This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

new idea

My new idea is to start up a message board for vegetable gardeners who are located near me (Belmont, Cambridge, Arlington, Watertown, etc - Massachusetts).

I ran into a nearby vegetable gardener today and together we wished there was a way to see what other gardeners were up to in this area. Also, tours of each others' gardens would be fun. And we'd like to encourage new gardeners to put their soil to good use.

I love having a blog and feeling connected with gardeners all over the world, but I'm missing a connection locally. I plan to look into how one constructs an on-line message board and will likely post paper messages on local real (thumb-tack and paper) bulletin boards around town.

I'd love any feedback on this project. Do other locales have any methods of vegetable gardener communication? Does anyone think this would be useful, fun? Sources of bb templates, etc. Thanks!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this gardening blog! I live in North Carolina, and have just started gardening using the Square Foot Gardening method. I have a lot of shade in my yard, so your blog site encourages me. I'll be exploring this site for a while...

March 20, 2008 10:20 PM

Blogger ...K................................. said...

Yes! I would love that. I have enjoyed reading your blog so much, partly because it is so well put together and beautiful and partly because I am relatively new to this gardening thing and live nearby and like to see what you have success at growing. I have searched many blogs and websites trying to find others in our area. I think we can learn a lot from each other and would love to be a part of this!

March 20, 2008 10:25 PM

Blogger Meg said...

No advice on the particulars of getting a project like that set up, bit I wanted to say it sounds like a great idea!

With the CSA and the community garden, you have a ready-made audience and two good outlets for advertising. I'm sure sure there will be a lot of interest, especially with people who are taking on a garden plot for the first time.

Boy, it would be fun to have a local vegetable gardener community! Good luck--can't wait to read about your progress.

March 20, 2008 10:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should definitely do this idea! I would love to participate (I live in Cambridge and I just have a couple of planters on my fire escape, but I use them for vegetables and herbs).

The message board could help people in the area exchange their extra seedlings. It's very possible that I will be in the same position you were in last year - I planted a lot of cayenne pepper seeds and it would be great to find people in the area that I could give the extras to.

March 21, 2008 12:48 AM

Blogger pigbook1 said...

Yes, I would love a message board! I don't have a big enough garden to have it ona tour. I am just starting one this year so I would love to talk to others, especially locals

March 21, 2008 6:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would love this! -medford gardener

March 21, 2008 8:06 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I'm trying to figure out how the software works. I'll keep at it.

I hadn't thought of seedling exchange. A great idea! I almost left my peppers out on the curb last year with a sign "Please give these a home.."

March 21, 2008 10:55 AM

Blogger l.m.b.frank said...

i live in newton and i grow vegetables in containers in a very limited space (basically, in my driveway)but i have a lot of fun with tomatoes , cucumbers,peppers and winter squash....i like your web page a lot.

March 21, 2008 11:48 AM

Blogger Daisy said...

I love this idea! I really wish I could find one for Montana... maybe I need to look a little harder, or perhaps start my own. I'll check back and see what you for more ideas!

March 21, 2008 12:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long-time lurker from Newton here -- great idea! You've been a great resource for me over the past year (THANK YOU!). I have a small backyard, with a garden set-up that looks pretty similar to yours with the raised beds -- I do tomatoes, squash, cukes, beets, peas, lettuce, kale, carrots, herbs, etc. But no Skippy!

March 21, 2008 1:49 PM

Anonymous Ted said...

You have a bunch of options for a forum. You can go the public forum route such as or where you can create your own group. Its not a true forum but members can post messages.

Or you can get yourself a hosting provider (such as godaddy which I use) and then start up your own forum (which you would have to do everything).

Or you can find a forum that is already up and running and see if you can get a thread for your location.

March 21, 2008 2:40 PM

Anonymous sweetlocal said...

i live in brighton, ma and would love a message board.

March 22, 2008 2:02 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I have a hosting provider and domain name that I can use for this project. I have Dream weaver. Yesterday I downloaded a free thing from phpBB. I'm trying to figure out how to set it up. We'll see... I've seen some really nice boards. Maybe I can figure this out before the seedlings are ready to share....

March 22, 2008 2:57 PM

Blogger Plas said...

Another longtime local lurker here... from Somerville/Cambridge. Like many of those who commented above, I'm limited to containers (on a roof deck); I've mostly been doing flowers and grasses so far but have been inspired by your site to diversify more aggressively to herbs and veggies. I'd love to see a local forum (especially if it had a containers section!)

March 22, 2008 3:16 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Glad to see so much interest. Today I'm thinking of trying a get a "thread" from an up and running site. Thanks to Ted for his comment earlier on options.

March 23, 2008 10:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait. My cayenne peppers sprouted and it looks like I'll have at least a dozen plants - I will definitely need to find willing takers!

March 24, 2008 10:53 AM

Anonymous Ted said...

If you don't have luck finding a suitable existing forum and you want to do it yourself, then your hosting account needs to have PHP and a database like MySQL. phpBB requires both (from what I remember). Its a good free forum and most sites use it. Setting it up is pretty easy. You just upload the files (there are a ton), put your database name/password into a configuration file and its pretty much good to go!

March 24, 2008 1:50 PM

Blogger kathy said...

hmmm. Maybe I'll try that. The forums are all covered with adds and distractions.

I just checked my hosting account (at and they even have an application installer and lots of instructions for phpBB.

March 25, 2008 9:41 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I expect to try to set something up this weekend....

March 27, 2008 9:18 AM

Blogger Jill said...

Hi--I just came upon this website looking for info on how to get a community garden spot in Cambridge. How are you getting yours? I tried contacting the Cambridge Conservation Commission last fall and weeks ago, to no avail....
Also, I think this is a great idea--sharing seedlings would be awesome; I hate thinning them out, but if I could give them to others then I wouldn't feel so bad :)
p.s. you're lucky you started your plants so early!

March 28, 2008 11:35 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Hey Jill, Check this post and the first comment from Dan! He's the coordinator at a Cambridge Community Garden and left his contact info for you. I hope you get a plot soon.

April 07, 2008 12:01 AM


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