Mike Haasl wrote:I think this would be really cool too. To answer your questions:
1. Yes. I got a lot of great info from Temperate Climate Permaculture. Their info is tremendously detailed and covers much (if not all) of what I needed to know. Another resource was a nursery that had a good search and sort function but I can't find them now :( I'm collecting my own info but it's never going to be as good as needed for a collaboration (I think)
2. You bet!
3. Sure, if it's easy
4. I'd mainly use it to find other plants I need for a particular spot or to learn details about plants I already have (black currant works over here, can it handle more shade if i put it over there? Let's look up it's shade tolerance...)
5. I'd also suggest adding other attributes like:
Deer resistance Rabbit resistance Soil type (well drained, soggy, loamy) Niche uses (living fence, espelier, chop and drop, windbreak) Maybe juglone tolerance salt tolerance
Ben Knofe wrote:
Regarding PFAF: It is a great site and resource and I used myself in the past. I think it has two main problems to be really useful to me:
1) It is only maintained by two people and there is no way to add data to it or organize/personalize in any way for you. I think having a database is nice but having useful tools for hobby gardeners is much more valuable. Also having a lot of people adding their experiences to and about plants, gives you a better idea what is possible in your garden then by just reading the hard facts on plants. But yes, this needs a lot of people to participate :)
2) It is focused on a lot of data and a lot of data per plant. I imagine a database which is focused on helping you grow that thing, preferably you can even add your hardiness zone / soil type and it shows you already what would thrive and what you need to do when. When I open a plant on PFAF it is a lot of information, which is hard to consume or even get an idea what to do out of it. I think a database with 700 plants which give simple to consume and to apply info on plants is more valuable for a gardener (like me) than a 7000 plant database with all the possible info. That's why I would focus on two things: Practical info on plants for permaculture gardeners (e.g. companions!) and tools to organize yourself (like the already mentioned lists like "What I plan to grow in 2021" or things like that)
To your answers
1) I am doing basically the same and this is why I had the idea how could a tool look like helping me organize all this info. It is the classical "scratch my own itch" type of idea.
2) I think I explained it a bit above, but I think useful tools on top of a database is better than a pure fact based database.
3) This is something I totally want to change, since I believe everyone as _some_ experience, may it be not scientific or not professional, which might help others. I would love to read all the experiences from hobby gardeners starting their garden in my area for example.
Regarding tools: Yes that's the idea but rather long term I would say. If it really gets off the ground and a lot of people start using it, then I would explore possibilities how to make this a sustainable thing.
Regarding moderation: I think this is part of contributing and could work like in stackoverflow or similar sites, where experienced users take the role of a moderator. What do you think about that?
Regarding the permie online landscape: I was searching long for similar projects and couldn't find any. What sites/forums/projects do you think are relevant here?
Regarding funding: This is also something for later. Currently I have time to work on it until the end of year and then I will see how it is going!
Morfydd St. Clair wrote:
Ooh - add slug resistance! (I'm 90% sure that's why there's no Caucasian spinach in my garden, despite multiple plantings.)
Morfydd St. Clair wrote:
Ok, I think I have a better idea of what you're going for. It would be totally fun to whiteboard this out sometime! (I've been wfh since February and the thing I miss most are whiteboards...)
In no particular order:
Moderation can be a really hard and time-consuming thing. Ask the mods here! As soon as you allow user-generated content, you have to deal with it. It can be emotionally draining for people, and it's difficult to automate. The last thing you want is your tool to be used for some jerk to berate and stalk other users, or to host jihadi beheading videos. (My BF works in the Trust and Safety field. It's tough.)
Also, if you're based in Germany you need to be aware of what protections are and aren't available. Many forums are based in the US and kind of coasting on Section 230 neutrality protections. I know it's different here but not the details. And then there's GDPR. :D
So the budget is you and your time. Which is cool! But it matters as to what your scope should be and what tools are available. Again, a serious whiteboarding session would be fun and helpful here.
I suggest contacting other long-time Permies because my impression is that many are... idiosyncratic... people who get kind of territorial. A lot of them have been doing the work for a very long time, are a bit burned out, and might have resentment issues to get over - it makes sense to me to smooth that over as much as possible. And you want people to help - they know people!
--I'd start here with Paul, of course. Uh, not to imply that he is any of the above! But he HAS OPINIONS. And he knows the technical side, and why he hasn't done what you want to do, and could give you tips about building a community.
--PFAF, of course. Maybe they don't WANT to do it all themselves any more. I haven't asked. Has anyone?
--Permaculture Magazine and their homebase the Sustainability Centre. They know everyone in Europe and are pretty tech-savvy.
Anyway, let me know if you want to chat in real-time. We're in the same time zone even!