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Why did we create GGC?

GGC started in 2021 when a small group of gardeners in Bellingham, Washington realized that, despite the availability of dozens of home gardening apps, we were planning and managing our gardens using spreadsheets, Word docs, and even paper and pencil!

We realized that we didn't use existing home garden apps because they were typically (a) focused on the needs of beginner gardeners, and/or (b) made available by seed companies as a way to make it easier for gardeners to decide what seeds to buy.

While we have nothing against beginners or seed companies, we realized that if we were going to actually use an app to support our home garden planning and management, it needed to be really different. GeoGardenClub--the community and the technology--is the result of many discussions, mockups, and design iterations since 2021.

Here are some of the most important distinguishing features of GeoGardenClub:

We want local insights. Unlike other gardening apps, GGC assigns you to a "chapter" based on your zip code. This allows you to explore chapter-wide data and discover local best practices and optimal planting times from your immediate area. It also means that the gardeners you interact with in the app are your neighbors.

Gardening isn't a solitary endeavor. Home gardening apps are almost always "single user". But even if you want to be the only one tending your garden, it's always useful and interesting to know what other gardeners in your area are doing. When you join a GGC Chapter, you join a community of local gardeners and can easily discover what plants others are growing, when they are sowing, transplanting, or harvesting, and what observations they are making about their plants during the season.

On the other hand, if you want to "group garden", GGC allows you to provide "edit" access to one or more fellow GGC chapter members, which enables multiple people to coordinate garden planning and management through the app.

Historical data is important. The home gardening apps we've seen focus on a single season. For us, gardening is a multi-year activity where we try to build upon our experiences from prior seasons to improve our gardens each year. To facilitate this, GGC enables you to record and analyze garden data over multiple seasons, helping you to remember what you did in the past, and build upon your successes and failures.

Seed saving and sharing builds community resiliency. We buy seeds from companies, but we also want to get better at growing certain plants to seed and using (and sharing) those seeds in the next growing season. GGC enables you to incorporate seed saving into planting timelines to ensure accurate space allocation for each crop. In addition, GGC provides a seed sharing mechanism for each chapter, enabling gardeners to see what seeds are available from fellow chapter members, and review the outcomes and planting timelines for those seeds. We believe that connecting with other gardeners in your local community to share seeds helps foster a culture of resilience and resource sharing.

If the above sounds good to you, and you haven't watched our five minute introduction to GeoGardenClub yet, please check it out! It shows our app in action and provides you with a much better sense of what it's like to be part of GeoGardenClub.

As of 2024, the GeoGardenClub app is currently in closed beta testing.

So, how do you know if you are the kind of person who might benefit from participating in GeoGardenClub? The next section presents our "target demographic"--folks we call "serious gardeners".