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Brett Aldrich

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since Mar 29, 2015
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Recent posts by Brett Aldrich

Pearl Sutton wrote:Gets back to "not me, but SOMEONE should do this!" I say not me too, maybe someone will say "Oh Oh!! ME ME ME!!"

Haha just like NIMBY (Not in my back yard) 😁 Although I like YIMBY (YES in my back yard)

But that's not a bad idea, to see if the seed business would translate to my bio region.
4 years ago

stephen lowe wrote:

I think that what you're missing is that it's not a business, it's a non-profit. If you've never been, Willits is a tiny community and it seems to me that BG has been a passion project for the people involved more so than a profitable business. My guess is that their seed business is beginning to consume more time and energy than they want and that their workshops and educational work is generating more revenue, making the seed business less important to their core mission of spreading this knowledge of food production. I'm sure if there were someone within their circle that was chomping at the bit to take over the seed business that would be the route they would take. You should contact them though if you are interested, maybe they haven't had any offers.

I see the point you're trying to make, even though a non-profit is a business, just with a different focus. You can't run a non-profit that makes no money unless you're being subsidized. Now maybe Ecology Action was subsidizing Bountiful Gardens, but we are making a lot of assumptions. Especially if we're assuming that no one would step in to run the day to day operations of Bountiful Gardens. We can assume that the running of BG is a labor of love, but I doubt that the business makes no profit. Additionally, many businesses have started as a wing of a larger non-profit organization which was then spun off onto its own because it was making too much profit to keep the larger organization within it's legal tax status. Not saying that this is the exact situation with BG, but I wish there was some more info that shed some light. Maybe a blog post or something that spoke to the challenges they face and why this ultimately was the right decision for the community and for themselves. As it stands, the email essentially states mission accomplished and peace out while we do this other stuff we like to do.

And that's a great idea to contact them about taking over the biz myself 😁 Although I'm pretty situated on my property, here in the Willamette Valley of the PNW. I'm working on building a food forest, so I'm definitely not looking to move any time soon. Haha
4 years ago

skip wilkins wrote:We have been privileged to live next to Bill and Betsy Bruno for almost 14 years, they have been running bountiful gardens seed  program.

The most delightful people, it has been really beautiful being able to go to their tiny store in Willits and talk about the garden and plan...
We have been fortunate in that they have had many previously hard to find ancient grains etc.
Their shop will be greatly missed, but they will still
be our neighbors.
If you are not familiar with Ecology in action, the parent program here in Willits,ca , look them up and you will be amazed at all that has been accomplished literally around the world.
They will still have the demonstration garden nearby and will still be conducting the sustainable agriculture program here in Willits.

I really appreciate your post. I have no doubt that the people behind these organizations are amazing. But I still think the decision to close the doors on Bountiful Gardens is misguided, or short sighted. It would be great to hear from someone directly involved with Bountiful Gardens or Ecology Action, to discuss further why Bountiful Gardens couldn't succeed on its own, or why they couldn't create a new goal for Bountiful Gardens to reach for. An extended mission, if you will.
4 years ago

Bountiful Gardens wrote:An Important Announcement
from Bountiful Gardens
and Ecology Action

We are very sorry to tell you that Bountiful Gardens will be closing at the end of this year.

Ecology Action Executive Director John Jeavons announced today that our last day of sales will be December 13, 2017. We want to thank you for your support over the last 32 years.

Bountiful Gardens was started as an educational non-profit business in 1985 to preserve vanishing heirloom seeds, and to raise awareness of seed-saving and organic methods. Now these are household words. Dozens of heirloom seed outlets now exist. Our mission is accomplished. The non-profit will continue its mission to teach sustainable food production in other ways.

We packed seeds for 2018 before the decision was made to close, and have a good inventory on hand. This is a great time to get your garden seeds for 2018 at a discount.

All Seeds are now 15% off.

