PlantCatching runs a funding campaign to develop new features.
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PlantCatching just keeps getting better

Here are the very latest features and updates

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A funding campaign to help PlantCatching go even further, and save it

Posted on June 6, 2015 • Comments:

Dear gardeners and friends,

Plantcatching has been carried for four years by one person alone. To develop and maintain a complete website for sharing within the realm of horticulture and urban agriculture, often adding functionalities requested by yourselves, is an enormous amount of time. Seeing it progress is a passion of mine, and I would love to be able to support it financially myself. Unfortunately, I’m running out of resources and without your help, I won’t be able to keep it going. Plantcatching will come to a stop, a victim of its own success!

Launched as an experiment, Plantcatching now works very well and has the potential to grow into not only a strong network between gardeners, both locally and around the world, but into a huge commons of plant resources. It is the only citizen platform that is sufficiently whole to reach this potential, and you are among the thousands of people already using it.

Instead of running an online funding campaign like a Kickstarter, which is very demanding and temporary, I decided to invest my time into building interesting functions that are useful to you on a daily basis. On the side, I also created Bamboo Accounts with paying gardening professionals in mind and although close to twenty have registered so far, it is not nearly enough. Since many of you expressed interest in supporting Plantcatching last year, I created the Bamboo Shoot account to cater for home gardeners.

In exchange for helping keep Plantcatching going with a donation, you get the following benefits:

  • As soon as something becomes available within a radius you specify, you receive an email alert. You can even filter results with keywords.

  • Search for keywords anywhere in the world. You thus have tremendous oportunities for sharing seeds, cuttings, seedlings and more with thousands of gardeners. What’s more, you can build two convenient lists of plants: those you’re offering and those you’d like to have.

  • On Plantcatching, there has always been a 15-minute delay between the time a listing is created and the time it is published online. With your account, this delay is eliminated and you see them appear in real-time.

  • You have more space to formulate your request and to build your profile.

  • In this growing community, it is useful to have a cleary recognized identity; this account allows you to use custom avatars.

The money that will be collected thanks to your paying for an account will be used to:

  • Develop a website completely rebuilt for phones and tablets (many of you have requested this).

  • Develop a citizen pinboard for geolocalized projects, activities, etc.

  • Update the administrator side of the site, which has lagged behind compared to the user functions that have been improved over the last year (solid admin tools are necessary to bring you the best online technical support and security).

  • Pay for the website’s hosting and database storage.

  • Pay for domain names for many years ahead and to keep online payments secure.

  • Protect against the closing of Plantcatching while keeping citizen priorities as its mission and vision.

Plantcatching is YOUR platform; the gardeners’ platform. Please support it by registering for a Bamboo Shoot account and by sharing the page dedicated to this campaign throughout your social networks, online and offline!


PlantCatching becomes a search engine to find plant offers and requests

Posted on May 30, 2015 • Comments:

Today is an important day for the future of Plantcatching; an update that transforms it into a powerful plant-sharing search engine. So far, this platform has always encouraged sharing and the development of networks between local gardeners and will definitely continue to do so. However, there are two categories of people who would like to join the movement (but haven’t yet) and start sharing plants: those who live in sparsely populated areas, and those who want to make exchanges by mail.

Starting today, you will find two new pages on the website:

  • The search page allows you to find by whom and where a specific plant is on offer or wanted. In both cases, it also makes it clear which ones are nearby and which ones are far and require an exchange by mail.

Searching with keywords is a very powerful functionality that goes beyond the basic services offered by the citizen platform that is Plantcatching. It has the potential to address many needs worldwide and will express the true nature of the Plantcatching platform: solidarity between gardeners helping each other locally and across great distances.

When doing a search, the distant listings or those requiring mail exchanges will only be made available to users with a Bamboo shoot account. Because the number of professionals who support Plantcatching is still relatively low, my aim is to encourage many more people, including a new category of passionate gardeners, to financially support the future of the Plantcatching project. To put it plainly: without your support, Plantcatching will simply not live on. If I can keep it going, new developments will then become possible: a mobile-friendly website, for example, which has been requested by many of you.

Please note that regular users (non-Bamboo account holders) are not left behind. They can also use the new search engine right now instead of having to scrounge around in the map listings.

