About the Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead
Hi, I’m Marc Thoma. Thanks for stopping by!
I am an immigrant from Germany (many, many years ago) that lives in the “Garden City” of Victoria, BC, Canada. I have been actively gardening for over 15 years in various forms.
Anyone who visits my garden is blown away with how much is going on there. I grow many vegetables, fruit and flowers and have a medium sized greenhouse where I start seeds and grow heat-loving vegetables.
People are always asking me for gardening advice and I am always very forthcoming with my knowledge and experience and they really appreciate it.
So much so that I realized other people would also benefit from my knowledge and experience. A gardening blog seems like the best answer to reach the most number of people looking for advice and guidance. And that’s what I initially started but things changed..
How it all started
I started off trying to garden on a patio at my first apartment I rented. Lack of sunlight and space limited what I could grow. Tried tomatoes, no luck. Tried lettuce, some luck. Tried some shade-loving flowers, better but space was still limited.
When I bought my first house, I finally had an actual garden that got decent sunlight and so I started growing my own vegetables, fruit and flowers somewhat successfully.
A few years later when my wife and I decided to move, the unique selling point of our current house was an extensive vegetable garden, greenhouse and established fruit “orchard”. We fell in love with the place and have worked on and off making small improvements.
Life got very busy with the birth of our daughter in 2013 and some parts of the garden didn’t get much attention as our priorities shifted. I stilled tried to grow some vegetables as I wanted our daughter to grow up with healthy food.
At the start of 2017, I finally had time to focus on my garden more and built new cedar raised vegetable beds, new compost bins and improved my greenhouse. I put more effort into growing better vegetables and we had the best year ever, eating lots of produce from our garden
My garden is a refuge for me as I work mainly indoors all day at my day job in information technology (ie. computers). I stare at a computer screen for up to 7 hours and have no windows in my office. I need to be outside at least on the weekend to enjoy the sunshine (and yes, the rain) and fresh air. Working with my hands to create something physical is also something that I miss at my day job.
But there was one more thing that I had dreamed of doing…
This Site and What Makes It Special
After my wife and I read the book Hero by Rhonda Byrne in early 2017, I decided that I need to follow my true calling and start sharing my gardening passion with others in hopes that I can help them grow food and become more self-sufficient.
In the spring of 2017, I registered the domain tranquilgarden.ca and got busy writing and creating valuable content. In October 2018, Tranquil Garden as it was initially named, underwent a name change to Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead and the focus of the blog has changed to articles that focus on my journey to create more self-sufficiency on my 1/8 acre urban property.
- No annoying ads in the middle of the blog posts. You know those sites: you can’t actually read the article because every paragraph or two there is an ad peddling products that have absolutely nothing to do with gardening. If you do ever see an ad on this site it will be in the sidebar or a sponsored post so as not to ruin the reading experience.
- Detailed how-tos with step-by-step instructions. My background in information technology (ie. computers) has given me many years of experience writing technical documentation. The result is that you should be able to follow along and get similar results.
- The unique challenge of producing food in a small urban space. I’m on 1/8 acre, but am still able to grow a large crop of vegetables, fruit and still have some room for ornamental flowers (although that may change to more edible flowers).
- Creating a garden that doesn’t impact the environment negatively. You won’t see me advocating the use of any gas-powered lawn or gardening equipment nor the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Instead I am a proponent for using manual or electric tools, harvesting rainwater, using solar power and using natural fertilizers, pest control and weed control.
So now that you know why this site is the blog for you, you are probably wondering: what can you get out of spending some time on this blog?
First of all there are the blog articles. With almost 100 to choose from, you should find several that meet your immediate needs. You may notice some are not directly relatable to homesteading – that is because of the way this blog started and the shift that happened to homesteading in October 2018.
However I recommend that you browse through more of them as you may find inspiration to try something new! The 8 newest blog articles are always easily accessible on the home page.
Usually I try to add one new blog article per week. I’m always open to new ideas for blog articles so if you have a pressing need to solve a problem or get some information to make progress on a project in your garden, please contact me with your suggestions.
Join The Community Of Urban Homesteaders
Did you really enjoy a blog post that you read? Share the love and appreciation for it by sharing it on social media. I’ve made this as easy as possible to do. See the three icons that you will find at the top and bottom of every post?
All you have to do is click on them (don’t click on the ones above – that’s just an example) and you will have helped ensure that the blog post gets the proper exposure it deserves.
You can also follow me on these social networks (and a few more). Again this is super easy to do. At the bottom of each page you will see these icons:
Again just click on them and this will bring you to my profile on each of the social media sites. Click on Follow or Subscribe and then you won’t miss out on any information I post there.
If you would like to monetarily support my efforts to provide more content, consider purchasing on of my eBooks.
You can find references to both in some of the blog articles and also on the products page.
I am also working on other digital products that will be released when they are ready. In 2019 I will release my first course.
Have a product you would like to see created? Contact me and provide some details. I would love to work with you on developing a product that you and others would benefit from.
What do my readers say?
Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead exists for my readers and is changing my readers approach to gardening and homesteading, whether they are beginners or have been gardening for years. Here’s what they say:
Like you, I have a passion for gardening and growing my own food. It is often hit and miss. So having your blog available for not only useful information but inspiration is a real bonus. Especially for anyone starting out. Over the years I have acquired a bit of gardening know how, but even so, I always find something on your weekly newsletters that adds to my knowledge base or sparks an interest to try something new.
Thank you for sharing your passion and knowledge. Looking forward to the new growing season and the technical information, tips and the yummy recipes your Blog will bring us.
Chris – Gardener
Growing my own vegetables was one of my dreams that I wanted to try one day. But I thought I wouldn’t be able to. However, reading your newsletter made me think that I should actually make the time and try to enjoy the luxury of harvesting my own vegetables. Thank you, Marc.
Ayako – New Gardener
What Does the Future Hold?
I have many ideas for blog posts, products and services. Since this blog is a side pursuit, content is being created slow but consistently.
I hope to add more videos to my YouTube channel, including how-to videos. I have ideas for more eBooks as well as some online courses. And there are always more blog articles to write that answer your questions, challenges and concerns about gardening.
I’m also teaching my kindergarten-age daughter to grow her own vegetables. She has her own small planter that she is excited about, is learning how plants grow and what is required to maintain them.
So one of my many projects will be to produce some content around gardening for children. I’ve already created the first eBook in this subtopic but have lots of ideas as she experiences what it is like to grow her own vegetables.
But it is mainly up to you, dear reader. Your input is valuable to me to enable me to provide the most useful information in the best way to meet the needs of the majority of readers.
I sincerely hope the Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead will help you in your journey to having an urban homestead.
Happy Gardening and Homesteading!