Saturday, January 10, 2009

Start a business.

I think it is officially the slowest time of year around here…the statistics are a bit skewed because “The Blizzard of ‘08” pretty much brought all of our work to a grinding halt for two weeks. Now the snow from has melted and it is raining again. Raining just enough so that there are avalanches in the mountains and floods in the valleys. I am starting to disagree that global warming is making our weather unpredictable. It is just a matter of getting used to the new pattern: one disaster after another.

I am attempting to take advantage of the relative quiet and follow up on some of the mail I have been getting. Like countless others, in the mornings I have no choice but to check my email. Each day there seem to be more and more people contacting us about all things urban farming…One of the most common inquires goes a little something like this…”I live in (insert any city or state in the U.S) and have been thinking about starting a vegetable gardening business. I came across your website and was hoping you could answer a few questions…”

I am taking this as a good sign. I have recently received emails from Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, and California, among others. On the chance that someone out there is reading this blog and thinking, “How fine and dandy this guy has time to write his inane blog but the good lord knows he never answered any of my emails!” I apologize tremendously. The main issue is that (as shown in recently published reports) too many hours in front of the computer can lead to dangerous conditions such as “Rapid Callus Loss and “Clean Fingernails”. Writing any more than 4 emails at a time can send me off the edge into an uncontrolled compost-shoveling binge. As we all know, the only thing you have is your health (that and a 'Meyer Improved Lemon' Tree).

That being said, I am continually inspired to hear that so many people are interested in the same issues as we are. I only hope that I can offer some help. The only real thing that I can usually tell people is: it is working in Seattle. The community of people here are so great and supportive of sustainable agriculture projects that I can only hope that a similar sentiment is burgeoning elsewhere. I don’t know much, but I do know that many people out there want to know more about “where their food comes from”. We are finally reaching a point where this subject is more widely discussed in mainstream culture. No longer do you have to own Birkenstocks and beeswax candles to be a vegetable gardener. What reasons do people give for their new interest in this subject? There are as many responses as there are people, but I can tell you this, these are the two authors that people have usually been reading before calling us: Michael Pollan who wrote "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food" and Barbara Kingsolver who wrote “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle). I suppose it was only a matter of time before people started to realize that they don't really feel that good after eating Cheese Nips and Sierra Mist...

Anyways, the point is, people want to grow their own vegetables, spring is on its way, next week I get to start the first of our seeds, and if you are considering going into the vegetable gardening business, Godspeed…Although maybe not if you live in Seattle (there are enough people getting into this type of thing that we might already be looking at market saturation)

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