Ten years ago I launched my daily gardening blog.
It didn’t start as “The Survival Gardener;” instead, it launched as “Florida Survival Gardening,” which I later changed as my writing and readers grew beyond the borders of the Sunshine State.
For the first three years, I posted a new post every day. Later, I skipped weekends. Then, even later, we had disruptions (like being locked down overseas) which kept me from posting at all for as much as a week or more at a time. But I never quit.
When I started the blog, I was living in North Florida and building a food forest. This is me back then:
And here I am now, 10 years, 12 gardening books, 2532 posts and 4 more children later:
Naw, I don’t look tired at all! I’m just getting started.
In the last ten years, we moved overseas and back, bought land and sold land, rented too many times, and finally ended up on some land of our own in Lower Alabama.
I started this blog to write about my gardening ideas and methods and gather a following over time so when I wrote a book, I would have a built-in audience. Posting daily was a way to ensure it happened.
Concerted effort over time!
That was the idea, and it ran counter to my natural tendency to launch and then abandon projects.
After the first month of posting I fell into a groove and it became easier to continue.
The first book I released was the little booklet version of Create Your Own Florida Food Forest.
Much to my delight, it sold about $200 worth of copies in the first month. And then… it kept on selling, slowly but regularly. It would never make me rich, but it did pay my internet bill.
My book-writing career was launched.
After that, I started finishing book projects in quick succession. Here they are by year:
Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting
Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening
Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening
Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics
Turned Earth: A Jack Broccoli Novel
Start Your Own Home-Based Plant Nursery
Free Plants for Everyone: The Good Guide to Plant Propagation
Florida Survival Gardening
Grocery Row Gardening
Create Your Own Florida Food Forest (Revised, Illustrated and Massively Expanded 2nd Edition)
The South Florida Gardening Survival Guide
I have gained many readers since launching the blog and establishing myself as a gardening author. But not only that, my YouTube channel has exploded and is now at almost 240,000 subscribers, dwarfing the reach of this site. That is a different experience, as many YouTube enthusiasts prefer watching to reading. This means that no matter where I go or if I’m renting or owning, I need to have a garden in place so there’s something to show on YouTube.
Getting our own house and land last month should help immensely, as we can now build longer-term projects. I am very interested in breeding new corn and pumpkin varieties for Lower Alabama, as well as in expanding my Grocery Row Gardening idea and observing it long-term. I’d also like to plant a nice kitchen/herb/medicinal garden out back, and experiment with growing terrifying death hedges to exclude people and animals from our land. I’d also like to plant a nice, big food forest in the front yard, and plant a bunch of different varieties of apples.
All these things wouldn’t have happened without you guys, though. Many people found my writing and bought my books, which allowed me to go from a free-lance writer, house painter and audio editor to being a full-time gardening author and YouTuber.
Thank you. It’s been an amazing ten years. My goal was realized, and I am grateful. God is good and has kept us and allowed me to pursue a path that is truly fulfilling. It took a lot of hard work to get here (In my 20s I couldn’t imagine writing a post every day, let alone finishing a book or more a year!), but I made it. My wife believed in me, too, and that made a huge difference.
Here’s to another ten years of TheSurvivalGardener.com!