Most Books and DVDs are now 20% off

Bountiful Gardens is a project of Ecology Action, a non-profit that teaches people to grow a complete diet with no outside, purchased inputs. Using EA's biointensive method, millions of people in Africa and Latin America have learned to grow their own food supply, seed supply, and fertilizer. In America, the method is taught in workshops, online, and in John Jeavon's best-selling book How to Grow More Vegetables.

Our next gardening workshop will be March 3rd in Willits, CA. For registration, or to see all the wonderful EA projects around the world, go to:

4 years ago
I got this email and I have been going through a mixture of emotions. On the one hand, I understand a mission and some missions come to an end when they are completed. Not that I generally take a business' mission statement as a final destination. Usually good businesses don't just disappear when they are doing well. On the other hand, I can't help feel betrayed to a degree. The way the email read to me was that the Director of the Ecology Action Executive, John Jeavons  was tired of running a business. Of course that's me putting words into his mouth, because he didn't specify that exactly. However, he does say that Bountiful Gardens has been very successful since 1985, so I don't understand why Ecology Action absolutely has to be in charge of it for Bountiful Gardens to continue doing good in the USA. Why not spin it off into its own stand alone business??? Why leave just because words like heirloom seeds are "household words" or because there are other seed catalogs out there??? Hasn't John Jeavons ever seen a seed competitor bought out by a faceless mega corporation? I don't believe we live in an age where our seeds are safe yet, and the work Bountiful Gardens was doing is top notch. We need more companies like them, not less.
In closing, I am saddened by the news that they are closing, and I will try to take advantage of the discount, but shame on them that they are closing the business rather than allowing it to continue onwards without them in charge.
4 years ago
Thank you for the update!!! Your berm is looking good!!! It's crazy how quickly some seeds will sprout. Did you look into soil inoculants? That could help create a healthier root system and help to break down the woody material. Again, looking amazing. I'm planting Russian comfrey and crimson clover today in my HK project. Good luck!
7 years ago
I guess what I'm really trying to say is, since scientific literature is really starting to pin down the many factors and relationships, a definitive source for all of this combined information would be extremely helpful. Especially if it had a search function that allowed you to punch in your niche factors and then it would recommend plants, fungi, or lichen to place in the niche. Maybe someday
7 years ago
Hey James, thank you for the response! I know what you are saying but I'll have to disagree with your assessment that we can't reduce what happens in the soil, down to a science. Since science is nature and nature is science, what we do when we experiment and observe our environment is to practice the scientific method, even if we aren't publishing papers on the subject.
Now, anecdotal evidence is important because it gives hard science a place to start and we can all benefit from understanding the many interactions between soil microbes and the nutrient cycle. Considering the many factors in growing one plant, from sunlight to moisture and everything in between, it seems like a daunting task to collect and manage all of the reasons that a plant would behave in the way it does from one property to the next. However, we are already on our way to really having the details pinned down. Science isn't out to disprove anecdotal evidence, but merely to understand "why" and to weed out (no pun intended) misinformation.
In the case of the gardener who was able to successfully grow two plants together that shouldn't have thrived in close proximity, we need to understand what about their environmental factors made the plants thrive. By understanding the relationships, we can tailor our gardens to their maximum potential. Especially in the case of growing an integrated forest garden where all niche needs have been filled by the garden itself.
But that doesn't mean the relationships aren't poetically beautiful. I find loads of beauty in science. As an artist, the best garden designs aren't only functional, they are aesthetically pleasing and understanding the complexity of it is beautiful in its own respects.
7 years ago
GH Organics companion planting:

The Desert Echo: food forest gardens planting guide

The Natural Capital™ Plant Database
(Requires membership, Thanks Ben!)

Foraging Texas
(Great resource, even if it's only a log of the plants this gentleman encounters around Houston. Many of these plants can be found all over)
7 years ago
Thank you, Michael. That makes sense. Do you happen to have any source for this info?
7 years ago