I’m inviting you to become Bamboo Shoots today in order to have access to advanced search features and also to save Plantcatching outright. This is your platform. Its future depends on you. Think about what 20$/year will get you in terms of plants, seeds, tools and materials you’ll be able to get for free from Plantcatching members! You can also keep your regular account if you like it the way it is, and make a good ol’ donation. Just $5, $10 $15 or even more will make a huge difference. Plantcatching already has 3000 registered members (+ non-registered members). Imagine having Plantcatching right on your mobile phone and tablet!

I really want to keep Plantcatching affordable and citizen-friendly, but the situation has reached a critical level.

Wishing you a whole bunch of great exchanges, local and worldwide,

Partage végétal with PlantCatching, 2015 edition

Posted on May 12, 2015 • Comments:

This year we’re happy to announce PlantCatching’s second plant/seedling exchange. Just like last year at Montreal’s Botanical Gardens, Albert Mondor (horticulturist) will be present to provide information on the plants and will host a raffle of plants generously donated by horticulturist professionals and urban growers. More than a dozen have responded positively to my request (more specifically; this morning, I found out the horticulturists of the Saint-Joseph Oratory were willing to offer something!). As per the location, it won’t be the Botanical Gardens this time around. Our hosts are the Maisonnette des Parents located on Saint-Laurent blvd, a community organization that helps families in need.

Tirage au sort en 2014

At the time this article will be published, there are 12 days left before this grand event, where dozens of passionate gardeners will come together to trade seeds, seedlings, perennials, etc. Forty plants have already been registered on the site, by 13 people (click on the green button at the top of the event page). More to come in the following days which will most likely highlight the prevalence and quantity of plants offered. So now is the best time to go through the following checklist:

  1. Even if you have already, it’s important to relay the information on your social networks, particularly this Facebook post. Make sure you copy/past the text in your profile. Talk about the event in your circles, invite other gardeners.
  2. If you don’t have a PlantCatching account yet, create one now and specify your address in your account. It’s necessary in order to register plants for the event.
  3. Identify the plants you would like to bring and register them on the site. You can do so until the eve of the event. At the top of the form, there is an icon to click on to indicate the plants are for the event.
  4. Create your profile on the site and print out a couple member cards. You will most likely have a chance to share them with other gardeners.

At the end of the plant sharing event, I will be available to discuss topics related to the PlantCatching site with anyone interested. It’s a great moment to bring your feedback and ideas.

Whether it’s sunny or raining, it will no doubt be an exceptional day. I hope to see you all in big numbers.

PlantCatching 2 is online

Posted on March 2, 2015 • Comments:

After 3 years of existence and a very nice success, here is what can be called version 2 of this web site since there are so many new features and enhancements. It is also representative of a new direction and of a vision that has evolved since the launch in 2012. There is now more place for users, as well as for professionals who will gain a whole new visibility with them.

I already published 5 articles, which give you all the details about this update. That's why I will be brief by just giving you a checklist of what you should do in priority:

  1. For those who wish to have a user profile, it's time to find a name (it can be your real name or a nickname) and to book the last part of your personal URL (it must be unique throughout PlantCatching).

  2. Under your account, if not already done, set your location. Don't be afraid, your address is confidential. Even better, you can write a non precise address and move a marker to set your more or less exact position on a map. At the minimum, use "city, country". Add a street if you can (no need of the number if you worry about it) since it's easier for me to debug geolocation bugs and issues when they happen.

  3. Check your plants and other items requests. The five fields in the form have been merged into a single free text field. It may happen that your text has been truncated during the operation, or you may wish you write it differently.

  4. Those of you who have the PlantCatching widget with a map on their web site, please generate the widget HTML code again. A "zoom" field has been added to fix the initial scale of the map.

  5. A Pricing field has been added to the Bamboo events. The active events should be edited and saved again after filling this field.

You won't see any or a lot of Bamboo Notes at first. Professionnals will take the time to adopt this concept and then write their first Notes. However, you will see a few of mines.

At last I need to remind that any user is now able to support the PlantCatching project by making a donation or by purchasing a Bamboo Shoot account. If you like this platform, or simply if you think that it merits its place because sharing the biodiversity and solidarity are important, please think about supporting your platform during the season or even now. The future of this site depends on everyone. Thank you.

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