Welcome! I am Amy Whitney, and I created this site to help other organic gardeners grow good food and good health in smaller spaces. I am based in the Southeastern US, and that affects my choices of topics and solutions to problems, but gardeners in other regions are likely to find some help here, too.
Why smaller spaces? Some gardeners in the Southern US have a yard full of 100 foot tall trees. The abundant shade is great for reducing the air-conditioning bill, but not for growing food. These gardeners may need to fit their gardens into small pockets of sunshine. Other gardeners may be crunched for time, and a smaller garden is all they can manage at this time in their lives. Others may be new to gardening, and starting small is a good way to learn without becoming overwhelmed. If your “farm” is on the smaller side, such as a bed or two or three, or a set of large flower pots or other containers, maybe on an urban or suburban lot, then this site is for you.
Why organic? I am a firm believer in working with and supporting the natural world as much as possible. When faced with a problem in the garden, I look first for an ecological solution. For example, I determine whether waiting for predators (like ladybugs) will take care of a pest problem. For my garden, that usually works. Reaching for a control product — even an organic-approved product — is the very last step I choose. If your attitude toward managing the garden is like mine, then this site is for you.
Is the site content limited to vegetables? Well, no. Most gardens also include herbs and flowers for many uses. Herbs may be grown for teas, for cooking, to scent or enhance cleaning products, and more. Flowers are grown for similar reasons. Also, they make us smile! Joy in the garden is a great reason to grow a wide range of plants/crops. Flowers and herbs also help support pollinators, like butterflies and bees. These garden helpers need all the support they can get, and even small gardens provide important nectar, pollen, and refuge from predators.
I love gardening, growing (and eating) good food, and watching bugs and birds enjoy my garden, too. A long time ago (1983!), I earned a degree in Botany. Working in horticulture at my County’s Cooperative Extension office for almost five years added a lot to my understanding of organic gardening.
That study and research has supported an adulthood full of gardening. I have been growing vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers in this Georgia yard for more than 25 years. Before moving here, I kept a vegetable garden for two years on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. My gardening experience also includes work with a Plant-a-Row-for-the-Hungry garden that “went organic” while I was actively with the group, and helping local community gardens as a guide and trouble-shooting consultant. These have been amazing and valuable experiences.
In addition to this writing online, I speak about gardening and related topics and give workshops and classes for my county’s Master Gardener group, for garden clubs, and other interested groups; I also write for others on a broader range of topics.