The Personae and Interactions of the Urban Gardener with the Gardener’s Gadget by Helen K.
The urban gardener is once or twice removed from the experience of gardening due to her living circumstances: house with yard (once removed) or condo with patio (twice removed) but in whom still resides the instinctual affinity for living plants and a need to associate externally with traditional cycles of life (dormancy, germination, growth, harvest) so as to confirm the life within herself. This instinct is present in both the novice and the experienced gardener and the only thing that distinguishes the two is the level of experience. The desire to understand seasons, light, water, nutrients, beneficial insects, growth needs of plants or the quantity or types of plants desired are not the same amongst gardeners. What is the same is the curiosity and sense of accomplishment when the planted thing grows and can be shared or displayed for others to appreciate. When the gardener plants the seed or seedling and successfully nurtures it to maturity there is affirmation that she is still a fundamentally effective part of the planet.
The gardener loves to imagine a day when her small garden, either patio or backyard, will produce a variety of vegetables or explosions of color, however due to time constraints is unable to actually make it happen. She is daily away at work and is not able to look out the window of her home and be sensitive to the changing needs of her plants as heat, moisture, and insect levels change. That is why the Gardeners Gadget is a handy interactive device for remotely monitoring conditions in the urban garden such as moisture levels, soil fertility, and insect infestations and then adapting the output of mechanical watering or fertilizing devices to bring the garden back to equilibrium. As her garden expands she uses the Gardening Gadget to connect to social networks of gardeners to engage in vegetable exchanges based on small harvest projections. Gardeners in the community have ‘calling hours’ which are the equivalent of ‘on-line’ or ‘available’ notifications so that gardeners can drop by each other’s homes after work for brief visits, pleasantries, and garden talk depending on their schedules. Mutual sharing of work is made possible as the network which is monitored using the Gardening Gadget makes it possible to get real time information about who is heading to the nursery or co-op. Deposits of money with the gardening device can be made immediately to cover the cost of anything someone might pick up for you. Ultimately, this will have a dramatic impact on the cost of gardening and the carbon footprint caused by the currently uncoordinated social activity. The multiple trips to the nursery will be reduced and the output of one’s garden increased which will mean less reliance on store bought produce and a reduced carbon footprint. Overall, the sense that ones’ hobby is also benefitting the planet may improve the deep satisfaction of gardening for the Urban Gardener. **
** note, how to deal with gardeners whose primary motive isn’t to do something good for the planet is under analysis. Why one would need to have this device is still being examined, the interactivity currently being very low….