Regular readers here will know that I’m a member of quite a few internet groups and forums, and find them an excellent source of knowledge.

Whether it’s just by ‘lurking’ and only viewing what’s being commented on, or actively participating in the discussion by contributing comments, there’s much to be gained by communicating with a whole range of people all over the world who are doing similar things to you. The format allows you to ask what you think are the most basic questions without fear of ridicule, knowing that someone out there has an answer.

You get to choose your level of engagement to, by either reading the posts on each groups website, or by being sent emails of the posts, either singularly or as a daily digest. (Isn’t technology amazing?)

Following are the discussion groups and forums that I find useful; you might want to check them out.

Community Supported Agriculture networking list

Gardening Organically

Organic Chickens

Organic Homesteading + Gardening

Self Sufficient Farming and Living

Soil and Health

Spin Farmers

there’s a whole new range of groups on social networking and blogging
sites, and while I’m a newbie it that arena, some look promising.

Facebook groups Support Biodynamic Agriculture, Support Organic Farming, Students for Sustainable Agriculture

Flickr groups Local is Beautiful – Growing + Eating Local Food, Vegetables

I really treasure are my favourite sites that weekly or monthly send
out some of the best information available for what we are doing, and
what we’re interested in.

ATTRA Weekly Harvest newsletter

BFA Organic Advantage

From The Soil Up – newsletter

Grow Italian Vegetables news

Growing For Market

Jackie French news

Kitchen Gardens International

Organic Federation of Australia newsletter

Organic Trade Assn O’Mama Report

Rodale Institute – newsletter

Sunnyside Projects Sustainability newsletter

USDA Amber Waves

Lastly, a few blogs that I love to read before the days end …

Tiny Farm blog

The Ladybug Letter

The Beginning Farmer

Small Farm Central – marketing small farms

Real Dirt Environmental news

No Impact Man

Love Apple Farm

Freshman Farmer

That’s about all there is for me. It’s far from exhaustive, although keeping up with it all can be tiring! 

Now I know you’ve got some favourite sites and groups. What are they? Share them by adding them to the comments below.

Photo by goatopolis

  1. I rarely collect them from new plants as I am afraid they may cross pollinate. He has the tastiest tomatoes and I have seeds to last a lifetime as long as they continue to germinate.

    • Love Renee’s Seeds…planted some indoors this witenr and they have been incredible…blogging about them tomorrow…lettuce was up in 2 days and huge in 2 weeks…can’t wait to see them grow outdoors

    • I agree that we need to focus on what we can grow best and keep it simple. Fix your repcie list and grow for that. I have a whole garden strictly for salsa and spaghetti sauce and the herbs that go with it because we eat so much of those things in different repcies.

    • Chuffed.. My gardens awosme.. and i havnt paid for a thing.. besides the occasional One Pound’ shop purchase which i usually just take any way.. oh i forgot was holding that.. -Which is my first way of getting free seeds. Then there’s collecting the seeds from them from the very source.. ie.the flowers, fruit, root and vege which they are!- where there’s Markets and fruit shops theses always a bin out back (or front on garage night) shop keepers don’t usually mind if you ask for their waste either.. i tell them its for my animals. In particular tomatoes, pumpkins and peppers (definitely!), apples, avacardo, carrots (tops), potatoes (all sorts are easy!),citrus, peas, beans.. in fact i cant think of anything that hasn’t worked.. I even have a coconut palm (from a coconut !). Dry the seeds out by wrapping them in newspaper and putting somewhere warm. I put mine on top of the water-boiler. It takes from about a week for say chillies pepper or mandarin seeds to a couple of months, for say date or avacardo. -city style wild-crafting! Then of course germinate them. Quality compost is pretty essential here, the difference compared to using low quality dirt makes a couple of quid worth it. However i find there’s often broken packages of kids craft type grow kits in the shops from which you take the compost tabs that expand in water. when they’re little take them outside for short periods, get them used to the weather and temperature. Morning sun though the window, then outside till the evening then warm at night under the boiler is what i do. Then i transplant them straight into the ground..thirdly.. for The Window box! for herbs and lettuce, its an amazing place. More often now fresh lettuce and herbs is sold in pots -with roots!- from the supermarket. ( i get mine from the compost bin after my flatmates have used the other parts) leeks, spring-oinion, chives, yams, spinach.. any vege sold with roots basically- sometimes even fancy cabbage too.. obviously..plant these! but usually in well drained soil..I have a baby cherry tree and apple. Both these grew from seeds i collect from a nearby attolment. Which has turned out to be my fourth great source of free seeds! The old people there are great, I visit regulary, loads of advice and happy to share their seeds, bulbs, cutting..Its been a real joy,m and i think they like my keen interst.My goal was mostly for a totally recycled garden ie fences, beds, furniture.. its a bit of an addiction. But really if you compare a pound a pound of beams or tommy, or spud, ie. one family meal to a31.30 a packet of twenty, fifty or a hundred! seeds.- In my success- essentially each bean seed has given well over nine times one supermarket purchase. One potato has given me up to eight more potatoes, I now have fresh herbs and fancy lettuce all the time! and will NEVER have to buy tommy again! Its been an awesome project,I am thinking Id like to start a seed exchange sometime.

  2. Its true. seeds other than the more common species are ever more hard to find. I have a huge collection of my grandfathers tomatoes seeds from the early 1990s and before and they still germinate. I rarely collect them from new plants as I am afraid they may cross pollinate. He has the tastiest tomatoes and I have seeds to last a lifetime as long as they continue to germinate.

    • One thing you mentioned is that not many plecas have cover crop seeds. I have found several plecas that sell them, and I am always interested to read about all the benefits that each variety/mix provides. Have you checked into Peaceful Valley? They are one of the plecas that have a really good number of the cover crop products, and also very helpful info about gardening in general. As to Baker Creek, they are at the top of my list as well!!! Thanx for the rundown of your faves!

    • We know just what you mean. We’re harvesting the beans we grew this year right now (Bubblebee, Tiger Eye, and Black Valentine, also all from the faoublus SSE). We haven’t cooked any of them up yet, if you can believe it, but as your post has our mouths watering, I’m sure we will soon!

Near River Produce - Real food direct from our farm located on the NSW Mid North Coast