Welcome! In its current form, Sho’Nuff Sistuh’s Guide to Organic Gardening is organized around four pages.
The Home Page is organized around regular garden journal entries. These notes are where I record the garden’s progress, where I make note of real-time problems I am working with. In these notes, I will open both my head and heart to our gardening community. I will attempt to reveal, with as much raw honesty as is possible, the ways in which the personal, the ecological, the aesthetic, the botanic, the historic, the environmental, the ethical and the political are knitted together in the slow, patient labor that, to me, is organic gardening.
In addition, to the journal “progress reports” you will find various essays exposing my own personal gardening errors, horror stories (and a few teeny triumphs). In doing so, I hope to amuse, reassure and inspire readers that “real” gardens are not necessarily and need not be remotely like those marketed by the gardening industry. “Real” gardeners are people with rent to pay, leaking roofs, dogs that pee on shrubs, plant-i-cidal neighbors, unexpected “additions’ to the family, major medical traumas… and all of these lived experiences are a visible (and dare I say sacred?), part of the “real” organic garden.
Last, but not least, the Home Page contains all of the site’s navigation tools.
“Sho’Nuff Sistuh’s POV” is where I expand a bit more on who I am. Strict honesty compels me to spell out for the community the extent and limitations of my expertise as an organic gardener, to spell out the basis of my confidence to speak authoritatively on this subject. Strict honesty also compels me to explain my perspective on organic gardening, my perspective on the state of the commercial organic industry, and the degree to which “purity” of principle/purity of practice are necessary to be part of this community as I see it.
“How-To’s & How Not-To’s” is where I will take up specific gardening techniques and issues that the organic gardener is likely encounter. In addition, I urge you, members of the gardening community, to post questions and raise concerns about problems you experience in the garden from day to day, or in general.
I will always prioritize addressing questions posted to this page over posting my own blog entries. Members of the community should also feel free to raise specific issues they would like me to blog about in more depth. For example, you might ask, “Dear Sistuh, I love my beautiful lawn. Why do you hate on lawns so bad? Why do you continually snark, “kill that nasty lawn!”??
Sistuh’s Kitchen: How do I use all these gorgeous vegetables?! Please, someone! Find me a kale recipe that my children will actually eat! Where can I get more information on preserving my harvest? Can I really make my own bacon in my own home without a smoker? Let’s sit around the kitchen table, talk food, share recipes, save seeds, and plot next year’s harvest!
“Favorite Resources:” Here, I will offer an evolving list of materials – books, journal articles, films, museum exhibits & etc. that have been particularly interesting to me in my continuing education as an environmental and social activist, as a gardening educator, and as an organic gardener. I urge members of the community to submit your own recommendations for similar materials.