Numen Resource Guide
photo by Sandra Lory
by Sandra Lory, Herbalist and Food Educator, Mandala Botanicals, Barre VT. © 2009
- Seed and Plant Nursery Catalogs are the best 'books on gardening'! Request catalogs from companies that specialize in local and hardy plants (we are zone 2-4 in VT). High mowing, Horizon herbs, Fedco, St. Lawrence Nursery, Johnny's, Seeds of Change. Local Heirloom seeds are special because they have been handed down for generations and are adapted to the local growing season and climate. There is an abundance of germinating, planting, growing, harvesting, storage and seed saving tips to be found in seed and plant nursery catalogs.
- Volunteer at an organic farm, herbalist's garden or friend's garden to accelerate your learning. Schedule garden field trips locally to view plots of land similar to yours, and what is appropriate for the size, slope, moisture, exposure and soil type. Bring a notebook or camera to record your inspirations.
- Talk to vendors at farmer's markets they have the experience with locally appropriate plants.
- Participate in a hands-on garden program or workshops in your area.
- Get dirty and start growing your garden - don't worry about making mistakes! Country mouse and City mouse, seeds want to grow and most are quite resilient. You can read about gardening for years but will not feel the rhythms in your body and understand the process for yourself until you just do it!
- The best mentor you'll find is a single seed: Pick one plant, (be it tomatoes, basil, calendula, cucumber, etc) and follow it from seed to seed one whole year. Plant it, watch it grow, harvest it and save it's seeds for next year. Don't be discouraged if you have to re-plant, you find you've picked a plant that doesn't form a seed at the end of the year, it dies early, etc. - that is the process of life and death that is nature, the best teacher.
photo by Larken Bunce