Your garden, but not your gardening?

An interview with Carl Alguire of Smart Gardener at Funding Feeding Frenzy '13Wow … sorry to have disappeared for a couple of weeks! We went from having a ton of stuff to report here to being buried in other things and just not getting anything set for the blog! One of those “other things” was getting ready for a series of events that our Nature’s Little Recyclers worm biz was participating in, including last week’s Funding Feeding Frenzy, which we only heard at the very last minute that we’d be presenting on the program.

While this was not a “green” event, I tossed my Flip cam in my bag just in case I might find some folks to interview, and (while the choice was somewhat slim), I did manage to get a couple of pieces pulled together. The first of these was with Carl Alguire, the CEO of Smart Gardener. Frankly, I’d been peripherally aware of these folks for a while, but hadn’t really gotten a handle on what they’re about. Their site says that they’re “The easiest way to plan, grow and harvest your own food.” but, from their presentation it sounds like they’ve got a much broader vision for where they’re planning to be in the upcoming years.

Here’s what Mr. Alguire told us:

The basics of the Smart Gardener site (which is free to sign up for) is an interactive way to plan out a garden. You begin with building a profile that includes basic information such as where you’re going to be setting up the garden (and it then calculates out the weather conditions based on the past ten years), how many people you’re growing food for (adults and kids), and what your food preferences are (no use growing something you’re not going to want to eat!). The site then makes suggestions from a database of 4,000 vegetables and specifies when these should be planted, and how they need to be cared for. Once you’ve made your selections, the site lets you order seed for your garden, and provides you with in-depth information on each variety. The site then works out a garden plan, showing what to plant where (showing seed depth, spacing, etc.), and how much you’ll want to plant to reach the food production you’re looking to achieve.

Once you’re set up, the site then walks you through managing your garden, with a “To Do” list on which you check off each step as it comes up, and it then takes you to the next needed task. All this info gets logged into a “Garden Journal” which shows what’s been done, what needs to be done, and gives you an overview of the whole project. There are also areas for entering notes and pictures of the various points in the process. You can also duplicate others’ gardens, or share your own on the site.

So, what’s the “not your gardening” in the title here? Well, one of the plans they have coming up is to offer gardening services, much like one might have a lawn service, where folks come in to work on your garden, harvesting the veggies as they’re ready, and leaving them for you with recipe suggestions … I suppose that this could be seen as having a CSA for a community garden, but that you’d have all the produce from one’s own garden in the deal, while not having to get one’s hands dirty and work up a sweat!

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Filed under: Green Tech Companies

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