Andrea Bellamy (@heavy_petal) is a Canadian urban organic gardener, blogger and author of Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small-Space Edible Garden.
We talked with her about her passion and about how to begin gardening. Check out her website for a Freebies page with lots of garden-related printables, an events page with a list of her upcoming talks and appearances and more information about her book.
Speaking of, we’d like to give away a copy of her book. See details below the interview for your chance to win.
What is a cause you’re passionate about?
Andrea Bellamy: Is gardening a cause? I’d passionate about getting people hooked on gardening. I want people to fall head over heels for it, like I did.
What are you reading?
The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler. It’s a beautiful, inspiring and provocative book – it makes me wish I had a front lawn so I could rip it up and plant food!
What do you recommend planting for a beginner gardener?
Whatever they love to eat! If they’re excited about eating it, they’ll probably be more likely to see it through from seed to plate. That said, there are a number of great “beginner choices” to try: peas, beans, lettuces and salad greens, radishes, garlic, rhubarb, and many herbs.
How did you get into gardening?
I didn’t have much choice! My parents are gardeners, and helping in the garden was part of my chore list when I was a kid. Despite that, I really enjoyed it, and I’ve been gardening ever since. For me, it’s both relaxing and invigorating; a great escape from the daily grind.
What’s the biggest reason people don’t grow their own food? What would you say to that?
I always hear people say that they’ve got “black thumbs.” But isn’t that just part of learning how to garden? It’s very rare that when you start doing something you’re going to be a natural, or an expert. A lot of my garden education was by trial and error. And, oh boy, there were (and are!) lots of errors. The secret is to take what you’ve learned, and use it to have a better garden next year.
What are your must-have tools for your everyday?
My family and friends. Spending time outside. Looking for beauty wherever I go. Good quality dark chocolate. Warmth. Words (both reading and writing). Love.