How Clyde’s Garden Planner was conceived
This slide chart was conceived in the early 1990’s while I was attempting to plan the sequence of events in our 50ft x 120ft garden, near Centralia Missouri. I was feverishly interested in gardening. My goal was to orchestrate garden-work around the upcoming birth of our third daughter, baby Esther. The baby was due mid June. I wanted to plant beans so as to be available to help my wife, Ann, in the hospital delivery, without having any worry about the garden going to waste.
During that period, I was studying "time phasing" as part of my Industrial Engineering day-job. Many manufacturing companies use a time-phased plan for raw materials and parts requirements, in order to insure on-time delivery of the final product. The planning system is known as MRP, (Material Requirements Planning). For example; without a time phased plan, it would be impossible for John Deere to bring all the 20,000 parts of a combine together for shipment on time. MRP involves using a horizontal calendar, and planning backward from the customer’s expected delivery date.
Beginning with a time-phased horizontal calendar, (ie; Jan, Feb, Mar…), I scribed a line for the average frost date, and a 2nd line for the expected baby’s birth. Next, the various garden vegetables were listed, first to last, in order, as they are planted relative to the frost date. I counted weeks from the frost to first planting date. That is when the slide chart idea came. Looking at my personal garden plan, I realized that if the frost line could be made to slide, the chart would be useful as a tool for gardeners throughout the country. See diagram below....(It works from Florida to Canada, and from the East to the West Coast!)
The baby and the beans both came in the same week that year, beans are predictable, babies are not…(Smile). I obtained a copyright for the chart, had a batch of charts printed, and we went into business. However, the chart was not well received, and folks did not understand its value. We were a busy home-schooling family, with minimal marketing know-how, and formidable time constraints. I took a new job and we moved, so the chart project sat idle for about (9) years. Then a friend suggested we begin offering them on the internet. It worked! (Thanks for the encouragement DAB!)
Since 1999 when we began offering Clyde’s Garden Planner on the internet, we have sold over 225,000 charts. We sell to individuals who are looking for an easy method to identify local frost & planting dates. Many charts are also purchased by Garden Stores, Vegetable Seed Catalogs, Master Gardeners, and Hardware Stores; customized with their name in the header, and used as a promo or premium. My wife and (6) homeschooled children all participate in the business. We had (5) computers. Each child has business responsibilities, from folding charts, to taking and filling internet orders. (Note: Kids are all grown and out of the house now-days...)
I consider the chart idea a gift from God to our family, and to those who use it as a helpful tool for gardening. We thank Him for it! This simple invention has provided some of the extra funds needed to raise the kids, and has greatly expanded our mental horizons. Many folks we will never meet have helped us greatly with the business effort, and with internet promotion. We have learned to design, produce, fold, pack, ship, handle customer concerns, advertise on the net, and promote the business, from the home. The project has helped us trust the Lord for assistance as we move forward expanding the business each spring. Recently it has become a significant element in our retirement.
May the Lord bless your home-based efforts also!
8:00 am to 5:00 pm, CT, M-Friday
Clyde has a small cattle farm in south Missouri. We sell directly to individuals who want Farm-Raised and Farm-Finished beef. Contact Clyde if you are interested.
Clyde's Garden Planner
23496 Andrew Road
Grovespring, MO 65662
Clyde's and Ann's Home-Schooling Family used to travel and play Bluegrass.....kids are all grown up now, and we decided not to keep them as pets.
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Clyde also developed a helpful Harmonica Holder while traveling with the family.....see below, they come in several sizes: