Each summer we run a series of Twilight Gardening sessions on Tuesday evenings. It’s a lovely way for us to share some of the lessons we have learned developing The Edible Flower Kitchen Garden.
Rather than handing out loads of paper at each of the sessions, this page collates some information that we hope will come in useful for attendees (and non-attendees) when setting up vegetable gardens in Northern Ireland and beyond.
Elliot Coleman – It’s now almost 30 year’s old but I love his book “The New Organic Grower”. Thoroughly inspiring,
Jean-Martin Fortier – JM Fortier wrote a book that changed everything for me. “The Market Gardener” made me (and so many others) genuinely believe that I could set up a market garden, growing the best organic vegetables, on a small scale that could actually make enough money to live off. He’s awesome. Check it out.
David Love Cameron – When I first moved to Northern Ireland I spent many a Tuesday helping out at The Walled Garden at Helen’s Bay. David was doing thoroughly inspirational stuff growing organic, heritage vegetables for the best restaurants in Belfast. Since then he’s been poached by a Michelin-starred restaurant in London and is now working in their kitchen garden. But still, without him I’d not be attempting to do what we’re doing.
Richard Perkins – Permaculture inspiration from Sweden.
Sepp Holzer – The Rebel Farmer. Useful for thinking about things from a different angle in an Austrian permaculture kind of way.
Alys Fowler’s The Edible Garden – Finally, a women on my inspiration list! I love Alys and I love this book.
Creating a Forest Garden – Somewhere between foraging and organic market gardening there is “The Forest Garden”. I spent a weekend in September 2019 at Martin Crawford’s Forest Gardening Course in Devon. Come back in 30 years and I’ll tell you how to create one!
Klaus Laitenberger – Great for advice on varieties and timings suitable for the Northern Irish climate. “Vegetables for the Irish Garden” is a book I always have to hand.
GIY.ie – I love their vegetable directory. Like Klaus’s books, this is great for Ireland-specific information.
SERC – SERC runs part-time gardening classes at their Holywood Campus. I did their Organic Fruit and Vegetable Growing course initially and I’ve complete the RHS Level 2 Horticulture course in 2019. I would thoroughly recommend both.
Charles Dowding – Mr “No Dig” – Great books and great online resources.
Heritage Seed Library – Pay a tiny amount each month to become a member of the heritage seed library. You’ll get free heritage seeds each year and get 10% off at the organic seed catalogue (see below) and you’ll know you’re supporting a great thing.
Organic Seed Catalogue – Good source of organic seeds.
Brown Envelope Seeds – I haven’t actually bought from them but they come highly recommended. Based in West Cork.
Real Seed Company – Great interesting varieties. I bought my Malva Crispa and Aztec Broccoli seeds from here.
Incredible Vegetables – Good for really unusual hard-to- find things
Future Forests – A great place to buy a few hundred trees. They are brill.
Buying Tools & Equipment and Compost
Blackberry Lane – Looking for a broadfork, soil block maker or oscillating hoe. Look no further.
Fruit Hill Farm – I’ve bought various lovely module trays from these guys down in Cork. I also buy organic peat-free potting compost from them. Expensive to get delivered unless you buy a pallet so you might need to club together with others (that’s what I do)
Do get in touch if you have some other useful things that you think should be on this page – or have a question that you think I could answer for you. Drop me an email – Jo@theedibleflower.com