Happy New Year Everyone!
I thought it would be fun to update you on what's been going on at SmilingGardener.com in 2012 and what I'll be up to in 2013.
First, thanks to everyone for your support, for leaving questions and comments on my blog or sending me an email.
I can't respond to most emails, but I do really appreciate your enthusiasm for organic gardening.
I'm having so much fun putting this information together for you and the feedback I get is what keeps me going.
2012 was an awesome year. We did a bit of traveling to the eastern U.S. and the western U.S./Canada to attend some conferences and visit some movers and shakers and friends and family.
In between all of these travels I spent some time in the garden, doing things like this:
- Academy. Most of my time this year (and in 2011, too) was spent on creating text and videos for the Smiling Gardener Academy, my 12 month online gardening course. Just before Christmas, I wrapped up filming most of the last few months of the course. I'm going to be planting a bunch of berries and some other fruits in the spring, so I still need to record that for month 12, but "principal photography" is largely done.
- Book. The exciting news from the summer was that I put out my book Building Soils Naturally, published by Acres U.S.A. I'm very proud of it and the emails and book reviews I continue to receive from around the world are incredible.
- Blog. The Academy has been a pretty huge undertaking, so I've always felt that the articles and videos I put out for free have taken a bit of a back seat since I launched the blog in late 2010. I'm happy with what I've done, but I've always struggled with figuring out how much to put out for free and how much to save for Academy members, so thus far almost everything goes into the Academy.
- Sister. My sister started helping me out a few hours a week with a little editing and shooting some videos, but mainly she's doing most of my social media stuff like facebook and google plus. She's much more extroverted than me, so that's really her thing.
2013 looks like it will be even awesomer. We're heading to Peru for 3 months this winter.
In fact, one of the main reasons we decided 3 years ago to start a website was so we can go anywhere in the world where there's an internet connection and still work (incidentally, although it may sound extravagant, it's not like you need a lot of money to do it - our rent will be half as much in Peru as it is here).
Here's what's going on this year:
- Website. To kick off the year, I've spent the last couple of weeks redesigning our websites to update the software and make them a little nicer to look at and navigate, including on devices likes iPads and iPods. I even recorded a new simple music intro for our videos, and my buddy Matt Pearn made us new logos that are just perfect.
- Blog. This year I'll hopefully finally have the time to get a bit more of a blogging plan going. It doesn't mean I'll blog more often, just that I have more of a plan for how to do it and hopefully it will be a little more polished. Plus, I have a couple of extra freebies in the works for you guys.
- Academy. Now that the initial filming is done, I get to go back through to improve the course. To me, the only downside of the course right now is that there are certain videos where I'm basically just talking into the camera because it's difficult to always have something hands-on to show. But I think I can find ways to get more interesting visuals in those videos, so I'll hopefully update at least 25% of them this year.
- Heather. I'll also continue to spend a lot of time working on Heather's two websites and all of the fun things we do over there. We're actually putting out a new incredible (really incredible) Healthy Meal Plan resource this weekend that we're both super excited about, so check that out if you could use some help with planning and cooking your meals. It's been many months in the making and the response since we launched last night has been far beyond what we expected!
For today, I'd be really interested to hear about your goals for 2013, whether gardening-related or not. Let me know below.