resources about foraging and edible wild plants)
- Plants for a Future (database containing the edible, medicinal, and other uses of more than 7,000 plants)
Gardening, Farming, and Permaculture
- Acres USA (Marjory says, “Mostly geared towards small farmers, the in-depth articles on a particular crop are great.”)
- Your local Extension office (Merin says, “The climate and wildlife here (SW Colorado) are so different from those where I used to live (SE Texas) that it has been really helpful to be able to speak to our Extension agent and fellow Master Gardeners in this area to learn how to tackle some of the differences. A lot of them are also a wealth of information on organic and permaculture practices that work in this area….”)
- MIgardener.com (gardening products and information)
- North Texas Vegetable Gardeners Facebook group (“I love this group because it’s focused on gardening in my region,” says TGN’s social media manager Ruth Reyes-Loiacan. “It’s nice to have a large community of local people doing the same thing. Currently, the group has 29,000 members!”)
- Permies (Of this forum for permaculturists and homesteaders, tracyWandling says, “It has a category for just about everything, and a wide variety of contributors of all levels who share their experiences and expertise with readers. It’s a great place to ask questions and interact with others who are doing the same things you are and are always willing to lend a helping hand. Great site.”)
- PermaEthos (educational and community-building site)
- Permaculture Apprentice (permaculture-related resources)
- Permaculture Design Magazinere (contains articles on eco-regeneration, broadscale farming systems, agroforestry, home garden design, and community action)
- Permaculture Magazine (magazine for permaculture enthusiasts covers all aspects of life)
- Praxxus55712 YouTube channel (Marcia says she also recommends the YouTube channel WisconsinGarden.)
- Self-Reliant School (information on growing, cooking, and preserving food)
- Stacey Murphy/BK Farmyards (offers educational training about backyard farming and real food)
- Tenth Acre Farm: Permaculture for the Suburbs (information on micro-farming)
Homesteading and Sustainability
- BackYard Chickens (Merin adds that, with nearly 100,000 members—many of whom are both knowledgeable and willing to share information—the related Backyard Chickens Facebook group is also a great resource for backyard chicken keepers.)
- Food in Jars Community Facebook group (Wendy Meredith says it offers “great ideas and new recipes on how to can much of what I produce.”)
- MelissaKNorris.com (information on raising, preserving, and preparing food; home of the Pioneering Today podcast)
- Mother Earth News Magazine (articles on homesteading and organic gardening, with a focus on self-sufficiency and sustainability)
- The Prairie Homestead (blog offering homesteading advice)
- Starry Hilder’s Off-Grid Homestead (blog about off-grid homesteading)
- The Survival Podcast (online talk show about modern survivalism, sustainability, and alternative energy)
Health and Herbalism
- Aviva Romm, MD (a mix of traditional and modern medical advice for women and children)
- Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (nutrition information from a Gut and Psychology Syndrome perspective)
- LearningHerbs.com (remedies, recipes, and products for herbalists)
- Rosalee de la Forêt/Herbs With Rosalee (information about using herbs for food and medicine)
- Rosemary Gladstar/Sage Mountain (offers courses, conferences, and other learning opportunities and resources related to herbal medicine)
- The HomeGrown Herbalist School of Botanical Medicine (offering an online herb school, workshops, plant walks, herbal products, and more for practicing and aspiring herbalists)
- Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy by Kerry Bone and Simon Mills (Scott Sexton says, “If you are looking for detailed, technical information on medicinal properties of plants, this is a great text! I also really enjoy Medical Herbalism by David Hoffmann.)
Finally, regardless of the category, remember that your local library likely offers myriad excellent, free resources. “My library is a tremendous source of inspiration,” says TGN Community member Fibrefarmer. “They have the best books for the best price (free), but I have to give them back after a few weeks :(. But still, it saves money, and they let me borrow the books as many times as I need. If they don’t have the book, they can order a copy or borrow it from another library via interlibrary loan.”
What about you? Is your favorite resource on this list? If not, let us know about it by leaving us a note in the comments!
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The Grow Network is a global network of people who produce their own food and medicine. We’re the coolest bunch of backyard researchers on Earth! We’re constantly sharing, discovering, and working together to test new paths for sustainable living—while reconnecting with the “old ways” that are slipping away in our modern world. We value soil, water, sunlight, simplicity, sustainability, usefulness, and freedom. We strive to produce, prepare, and preserve our own food and medicine, and we hope you do, too!