The death of the traditional garden center?

Interesting post the other day at This Garden is Illegal. The New Urban Allotment Garden: Your Window?As Hanna say's, "...I have a yard and a garden in that yard. This is not something I am needing all that much right now. But, the system intrigues me for the winter when I want to grow fresh herbs and the like." Her post is about making a window garden, out of garbage. Be sure to watch the video. According to  window farms "are suspended, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible food gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials. This site is the online community of window farmers, where we share our development processes and design innovations. The designs evolve through this online collaboration of individuals." The system uses "hydroponics", "low energy, high yield food gardens", and "recycled materials". It's an "online community",  of "window farmers", using "online collaboration". Watching the video at This Garden is Illegal you find out they are also using LED lights, which we talked about here. Important point for garden center owners, did you once hear "bought at my local garden center?" No, it's bought at the local hardware store, hydroponic store, and using ideas from online collaborators.

Watching the video I was also intrigued in how city dwellers can call themselves, "urban farmers". It's a state of mind, being a farmer. The next gardening generation has no problem tossing aside traditional ideas of what a "farmer" is. They also are not afraid of technology. If you think that the trend towards organic products meant a return to the 70's idea of gardening you we're wrong. Notice who is in the video and who is at, generationX and Y. It is the very demographic that has the nursery industry perplexed. We are told they don't want to garden, because they are not flocking into our traditional garden centers. How many items in the video does your garden center carry? LED lights? Those little clay balls they are using instead of soil are called Hydroton. Got those? Air pumps? The seed are being started in root cubes. Got tubing?

The video and people behind it inspire me! After thirty years in the garden business you can sometimes get a bit burned out. In addition, being told that generation x and y don't want to garden get's old. Watching the video leads me to believe that the best is yet to come. How exciting to see the younger generation thinking outside the box and coming up with solutions that are changing the gardening world. It also shows a way forward for garden businesses that and are not afraid to jump into the future, and leave tired old assumptions behind.