My name is Bob, and I’m a gardener. They say the first step is admitting your addiction, but I don’t have any desire to cure this one! I’ve been gardening for more than 4o years and over that time have had small backyard gardens and at other times acres of produce for market. These days I’m
unemployed semi- retired and have some time to work on projects like this.
I’ve been on the internet pretty much since it started and I’ve always found that when I’m trying to research a topic the best source of down to earth information are forums focused on a specific topic. People with real experience who share that will help you learn more about a subject in a short time than any other method. I’ve been amazed to find that there is a severe lack of good forums in the gardening world.
There are forums out there with a handful of members that are more or less chat sites for a few people to talk to each other, there are forums with quite a few members that are more or less controlled by a handful of posters, and there are forums that are so specific they’re of little general use. I’ve decided to start a site with information about gardening in my region, the Pacific Northwest, specifically the western portion subject to the maritime climate with relatively warm, wet winters and cool dry summers. I hope at some point to develop a community discussion site and have a number of contributors to the site to provide the widest possible range of experience and knowledge. People and companies here in the PNW that make significant contributions to the world of gardening will be featured and I hope to do some interviews.
I’ve always grown a big garden and kept chickens and sheep, so along with hunting and salmon fishing my family always ate a good percentage of food that we produced ourselves. These days I’m trying to sell produce at the small farmers market in my town and producing about 90 percent of my diet, at least for much off the year. I have about 40 fruit trees of all kinds, perhaps 500 row feet of cane berries and a third of an acre or so of garden, so it keeps me busy, especially this time of year. I finally got a hive of bees this year and it’s been a lot of fun.
I grew up in the Midwest and gardened and farmed there until the mid-80’s when I moved to western Oregon. I had to relearn everything I knew about gardening, so much was different from what I had grown up doing. I had to get used to new seasons, new weeds, new pests, new soils and find new varieties that would produce well in our climate (finding blackberries that would do well was easy!).
Fortunately, our seasons are generally mild and most plants will grow well where if given a chance, plus we have some great resources here such as an abundance of small seed companies that produce seeds acclimated to our region, some great garden writers and plant breeders and some Universities that do some great research. There are also many expert gardeners here with many years of experience producing high grade produce, but I’ve found many of them like to hold onto their knowledge awfully tight.
I can understand that if you’re relying on your produce for a living you don’t want to give up a competitive advantage, but at some point knowledge needs to be shared or it will be lost forever. The Internet has brought us the idea of open source projects, where a group of people collaborate on a project with the result being shared freely to the world. An entire computer operating system and thousands of programs have been created this way as well as enormous projects like Wikipedia, the greatest encyclopedia of knowledge the world has ever seen.
The site is brand new and I’m busy developing content while getting my gardening done. if you have something you’d like to contribute just drop me a note through a comment or email me at *protected email*.