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"Serious" Gardeners

Who might be interested in GGC?

The founders of GeoGardenClub view food production as a vast continuum of activities and levels of commitment, as shown in the following diagram:

On the far left side are "recreational" gardeners. These are people who are either just getting into gardening, and/or are relatively uncommitted to gardening. There are a variety of technologies (websites and applications) oriented to the needs of "recreational" gardeners.

On the right side are "farmers": those who make most or all of their living from growing food. Unlike gardeners, farmers cannot operate at a loss. There are also a variety of technologies available to support the needs of small scale farmers (i.e. "urban agriculture") as well as large scale farmers ("industrial agriculture").

We call the people who would be interested in GeoGardenClub "serious gardeners": people who hope to grow significant amounts of food, to improve their garden on a season-by-season basis, and who are open to sharing their experiences with other gardeners and learning from other gardener's experiences.

A serious gardener is not necessarily an "expert" gardener. In fact, one can be both a serious gardener and an absolute beginner! Serious gardeners are defined by intent, not skill level.

Improving a garden from year to year has multiple facets, including:

  • Better choice of plant varietals to improve yield or pest/environmental resistance
  • Better planning of bed contents (soil/amendments and plant varietals) and sequencing of planting to improve outcomes (yield, flavor, timing of harvest, reduced pests, etc.)
  • Better use of resources (i.e. growing season, bed size, water, nutrients)

There are two basic approaches used by a serious gardener to improve their garden:

  1. Individual experimentation and record keeping. A serious gardener tries to learn from their experience over multiple growing seasons. They keep records to provide a more data-driven approach to improvement.

  2. Collective interaction with a "community of practice". Most serious gardeners develop some sort of informal community of fellow-minded gardeners with whom they discuss issues and share experiences in hopes of improving their collective garden experiences. Traditionally, these communities of practice took the form of garden clubs, such as the Garden Club of America. More recently, communities of practice can take the form of local Facebook groups, or even global forums like the Reddit r/vegetablegardening forum. Interaction with others can also increase the enjoyment of gardening and provides motivation.

We founded GeoGardenClub because there appears to be a technology gap with respect to supporting (a) data-driven approaches to garden improvement, and (b) local communities of practice for gardening.

Now that you know the kind of person that we think would be interested in GeoGardenClub, the next section describes the innovative design features that result from focusing on the needs of this demographic.