Archive by Author

Getting to Know Seedly’s Master Gardener: Cheri

23 Feb

The concept for Seedly is firmly rooted  in our love for gardening and our excitement about helping people start growing their own food. To provide the best advice, tips and resources possible, we knew that we’d have to have a real knock out gardener on our side. Someone who really knows their stuff and is able to help others get to know their stuff in a very digestible, step-at-a-time way.

So who the hank would fill those big gardening clogs? Well, that would be Cheri Schweitzer, a woman who’s accredited up the wazoo and has been gardening since her hands were big enough to hold miniature trowels:

I’m a proud Wisconsin girl and love living in the friendly and picturesque Midwest. I like to say that I’m a farmer’s granddaughter…having spent many days and summers at my grandparents farm in Pardeeville, WI. Both of my parents loved vegetable and flower gardening and they had me digging in the dirt as quick as I could hold the mini tools they bought for me.

In college, I was talked out of environmental science by my college counselor due to the lack of potential jobs at the time. Instead, I went on to get a degree in Biological Sciences and a Masters in Molecular Biology.

In 2007, I became a certified Master Gardener through the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program. Some of my current volunteer hours include maintaining the gardens outside the City County Building that houses the offices of the Madison Mayor and Dane County Executive.

In 2011, I wrote and was awarded a grant from the Madison Area Master Gardener’s Association (MAMGA) to create two food pantry gardens. Located at Monona Community Gardens, the plots produced a spring and summer bounty that was shared entirely with the St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church food pantry guests. The pantry feeds over 9000 families a year!

In 2012, I’ll serve on the MAMGA grant committee to decide who will receive this year’s grants.

I live with my husband in our 115 year-old Victorian surrounded by the trees and perennial/ vegetable gardens that we’ve created together.  I’m so excited to be a part of Seedly!

Getting to Know Seedly’s Chief Dude: Philip

12 Feb

Harvesting Garlic

You know about Seedly, and how cool that’s going to be, but the truly burning question is: who’s driving this newfangled gardening train? Who had this big idea of seed strips, email notifications and growing a gardener’s community around those things, anyhow?

Well, that would be our very own Philip Crawford. Chief brainiac, computer programmer extraordinaire, lover of pickled foods, daydreamer and all-around good guy.

So, let’s get to know a little bit about Philip and his motivations for creating Seedly:

My earliest memories of gardening are from helping my dad plant and harvest our community garden plots in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. It was hard work some days, I remember that clearly. But one thing I also remember clearly is the day we were harvesting peas and my dad was eating them as we picked. At the time, I HATED peas – all mushy and gross. Yuk. For some reason, I tried one of the peas I was picking. WHOA! That’s a PEA? It tasted great and even to this day, over 30 years later, I remember picking and eating those peas that day.

Food is a huge part of my life. I enjoy growing, cooking, pickling, canning, fermenting, and foraging for food. Near Madison, we have Morels & ramps in the spring, wild berries in the summer, and hickory and walnuts in the fall. Along with that, I fish from the local lakes and rivers year round – yes, even on the ice.Career-wise, I’ve been helping organizations build software. I’ve started up my own businesses (InboxFox.com) and helped others (Murfie.com). I’m super excited to finally combine tech (work) + food (hobby). Let’s rock this thing!

Wanted: super duper marketing person

19 Dec

Seedly is small (just like a little seed on a seed strip, really), but boy do we have some big plans for growing.

Right now we’re building a great team of folks who know a thing or two about certain areas: growing vegetables, programming, writing and design. Something’s missing though.

We’re looking for an experienced marketing person who is awesome, loves gardening and wants to be a co-founder. If you’re thinking, hey, that’s me, drop us a line and let us know who you are, what you do, what you love (and what you’ve done).

Catch Philip at philip@seedly.me

What’s this seed tape stuff?

10 Dec

One of the things that makes a Seedly garden kit unique, is the seed tape that comes with it. (Well, actually, it’s shipped at a later date separate from the kit, but more on that later.)

Example of some DIY Seed Tape

So what is seed tape, anyway?

Seed tape is composed of a biodegradable material – usually paper like old strips of newspaper – with seeds affixed to the paper at exactly the right spacing for the particular seed. You can make (or buy) the seed tape before the growing season starts.  Then, when the ground is ready, simply place the seed tape in the ground at the correct depth, cover with dirt, and boom! the seeds are planted.

Lots of home gardeners have been using DIY seed tape for years. There are plenty of websites out there that show you how to make your own seed tape.

The thing about seed tape is that it’s super easy to make and it simplifies the planting process for many varieties of vegetables. We’re just going to come right out and say it- we think it’s the bomb. Regardless of whether you’re doing Square Foot Gardening, growing in a normal garden plot, or growing in planter boxes, seed tape can make the planting part easier and more accurate. More accuracy in spacing the seeds and getting them into the ground just right means a better yield of delicious veggies.

What’s not to love about that?

How does your garden grow? With email notifications!

28 Nov

Lately we’ve been talking to a lot of folks about Seedly. Partly because we’re really excited about the product and its development and partly because we want to know what others think. We’re especially interested in knowing what burning questions people have after hearing our ten second spiel. We’ve taken note of all of the comments and questions that we’ve gotten so far and we’d like to take a stab at addressing one of the more popular topics: those email notifications.

What they are and how do they work?

Q: How do I get signed up for the email notifications?

A: When you receive your Seedly garden kit, you’ll find a registration card inside. You just need to follow the directions on there to get signed up for email notifications. It’s really simple: go to our website, sign up by giving us some basic info like your name, email address, what type of gardening you’d like to do and your zip code. We then have your growing zone, so we can get down with what Mother Nature’s been serving up in your neck of the woods.

We’ll take the Goldilocks approach to emailing you–not too many and not too few. It will be just right. We’ll be in touch around once or twice a week to give you reminders and tips on planting, growing and harvesting your garden.

Q: What kind of gardening?  In the ground?  Square Foot Gardening?  Planter boxes on the balcony?

A: Your call! We’ll support whichever approach suits your situation. Once you let us know how you’re growing, (we’re more than happy to help you make that choice if you need guidance) the information you receive will be specific to your growing choices.

Q: Are you going to use my local weather like rain amounts and pest reports?

A: Heck yes. We’re going to get as detailed as possible.  There’s so much data out there, and we’re hoping to use a whole lot of it. For example, if your city hasn’t gotten rain in a few days, we’ll give you a heads up that your lettuce seedlings probably need a little help in the way of water.

Q: Will the gardening tips and advice focus on organic and natural ways of gardening?

A: Yes. The old (and outdated) way of growing food through energy intensive fertilizers has got to go. We’re down with natural approaches that rely less on mining and natural gas production and more on human ingenuity, natural plant defenses, composting, and worms! Again, worms!

Still have lingering questions? Hit us up in the comments section! We love a curious mind!

Getting our Kickstarter campaign kickstarted

25 Nov

Things are shaping up nicely around here and boy are we excited about that. There’s a lot going on, and we’re trying hard to keep everyone up to date. Soon, we’ll have more on how the garden kit is coming together. But first, and maybe most importantly, we’re working hard to get our Kickstarter campaign launched. We’re targeting a date at some point in January.

If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, in a nutshell, it’s a website devoted to helping people get different creative projects funded. The way that it works is unique–backers pledge money to back different projects and in return are promised some sort of reward, which varies depending on the pledge level. Often times the reward is the actual product, or in other cases, some sort of public recognition.

Seedly is hoping to do a little bit of both. Intrigued? Stay tuned for more details!

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