2016 Garden Goals helping to shape a simple, organic and sustainable food sources for my family.

2015 was a busy year in my garden and on my YouTube Channel and 2016 looking even better! Today I want to go through my top 8 goals for 2016 that you will be able to follow through my weekly videos on Friday afternoons.

Before I do anything in the garden I like to think of the three words I have chosen for my channels motto Simple Organic and Sustainable. These three words really represent what I hope to achieve and show you through YouTube. It is time for the first goal.

Increase the production of food in my garden.

There are plenty of ways to produce more food in a defined garden space. Producing more of my own food defiantly increases how sustainable my home is reducing our reliance on food produced and shipped from other areas.

With the space in my garden built and dedicated I am going to look at strategies to increase the production of the available space. This may include strategies such as

Taking a look at my garden and look for areas that I can add in a few more crops such as around my perennials.

Using the vertical space in my garden to the maximum effect such as using trellis to grow vertically and over other crops such as vining crops over leafy greens.

Rotating faster production crops in between or before longer season crops.

Season extending gardening using cold hardy crops to grow earlier and later in the season.

Testing Garden Assumptions

This series has been a lot of fun and in the December and January episodes I spoke about what I want to get done and you have all provided some great suggestions I have added to my list. Over the course of the season I will be putting garden products methods and practices to the test.

Some of the episodes that are coming up will include testing compost tea, and the fertilizer potential of other free and local resources.

To date the lessons learn from the TGA series have been the biggest contributor to my goal of Simple and Sustainable gardening. We have been able to bust quite a few myths and practices saving time in the garden while allowing us to understand and use the free resources we already have available around and from our homes.

Home Garden Field Trials

Although the HGFT and TGA series started as two different initiatives they seem to have converged as they developed.

At the point of releasing this video I have only published 2 of the 3 results videos for the 2015 trials. I have taken a look at the harvest numbers and if there is anything going on in the soil. Next week I hope to get out the third installment taking a look at the nutrient density of a variety of crops. Some of the product claims state that things like rock dust allow the plants to take up more macro nutrients making them more nutrient dense.

I will be continuing the trials next year and will be working to do a few offsite trials to see if I can’t duplicate the results I have found in my garden. Key to this is finding a poor soil trial area.

Harvest videos How we use the produce including recipes

This year I want to start a new series on my channel where I take a look at what is growing in the garden and using as much as I can in meals I prepare. This will help me in my goal of becoming more sustainable while I eat a healthier wide variety of crops.

I expect this series will take me through using all of the edible parts of the plants I grow and how my family uses them in cooking, canning and fresh eating. Further to this goal I would like to expand the varieties of crops I am growing and using in the kitchen.

Frugal Gardening

Frugal Gardening has been a goal of mine for a number of years now. I have really been enjoying the challenge of learning to grow more food using less money. I have learnt a lot from my family and really appreciate that. This year I hope to continue to learn and implement techniques that reduce the cost of growing food at home.

Public Engagement

Aside from saving some of my hard earned pennies frugal gardening is a much more sustainable method of food production as it avoids shipping altogether!
Outreach through my community and YouTube

One of my newer goals this year is to participate more in my community and on YouTube and Facebook helping to promote simple, sustainable and organic gardening. I feel this is really important to do as if we all produce more food at home we are all becoming more sustainable which is a good thing in my opinion. This leads right into my next goal.

Engage the kids in my life to learn

Part of my public engagement has been planting food producing crops where children can have access to it. Last fall with the help of Greenland Garden Center I planted a combination apple tree in the center island of my neighbourhood along with other fruiting plants.

The purpose of investing in planting these fruit trees and shrubs is to encourage discussion with the neighbourhood kids. My hope is the kids even if they do not have their own back yard gardens are able to foster a better knowledge of where our food comes from and how it is grown.

Further I want to spend more time in the garden with my son, nephew and any other children in my life to teach them more about gardening and the importance of healthy food.

Try New Things such as a new video blog series

Finally I believe this is probably one of the more important goals in life is to try new things. I am not only going to try new varieties in my garden and experiment but I want to try new things on my channel.

I am thinking about doing a video blog series over the course of the summer. I want to show you what a day in my garden looks like and more of the behind the scenes in how I produce videos and manage my YouTube Channel.

I hope this new series helps us connect as friends and provide a platform for more discussions on issues that may not normally make it into videos.


I understand some of my goals may be contradictory to my mission statement and that I feel is alright. I selected the three most important things to me in the garden knowing it would be a balancing act that I will continue to fine tune over the growing season and years to come.

I feel through these 8 goals 2016 is going to be a fantastic year filled with many adventures I look forward to sharing with you. I would love to know what your goals for the 2016 season are and how you plan to achieve them!

About Stephen

The Alberta Urban Garden Channel hopes to promote organic gardening that is simple, sustainable and does not have to cost a lot. We do this by investigating the Science behind gardening, methods, practices and products to make sure that you will have the best chance of successfully growing your own food at home.