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Staff Picks

Thematic selections of library resources curated by ECU Library Staff


Digital painting by David Hockney of daffodils and a clear blue sky.

We certainly miss stumbling across items in the stacks, but there are still plenty of surprising resources to be found online in the library catalogue.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a garden lately — or maybe you’re already a seasoned gardener — we’ve found a few resources to encourage you this spring and help you pass the time. Even if you’re not interested in gardening, we hope this list gives you a better idea of the types of library resources available to students, staff, and faculty at home. 

Visit our Online/Off-Campus Resources research guide for tips on where to start your search for eBooks, full-text articles, online news sources, streaming videos, and images in the library catalogue. Happy browsing!


Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual
The Conscientious Gardener: Cultivating a Garden Ethic
My City High Rise Garden
Gardenland: Nature, Fantasy, and Everyday Practice
The Permaculture Market Garden: A Visual Guide to a Profitable Whole-systems Farm Business
Public Produce: Cultivating Our Parks, Plazas, and Streets for Healthier Cities
Garden Plots: Canadian Women Writers and Their Literary Gardens
The Food Forest Handbook: Design and Manage a Home-Scale Perennial Polyculture Garden
Early Canadian Gardening: An 1827 Nursery Catalogue
Gardens in History: A Political Perspective
Interior Gardens: Designing and Constructing Green Spaces in Private and Public Buildings

Streaming Videos

A variety of produce displayed on a blanket on the ground

My Urban Garden, Polly Bennell, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

“In this short film, Halifax gardener Carol Bowlby harvests a mouth-watering crop from her small backyard plot. In considering soil quality, lack of space and a short growing season challenges rather than obstacles, she offers a wealth of practical growing tips for urban gardeners. By heeding Bowlby's advice, bountiful organic gardens work equally well on apartment balconies, in small or large city lots or in a rural setting.”

Black cut outs of four people walking in row carrying garden tools

He Plants for Victory, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

“This animated short focuses on Mrs. Plugger, who is eager to start her own Victory Garden. Reminding her that tools are hard to get and that neither of them know much about gardening, Plugger organizes his neighbours to cultivate vegetables in a vacant lot. A message about the importance of cooperation and knowledge sharing...especially during wartime.”

Two people gardening in a field.

Edible City, Collective Eye Films, provided by Kanopy

“This film introduces a diverse cast of extraordinary characters who are challenging the paradigm of our broken food system. It is a fun, fast-paced journey through the local Good Food Movement that's taking root in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the nation, and around the world. Introducing a diverse cast of extraordinary and eccentric characters who are challenging the paradigm of our broken food system, Edible City digs into their unique perspectives and transformative work — from edible education to grassroots activism to building local economies — finding hopeful solutions to monumental problems.”

Full-Text Articles

Rich Soil: The Intertwining of Art, Gardening, Filmmaking and Writing by Olivia Laing
May 2018 Issue 195 p.22

“Gardening situates you in a different kind of time, the antithesis of the agitating present of social media. Time becomes circular, not chronological; minutes stretch into hours; some actions don’t bear fruit for decades. The gardener is not immune to attrition and loss but is daily confronted by the ongoing good news of fecundity. A peony returns, alien pink shoots thrusting from bare soil. The fennel self-seeds; there is an abundance of cosmos out of nowhere.”

Through the Generations: Victory Gardens for Tomorrow's Tables by Susan L. Andreatta
​Culture, Agriculture, Food & Environment
June 2015 Volume 37 Issue 1 p.38-46

"This paper briefly looks into the past where Victory Gardens were considered a patriotic act. Today, would such gardens help with climate change and reduce the number of food deserts? The paper also touches on community gardens and seeks other ideas for connecting people to growing local food at their home or in community environments and to sharing the harvest. Lastly, it looks at dual purposing farmland use for generating power as well as growing produce with a new method called agrivoltaic production. The overall intent of the paper is to get readers to be thinking about applied agriculture and food projects they can do as class projects, at their place of residence, and in their communities."       604-844-3840        520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC