Every year sometime after Labor Day we close the business for a few days, hire a house sitter, and head to Maine. For us, it is a few days to catch our breath and rejuvenate enough to return and make it through Columbus Day and then close up for the winter. Maine and I have had a fond relationship since I was about five when my dad would scrape up enough loose change and a few dollars to head to the ocean that my mother loved so dearly. Those were the days when cabins cost $5 a night and fishermen would sell fresh fish at the dock for unbelievable prices. My parents as well as the $5 cabins and cheap seafood have all passed but for us, the visits to Maine will continue as long as we can.
Our trips find us sitting on the beach reading stacks of books, magazines and trade journals, enjoying sunny days and eating fresh seafood. It is surprising how reading material piles up during the spring and summer months when the days are long and spare time doesn't exist.
As I sat in my glory by the ocean in 2006, I read an article in a direct marketing magazine about the importance of Internet social networking. The linkages made great sense to me and the fact that I could set up a Google Blogger account for free in a couple minutes was even better.
The theory was that blogs drew readership and readership redirected to a web site would convert to some amount of additional income. I returned home and set up a blog I named The Vermont Gardener. The concept and the undertaking were so easy that a month later I set up Vermont Gardens, a second blog, intended to follow the movement and growth of our new nursery. Today the two blogs have merged into one, The Vermont Gardener, which remains unfunded and commercial free. It generates a fine readership including a surprising number of individual emails apart from direct responses to the blog itself.
The blog does not employ the technology that brings massive readership in the tens of thousands of readers but the international following shares fellowship and horticultural knowledge. Sometimes I list blogs that strike my fancy and the following list is a sampling of some of them. If you enjoy blogs about gardening, visit Blotanical "where garden blogs bloom". This is a major server that offers free communication for bloggers who enjoy gardening. It may take a few minutes to learn all the features but it truly is a great resource. In the meantime, enjoy these blogs. If you happen to use Facebook, I have an account listed as George Africa and all newly written blogs are directly networked to it. Enjoy!