Preserving the knowledge of experienced gardeners

Michael Mace
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 11:06:47 PDT
Robert wrote:

>> My concern is many of the traditional fonts of knowledge seem to be
drying up. Most plant societies are declining in membership. The old members
like myself are technologically challenged when it comes to blogs, wikis,
and tweets. The knowledge of the old gaurd seems to be disipating as each of
us passes on and our plants and information is not being collected by a
younger generation. I have been doing my best to find ways of preserving the
plant diversity and the expertize but feel relatively unsuccessful. I am
curious as to how this group feels this might be accomplished.

I hear you, Robert.  

This is an issue that we've been dealing with in the computer industry
(where I work) for a while -- everyone is always focused on what's next, and
as a result history and hard-won knowledge doesn't get preserved.  Some
volunteers are working on that issue by collecting oral histories and making
them available online.  The process has been pretty successful, and I wonder
if we could do something similar in our field.

Histories/commentaries from experienced gardeners could be hosted on the
wiki (PBS leadership willing), where anyone could access them.  Think of it
as a legacy you can leave for the future.

If you're not comfortable using the wiki directly, there are a couple of

--Type something and send it to us.  I'd be happy to post it, and I suspect
others would as well.  We could even cook up a set of questions to get you

--If you're not comfortable typing, just make a tape recording.  Have
another gardener interview you on what you've done and what you've learned.
Tell us stories too!  The recordings can be digitized and posted online.  I
don't know if the wiki can handle them, but I'm sure we could find some way
to get them online...



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