Resources for Gardeners
There's nothing more local than food grown and consumed from ones own garden. Though the distinction between a garden and small farm can sometimes be subtle, gardens tend to be more diverse and serve multiple purposes. The needs and interests of gardeners are also different than commercial growers. Choice of varieties, as well as methods of cultivation, pest control, food preparation and preservation are all questions that arise for those who wish to grow their own food. An increasing number of institutions are also experimenting with on-site gardens to serve the nutritional as well as therapeutic, educational or recreational needs of their residents or clients. These resources are just a small fraction of those available for gardeners. Due to the multitude of resources available that would be too numerous to list here, many of these are focused on Cornell resources and New York State. As always, your local Cooperative Extension office is one of the best sources of information specific to your local area.
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Gardening Resources
- Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners compiles information from gardeners to help decide what to grow.
- Cornell Garden-Based Learning site with learning activities, programs, publications, and other educational materials.
- Dept. Horticulture Extension Outreach page
- Mushroom growing resources from the Cornell Small Farms Program
- New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program
- Cornell eCommons Digital Repository: Gardening Collection - Resources including fact sheets and growing guides for variety of food crops
- Kitchen Gardeners -Nonprofit founded in Maine, empowering individuals, families, and communities to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance through the promotion of kitchen gardening, home-cooking, and sustainable local food systems.
- City Farmer News -Stories and info encouraging urban dwellers to pull up a patch of lawn and plant some vegetables, kitchen herbs and fruit. Continues work promoting urban farming begun at CityFarmer.org.
Across the globe a wide range of efforts are beginning once again to breed and save seed for plant varieties specifically adapted to the needs and conditions of particular communities and regions, an important component of healthy food systems. The reasons for this work are broad, encompassing a greater desire for more locally suited varieties and biodiversity supporting health and resilience, to issues of food sovereignty. The Seed Saving Section of our Breeding & Selection page provides an introduction to this vast and growing body of work. Cornell community members can refer to the research literature section of this guide for database tools that can be used to find more scholarly resources.