Authenticity vs. fiction in the garden

The Dig, Drop, and Done Bulb Ladies post sure hit a nerve. As a juxtaposition I want tell you about another company that

is creating buzz in a different way. Baker Seed is a company I have written about before in a post called "Closed on Saturdays". Baker seeds is a Missouri company that specializes in hard to find heirloom seed. Jere Gettle and his wife Emilee started the business in 1998 and it has grown since. They recently opened a "Seed Bank" in an old bank building in Petaluma, California. They are closed on Saturdays, which in retail is almost unheard of. Most amazing they have organized the first National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa California in September.  The list of people attending and speaking is impressive with Alice Waters, Dr. Vandana Shiva, and others. The expo has events, a trade show featuring 250 natural vendors, and demonstrations. I want to go! Let me get this straight, it took a young couple from Missouri to come to uber hip Santa Rosa in The Bay Area to put this on? Why hadn't it been done before?

While at The IGC show in Chicago last week I had a chance to meet Jere Gettle. While standing in front of their simple booth someone commented on the "old time" clothes the people in the booth we're wearing. I was told, "they dress like that all the time". In other words they are authentic, unlike the Dig, Drop, and Done Ladies. That's why I was attracted to their booth and company. These people are real, and are offering you a way to grow a lifestyle based on authenticity and self-reliance. They are even closed on Saturday's (religious reasons), yet it doesn't seem to hurt their business. They actually inspired me to close my nursery on Sunday's (not religious reasons).

So how is it that a young couple from Missouri can create this kind of buzz just being themselves, and the bulb industry feels the need to come up with a group of fictional characters to sell bulbs? What's going on here? People will respond to authenticity. We have become jaded to the constant barrage of phoniness and migrate to companies that are truthful and authentic. Perhaps if the Dig, Drop, and Done Ladies we're real people it might be more effective.  In addition The Bakers are offering a lifestyle based on the growing of pure food. The Dig, Drop, and Done Ladies are offering a quick fix so they can continue their "lifestyles" outside of gardening. The garden is a second thought with The Ladies, the garden is the main event with the Bakers.

These days people are desperate for a authentic, hopeful message. If you give people the tools and knowledge needed they will respond. We underestimate the amount of work people are willing to put into their garden IF they are inspired. Let's quit trying to make gardening "easier". Let's be truthful about the work and rewards of gardening and we might create a new "passionate gardener".