Some great comments both here at at my e-mail concerning my nursery mentoring idea. Let's address the issues you brought up. Patricia, here in California Fava Beans are a winter cover crop. As long as the temperature don't fall below 21 degrees F. the plant will live. If they are not rotated into the soil as a cover crop in spring you should get beans byÂ April.
Benjamin, the best time to start a business might be right now! It's harder right now to run an existing business since expectations have been built up over the years, and when things go funky it's harder to change gears. Starting a business now would mean that your starting at the bottom of the current economical phase, and could adjust your expectation accordingly. When the recovery occurs, you already have a lean, happening business, that can ride the wave up.
Steve, sure you could call me a consultant. It's like the controversy around wheather we are "garden centers", "nurseries", "garden shops", "independent garden centers", "locally owned garden center", etc.Â Call me a "consultant", "mentor", "garden dude", whatever. It's all semantics. Since I don't travel much, and don't have an up and running "consulation" business, I chose "mentor".
John, I sure hope you are right.
Victor,Â like you I have spent hour upon hour both at my nursery and here at this blog helping people who are interested in starting a garden center. As far as the conultant label, see my answer for Steve.
Mary,Â you are not hopeless. I wish we had even more customers like yourself. Growing things can be a passion for which there is no cure.
Steve,Â it is hard to compete with free, unless the information is worth more. Steve say's, " In my opinion, it will be hard to compete with a FREE message board or blog and the strength of numbers in a community (like the LinkedIn group you started)." Message boards, this and other blogs, etc., are all out there for the viewing. Want to know something specific about your plans to operate your garden center? Head to a message board and ask. Who is answering you? What quality of advice are you receiving? What if you need the answer today? The internet is now so full of information that it is becoming harder, and harder to just wade through all the information. Besides, you and I might enjoy staring at a computer screen all day to find what we are looking for, or taking part in message boards, but not everyone does. This a mistake I have made in the past. Assuming that the majority of people actually enjoy, or know how to do the things you and I find fun and might take for granted.
You know who I am. I didn't start out thinking, "people need to trust me". I just started publishing my thoughts. The trust comes over time, if it's deserving. I think that is one of the barriers for a lot of people, finding a trusted adviser. You can call me a consultant, but my business is running a nursery. That's why the mentoring moniker came about. I don't know of any consultants that have a current garden center business.