There are a lot of ways that you can support our work, all of which are greatly appreciated!
Sharing & Mentions
We have basically no budget for advertising, but social media makes it possible to reach new audiences who are very likely to be interested in what we do. When you share our blog posts, growing guides, or posts on Facebook, Twitter, or possibly even Google Plus, it has a big impact. Our stats show that just five shares of any given post translate to almost a doubling of the reads for that post on that day.
If you are going to mention us in a post or a review or a video, please link to us! The difference in visits between a mention that is unlinked and a mention that is linked is huge.
I cannot overstate the value of links. The number of links to our site is one of the major factors that determines where we show up in search engines. Search engines are the number one way that we get new customers. So, when you link to Cultivariable, you are helping us to climb in the rankings and get more attention. Linking from social media is valuable, but linking from another web site like a blog is often more valuable. So, if you like what we’re doing, please don’t be shy about linking to us. It costs nothing and can make a big difference.
I like to get comments on our blogs and growing guides. I particularly like questions about things that might be unclear or that are not covered. I frequently revise posts based on the questions that we receive about them. If you think that other people might benefit from the answer to your question, then please consider leaving a comment rather than sending an email. Like links, comments factor into search ranking, so in addition to helping to improve the content, your comments can help us to attract a wider audience.
All of our original varieties bear a “Suggested Royalty” on the label. Our original varieties are open source, so there is no prohibition against their propagation and sale, but if you want to ensure that I can continue to breed new varieties that you can sell, then it is in your interest to help support the work. You can pay more, less, or nothing at all, so this is a bit of a social experiment.
If you have the choice to buy something from a big generalist supplier or from us, I probably don’t have to tell you which is going to have the greater impact. It is true that you can find less expensive sources for some of the plants that we sell, but when you buy from us, you are always contributing to the future development of that plant.
Genetic diversity is the basis for plant breeding. The more diversity that we have access to, the greater the probability of encountering uncommon and valuable traits. I have pretty well tapped out the commercial sources for most of the plants that we work with, but there is more out there. Occasionally, I hear from gardeners who have been quietly growing a variety for decades, researchers holding older collections, or growers in other countries who have access to resources that can be imported, like true seed (more commonly, people offer roots and tubers from outside the USA, but we can’t import these). Every new variety is really valuable to us, particularly for plants where we are cut off from easily obtaining more material, as is true of the Andean crops in particular.
I also work with several North American crops. For these, if you know of a wild source that you can easily collect and share, that is a great help. If you know where to find yampah, Jerusalem artichokes, groundnuts, camass, Florida betony, or other native crops that we are working with, a little seed or a few roots/tubers could be a big help.