What can one person do?

No matter where you stand on climate change it's quite obvious that climate talks in Copenhagen will end in failure. Depending on which side of the argument you are on, that's either a great or terrible thing. So many people want BIG things to happen. Trillions spent here, trillions spent there. Flying to Copenhagen in private jets and limousines our leaders seem to be floundering. The answer is not in spending more money or attending useless meetings, but in taking control of our lives. The world we live in is in a transformational time, and it seems everything we use to know no longer applies. We could talk politics or other subjects, but my blog is about gardening and the business of gardening. What can we do to make a better world, and keep our businesses thriving?

It's as simple as planting a tree! The old saying is true. The best time to have planted a tree was ten years ago, the second best time is now. It seems that the garden business has a unique opportunity to change the world and change how the world sees us. When everything seems to be collapsing, the simple act of planting a tree is life affirming. Those of us in the garden world should be driving home this point. Let's quit talking about how the consumer just want's to decorate the yard. Instead lets talk about how our customers can empower themselves to change their world now.

Fruit tree planting season is upon us here in northern California. I can think of no better way to take control of your life, than the act of planting a home food garden.  Using modern techniques like Home Orchard Culture we can grow all, or most of the fruit we need to live. Later on when the vegetable season arrives we an continue planting, so that the majority of food we consume is safe, nutritious, delicious, and from our own backyards. Add the fun hobby of indoor growing along with hydroponics, and we can feed ourselves without depending on the supermarket. It's possible. Take a look at what one nursery in the UK is doing. Otter Farm, according to it's web site is, "the UK's only climate change farm - where we've planting olives, peaches, pecans, persimmons, apricots, szechuan pepper, vines and much more." I love it. The climate is changing, so let's take advantage and improve our lives.

We would encourage garden centers to focus like a laser beam on becoming the source for sustainable lifestyle choices.  Somehow the greenest business around, you local garden center is missing out. Maybe too much attention on trying to attract people who just want to decorate their yard, or worrying about dumbing things down for Generation Y. We need to quit listening to marketing experts, and instead listen to our own hearts. It seems to be a lack of communication by the nursery industry. We should trumpet who we are and what we are about.

In the past the bare root fruit tree season was just a prelude to the rush of spring. Our customers are sitting at home wondering what they can do during the winter. We need to make sure we communicate the hopeful message we have. That there is no more hopeful, life affirming action than planting a fruit tree.