The last of our 12 month subscriptions have finished and I am going to take the opportunity to end the experiment here. I’ll take this opportunity to share some of my discoveries.
- The subscription has a brute force effect on our planting habits. We don’t normally mark the passage of a month in the garden, but we often found that we were receiving a new envelope of seeds to plant, while the old one was still on the bench – an undeniable indication that we took to long to plant the last seeds. Which sometimes led to positive action!
- People unanimously thought that this was a good idea, but that doesn’t translate to fat veggies. Which brings me to…
- This solution is rather specific to someone who is already active in the garden. If someone didn’t already have a garden bed to plant the seeds into, that’s a pretty huge barrier that receiving seeds is not going to break down. It is entirely feasible that someone would receive all the seeds for their 6 month subscription before they got a chance to build their garden bed.
- Friends, family and acquaintances dilute the user base. This is common to any project I guess, but people close to me might have said “This is a great idea, sure I’ll get involved” when really they mean “Not my cup of tea, but I don’t want to hurt your widdle feelings”.
- Seasonal misunderstandings: having a nationally accessible website meant that I was getting orders from Queensland and Victoria. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to customise the seed packets for more than one climate.
- The time that it took order seeds and make up the packets was pretty huge. This made me think that there really needs to be an economy of scale. Which could be addressed by:
- This project being undertaken by a seed supplier who already has the stock and part of a packing process.
- Going in with your balls swinging – if you’re going to assemble planting info for one person, you may as well do it for 100. So a huge effort should go into trying to connect with the correct customers at the start. Maybe via online advertising, or sending out demo packets to gardening clubs – all the clubs in your climate!
- If the planting info isn’t on the seed packets, and needs to be on a sheet, like mine, then you need an easy way of compiling that info. Something like a database that can produce the sheets.
- It is always nicer to garden with someone else, so in the case of family I feel like my time would have been more constructively spent by planting seeds in person with a couple of people I know rather than impersonally trying to increase the productivity of many.
Big thanks to everyone who put time into trying this out. Including and especially, Lynda.