Archive for July, 2019


I taught myself to garden in the early 90s, when my children were toddlers, and I thought it would be nice to grow food so these city kids could see where food came from. My father had just built a house, and I dug up a lot of prairie plants from his lot; we also dug a lot of plants out of ditches, which I later learned was illegal. oops.

I gardened in isolation until 2008, when I broke my ankle and discovered MyFolia, a new “Facebook for gardeners.” It was a community, and a database, and a log for every meticulous “milestone” of every plant.


 I started using MyFolia the year I broke my foot.

And that’s how I “gardened” for more than a decade. The site retained years of milestones–plants that came and went; every plant’s growth and transplant and disease and harvest for all those years. You could link plant to plant through a “seed stash” and dividing, and trade with other members. The site would link you to those plants, all over the world.

And the gardeners. Hundreds of gardeners; we each had our mini-communities of people who, and whose gardens, we found particularly intriguing.

It changed the way I garden. I learned to relate plants to their cycles, and learned so much practical information. I learned about gardens in other parts of the world, and why people garden, and that people garden, because up until then I didn’t know any gardeners. I found the gardening community in Chicago, and started blogging, which led to this blog, written by a few Folians.

MyFolia literally changed my life.

On August 1 this year the site will close. We had always half hoped and half dreaded that the founders, “Nic and Nath,” (Nicole and Nathan), would sell it and become internet millionaires and really no one would have deserved it more because they were wonderful and the site was wonderful.

But the timing was off and the site’s infrastructure got old and clunky and was of a too-early version to really fix without rewriting the entire code. Their lives moved on, and now ours must too.

05- (3a) MaySome of the community are trying to retain some of what will be lost–connecting to each other, or creating databases in Access or One Note, or photo logs on Flickr, but it won’t be the same integrated motherlode of data and continuity and community.

Folians are gathering. We’re not willing to give it up. Watch for a future post with some guest writers on how they’re redoing their databases, and join us on the Folians group on Facebook.

See you in the garden.

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