TL;DR (too long don't read)
Permies + free time = Permapeople.org
Use Permapeople to...
Research, grow, harvest, trade/share surplus, share knowledge, repeat.
How it started
At the end of 2019, I lost my job. I started working on a new project — a little app to help me track all the plants in the garden — so I could learn a new programming framework. I got to work and put together a little prototype - but then I got some work, and everything fell by the wayside. Several months later - I'm cruising "Recent Topics" on Permies, when I came across a post from Ben: "Would you be interested in a plant database/planner/tool focused on permaculture?". This was the exact project I had in mind. Ben had already done a ton of research, and had a solid plan in motion. Long story short, we connected, put our heads together and tinkered around - and 5 months later we've got Permapeople!
We've built a plant database
. But not just any database — a database that focuses on the *value* of plants; their intrinsic value within a guild, garden, ecosystem, environment. We're also building a shed full of useful tools — like custom plant lists, an open marketplace and garden design tools — that work directly with the database.
We started the database with an import from Plants For A Future. While PFAF is a loaded database full of quality information, and great for searching for specific plants - there are certain things that it just can't do. To improve our offering, we'r working through the PFAF data and displaying what we find most relevant - sprinkling in some Wikipedia information and images, and best of all - allowing contributors like you to edit or add data.
So far, we have over 8500 plants indexed, and you can create and manage lists of plants, or contribute plant information. One of the biggest differentiators for us is that we're collaborative — like Wikipedia, but for the utility of plants. Anyone can add a missing plant - and update or edit data to improve quality.
Our goal here is that everyone's input maximizes the value for every other participant in this ecosystem.
Soon enough, you'll be able to design your garden or landscape using the plants in the database and easily share your experiences with other plant slingers. Permapeople can help guide you down a path to becoming a more knowledgeable gardener.
We've also built a marketplace for regenerative and sustainable items
. You can list products, which are discoverable by location, set a monetary or trade value, add images, and set conditions (available for pick-up, will ship, delivery). When a customer is interested, they send you a message. It's simple, but we like to consider it an *appropriate technology*.
While there are other free plant databases out there, they're just not as active or adaptable as we need them to be, and they lack a marketplace and planning tools.
Over the past month or so, we've been doing extensive research, working to fill those gaps and design the best possible path forward for Permapeople.
There is a bright future for both the database and the open marketplace, and some new planning and design tools are coming soon. We will continue to improve this project to the best of our abilities - but we could use your help.
The database and marketplace are totally free - and will remain free forever. All we ask is that if you try it and find it useful, please add/update one little piece of information on a plant, sign up, or share permapeople.org
with a friend! If you have your own database (spreadsheet or otherwise) — or any feedback on the project at all, we'd love to hear about it!
Our mission is to assist people in growing a productive future
We want to thank a number of you who we consulted and answered some of our questions! You've been invaluable in our process so far!