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Basic Organic Gardening Advice: Stay in "Learning Mode” | Organic Gardening 365
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Some Very Basic Organic Gardening Advice: Stay in “Learning Mode”

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Organic gardening booksI just wanted to share a quick idea that has helped me over the years to have a successful, productive garden.

In a recent blog post, I talked about how important it is to re-connect with your original inspiration for gardening organically.

One of the best ways that I’ve found to stay inspired is to keep learning and help others learn. It bugs me silly when people think they know everything (and don’t), but refuse to embrace new ideas.

There’s no way to know everything and there’s always new stuff coming along.

OG 365 Timeless Gardening Tip #23: Don’t assume you know everything. Always keep learning.

Of course this is true in every department of life. And it certainly applies to gardening.

If you are a new gardener, this is not a problem. You’re learning all the time. Everything is new and exciting.

On the other hand, if you’ve been gardening for 20, 30, 40 years, you know from experience what works and what doesn’t. You’re not impressed with all those frivolous fads (yes, there are a few in the gardening catalogs).

And sometimes it’s fun to give one a try. Hey, you never know. (Well, sometimes you do).

But the danger is to become too set in your ways and not try some new ideas.

Here are a few things that you might find helpful to keep things fresh and interesting so you will always be learning something new.

I have shared many of these ideas before in different contexts so pardon me if this list seems a little repetitive. But it IS repetitive because I want to emphasize the point that you must keep learning and growing as an organic gardener.

So, here are a few ideas to stay inspired:

  • Read a new gardening book. Stay abreast of the times.
  • If you are really experienced, write a gardening book. You’ll learn so much doing the research. A friend of mine recently published her garden memoirs and is now a sought-after speaker. Don’t you know she has learned a few new things in the process.
  • Talk to experienced organic gardeners to get some new ideas for your garden.
  • Share what you already know with others, especially new gardeners.
  • Take a class. I’ve said this many times. What would you really like to learn about? There is probably a class somewhere near you. Check with your library and local extension service.
  • Teach a class. “Who me?” Yes, you! You learn more from teaching others.
  • Volunteer for a gardening project in your town, at church or at work.
  • Meet new gardeners in any way you can.
  • Get more involved in or start a local garden club. Over the years, I’ve learned so much from the garden clubs I’ve been a member of. It always keeps things fresh and interesting. And I have learned things from other members I would not have even known about.
  • Start a community garden. You’ll learn about a lot more than just gardening.
  • Start a local gardening book club. When several people all read the same book, they pick up on different ideas. Sometimes you can learn a whole lot more from a group discussion than you can just sitting at home reading by yourself.
  • Try new products and new varieties of plants, or gardening techniques (use your common sense). But be willing to make some mistakes. Sometimes our biggest “mistakes” teach the best lessons and make our gardens more productive in the long run.
  • Keep up with and get involved with what’s going on in the larger world of organic gardening and food production. If that doesn’t rile you up/inspire you, I don’t know what will.
  • And don’t forget to peruse your Gardener’s Journal from time to time. Hopefully you have written down observations about how things have worked or not worked in your garden. You can learn a lot from yourself.
  • “Listen” to your garden. You can learn a lot from just observing it on a daily basis. Go stand barefoot in the garden and let the warm soil get in between your toes. Be still. Respond to what you see and “hear.” Trust what you have already learned. But trust your intuitions too.

Let me know what has helped keep you on the cutting edge.  What are your favorite resources and sources of inspiration?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of OG 365 Timeless Gardening Tips.  This is the last post in the series. To see a complete list of all the articles in this series, click here.

If there is anything you would like me to talk about in future posts or questions you may have about organic gardening, please let me know.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks so much for following these blog posts. Let me know if there is any way I can help you.

To inspiration and learning,

James Early
Organic Gardening 365
Helping you get the most out of your organic garden all year long.

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