Monday, December 22, 2008


Hello I'm John Powers and I'm an incompetent gardener. Almost ten years ago when I first got online. I discovered email lists and wrote a couple of dozen posts under the guise of The Incompetent Gardener. I'm not sure these essays are very good, in fact I'm fairly sure they're not. But I loved writing them and discovering the pleasure to be had in putting content on the Web. I'd like to update them with links to make them as current as possible.

The word "incompetent" has quite negative connotations. One might expect, for example that I might be utterly bonkers, out of my gourd. Surely I do have a few screws loose, but I'm not legally incompetent. Rather it's more that I'm unskilled, and probably don't have a keen awareness of that fact. So what I mean by saying I'm an incompetent gardener is that I tend to treat my gardening adventures as experiments that have a good chance of not working out, but still hoe along not unduly concerned about failing. Part of the process is learning, yet because my approach is haphazard to begin with what I learn almost always comes as a surprise.

I'm a rather incompetent blogger as well. I most frequently update, but not frequently enough, my blog Bazungu Bucks. Bazungu Bucks is a blog that seeks to explore how communities outside the African continent can engage productively with communities in Africa. More specifically how I might be of service to a few friends in Uganda. I often just write about what's on my mind at that blog. Another blog I sometimes maintain is Hats for Health. The premise of that blog is that what the people of the world really need are clean water and more parties. I've tried to join the two in encouraging paper hat fashions that might be a way to fund raise for clean water projects, and at least promote gleeful parties.

I'm awful at raising money for anything. Still money is useful and over and over again I've found that money in support of worthwhile community projects can go along way to assuring better lives in Uganda. With that in mind, I've got some half baked ideas. Among them is to put together some books or e-books about gardening and paper hat making with the proceeds going to various projects I care about in Uganda. The nice thing about blogging is that it's a way to collect writing, and writing with nice hyperlinks.

The economy is tanking, and the situation looks dire. Growing more of our own food locally, even in our back yards, can go along way to stretching our budgets and staving off hunger. I've been at this incompetent gardening thing for a while, so I know that growing things is sometimes harder than we think. Sometimes a bit of encouragement can go along way towards keeping on. So perhaps this blog can be of some little service to fellow gardeners.

None of this is all to sensible. In general outlines what I have in mind is a blog about growing things without knowing too much, but with a steady expectation that gardening is full of pleasant surprises.

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