Friday, May 19, 2006

Why blog?

A good discussion going on here and here about why people keep gardening blogs. It all got started when Gardening While Intoxicated (and by the way--love her, love her blog, love the whole intoxicated gardening concept) said that she finds that GardenWeb's reblog, Garden Voices, "contains a confusing and daunting amount of material, so I'm glad so many are able to sift through it. It’s mainly a lot of people showing off their gardens."

So the question is--what is a garden blog all about? Most people who have responded to these posts agree that what started out as a place to record the happenings in their garden evolved to something more--a bit of a showcase, a way to get to know other gardeners, a way to mouth off.

And the fact is that we gardeners do have quite a bit to say. Michael Pollan wrote this week on his NYT blog (I won't even bother going to get the link because you have to be a subscriber to read it, but if you're in TimesSelect you'll find it) that food writers aren't taken seriously. Well, he had a bit more to say about it than that, but you get the idea. If you write about food, he suggested, you're Not a Real Journalist.

To which I reply: HA! Are you kidding me? When Pollan moved from garden to food writing, he took a MAJOR step up the journalistic food chain. Look at any major newspaper in the US, and you'll see a big fat food section, a big fat travel section, and, in the case of the San Francisco Chronicle, a truly fine and fascinating WINE section once a week! These people are having fun, they're turning up interesting stories, they're spouting off opinions, they're getting outraged letters from readers, and they're doing serious journalism!

But where are the garden writers? We're in a little corner of what used to be called the women's section of the paper. Now it's the Home or Lifestyle section. Yep, that's us, right next to the advice columns and the little stories about how a scented candle can light up any room.

Sheesh. Get on a plane or put a bite of food in your mouth, and that's news. But go outside and put your hands in the dirt? Fluff.

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