Okay, getting back into the groove here at the Greenhorn Garden. Now that Christmas and the holidays are over, now is a great time to sit down and start thinking about the 2013 growing season.

 

Wanting to do something fun, here's list of gardener archetypes I've observed over the past few years:

 

The "Oh, Crap!" Gardener: This is the guy who realizes amid May that he's forgotten to buy seeds and garden supplies. The raised beds haven't been worked or prepped. No compost. No leaf mold. Nothing.

 

This usually ends in a mad dash to the nursery or big-box garden center to spend mass cash on tomatoes, peppers and other veggies already started and buying compost that has been sitting in plastic bags in 90 degree heat.

 

Seeds cost pennies. Plants cost dollars. Homemade compost is free. Bagged compost costs a whole lot of dollars.

 

Here's what's cool about the "Oh Crap!" gardener:

  • cool under pressure. Sometimes no matter how much you plan, plans fail, crops fail, and the only thing you can do is rely on the nurseries, big-box stores and farmer's markets to help you through that season.

 

The Mad Scientist: Everything is an experiment. Everything is data driven. This is the person who loves trying lots of new things, even to the point of sacrificing a year's production to try something new.

 

New composting methods, new planting methods, hand over fist, it's alive!

 

Here's what's cool about mad scientists:

  • If you keep experimenting without killing the whole garden, eventually you stumble onto something. When you do you'll have your own method in place to teach to others, duplicating your efforts all the more.

 

Gardening needs more mad scientists to keep pushing the boundaries of what can be done.

 

The Accountant: Numbers. It's all about the numbers: the cost of gardening supplies, equipment and the total harvest by weight compared to the costs of vegetables the grocery store. Every pound during the vegetable harvest is accounted for. Accountant-type gardeners can tell you to-the-penny how much their garden efforts are worth.

 

Here's what's cool about you accountant types: profit and loss.

 

Accounting for your efforts gives you a realistic view of gardening. Some vegetables not worth growing because they are much cheaper to buy from the grocery store. Certain vegetables are far cheaper to grow yourself, especially if it's out of season. For instance never buy tomatoes from the grocery store in winter. Grow a bunch during the summer. Dry, freeze and can to use amid winter.

 

The Dreamer: Are you really saving money, or is this all a daydream? The birds, the flowers, the fresh air, the organics, saving the planet, and preserving biodiversity all the good stuff. Dreamer-type gardeners live for the cause. It's all about the greater good, good will toward men.

 

Here's what's cool about the dreamers:

  • Many of the organic methods used to this day were preserved by people who had a passion for a more sensible way to garden. Without these dream warriors, the modern urban organic movement would be dead.

The Doomsday Prepper: You've seen the TV shows and YouTube videos of people preparing for the zombie apocalypse. I mean it's either the machines, zombies or some epic disease that'll wipe us all out, right?

 

Here's what's great about Doom's Day Preppers: pragmatism.

 

Everything they do is from a practical standpoint. In the aftermath of CAT 3 or greater zombie infestation, we may not have fuel to run rototillers, so things are done by hand. You'd have to rely on the ecosystems to provide the necessary nutrients for plants to grow. You'd have to learn how to save seed from season to season. This practical way of gardening will make you gardening tasks much easier, and gives you a lot more skill as a gardener.

 

Carry on, Mr. Doomsday Prepper. We solute you.

 

The Librarian: Similar tenacity to the mad scientist, but more reliant on the works of others. They are researchers by nature. Digging. Finding. Learning. Growing in understanding and wisdom.

 

Here's what's cool about the librarian-type gardeners:

  • If it has been done, then someone probably wrote a book about it. Learning through other people's experiences, successes and failures guides their own learning process.

 

Learning from others who have gone before you can take you a long way in gardening. Think about it: How much has changed in vegetable cultivation since the planet had it first garden? In principle nothing has changed.

 

In summary of all these types of gardeners, which one are you?

 

Grow'em big,
Damon


Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.