I started gardening when we moved to Gisborne 4 years ago. For the first time I had a backyard I could dig up. In all respects I am a total beginner. The first year I dug up a 10mx1m trench during Tahi's nap times, filled it with the compost the previous owner had been making and bought some seedlings. They grew well. The following year nothing grew much though, so I figured I should start from the beginning and learn to make good compost, which I am still learning of course, but getting better at it.
The great thing about being a beginner is that you can see how much better you're doing with every gardening season. The downside is that it is often through trial and error. So far, I manage to get one crop right each year. Three years ago it was zucchinis, we were picking three a day minimum no kidding. The next year it was beans. This year it was salad. We were eating big bowls of lettuce twice a day. After a month Josh stopped saying how great it is to eat fresh salad from the garden in summer.
I was lucky to be given a few gardening books and I kept from buying any because it seemed pointless to add yet another gardening book to our library. Then a friend was talking about the "Koanga Garden Guide" and how it was her partner's bible (a fellow keen gardener). Then I decided to buy it. Then I got the other books and gave them away.
If you live in New Zealand and want to or already garden organically, then go no further. This book has all the information you need. From how to make compost, to how to save your seeds, including seed sowing, garden prep, growing instructions for each type of vegetable, heritage seed information and gardening by the moon. It's clearly written, well explained and it's from here! A table of contents would make it more user friendly, I just end up marking the useful pages.
The author, Kay Baxter, is an accomplished gardener and seed saver. She runs a heritage seed saving business from which you can purchase a variety of heritage seeds from, grown in New Zealand.