When I was in college, I started gardening out of containers in my mom’s backyard. I was late to the gardening game, but I was hooked after I harvested that first tomato. Can’t say that I was super successful, but that first try whet my appetite for more.

My hobby turned into a major in college, which then led to a series of jobs on farms and gardens. When I started down this path, I never suspected it would take me into the field as an organic farm-hand or put me behind the steering wheel of a tractor. I eventually found myself leading gardening classes, teaching other people how to start seeds, and all the while doubting myself and my level of expertise.

There are so many others with more knowledge and experience in farming and gardening than me. Being aware of that, I continue to read, experiment, and watch videos about gardening. I’ve joined gardening groups on Facebook, and I’ve attended a local gardening classes. There is always more to learn!


  • Sunset Western Garden Book– this book is a great go-to for gardeners on the West Coast. It covers edible as well as ornamental plants. Sunset divides regions into growing zones and gives advice on what to plant where.
  • How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons- this is a great read with a lot of detailed plans on how to become self-sustaining on a small amount of land. It is also an excellent reference for soil building, companion planting, and more. Not all of us can be homesteaders, but there is still a lot of valuable information to take from this book.


These vloggers have a fun and entertaining style. Plus they know their stuff!

  • Roots and Refuge– Jess and her family have a beautiful homestead farm in Arkansas. Jess’ videos are fun to watch, and I always learn about a new variety of vegetable when she does her garden tours. She is a wealth of information about tomatoes, specifically, but she gives great tips on other plants as well.
  • The Gardening Channel with James Prigioni- Based out of New Jersey, James specializes in Food Forests. He’s very entertaining, and I believe he’s very good at what he does. We actually came across his channel while researching garden boxes and different sorts of lids.


Visiting local farms, purchasing products from them, and attending classes or workshops that they offer is another great way to learn and support a local farm.

  • Yisrael Family Farm-is an urban farm owned and operated by the Yisrael family in Oak Park, Sacramento. The Yisraels have outreach and educational programs to help others learn about farming, nutrition, and how to better support themselves from the land. Their offerings include garden consultations, garden builds, and artisan soap and skin products. They also offer awesome workshops and farm tours.
  • Soil Born Farms– a non-profit educational farm, Soil Born focuses on offering programs and classes to the Sacramento community. They offer cooking, herbalism, gardening, fitness classes and more for all ages. They also host community-focused events and have a seasonal farm stand.

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