Change is Good
Change is good. If you visit our site often, you might’ve noticed a big change. The previous version of the website had been up since 2016, and work started on it a year earlier. Most of us don’t have cell phones that old! Also, over the last 4 years we’ve seen a shift on our site from mainly desktop users to mobile users. While the old site was somewhat smartphone-friendly, there were areas to improve.
The old version of the site was pretty slow it you were trying to load it over a cellular connection. This is partially because our goals for the site have changed over the years. As we’ve implemented those changes, the amount of media (photos, videos, etc.) has increased on most of the pages. This led to slow load times. The solution has been to implement Ajax. Not to get too technical, but it basically prioritizes what loads on a page. For example, in a gallery of blog posts, it will load the images at the top of the page first, and load the others in the background as you scroll down the page. This also helps save your mobile data plan.
Another big change was switching to a more minimalistic overall style for the site. Over the years, the site had gotten a bit cluttered. Unused pages here, unnecessary sidebar content there … some areas were pretty messy. It might not come as a surprise, but my office gets cluttered sometimes too. It was time to clean house. I’m still making minor tweaks to colors and fonts here and there, but the big changes are done.
The KonMari Method
I was recently introduced to the organizing methods of Marie Kondo. Kondo's method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that "spark joy" (ときめく tokimeku, the word in Japanese, means "flutter, throb, palpitate"), and choosing a place for everything from then on.
Kondo says that her method is partly inspired by the Shinto religion. Cleaning and organizing things properly can be a spiritual practice in Shintoism, which is concerned with the energy or divine spirit of things (kami) and the right way to live (kannagara). "Treasuring what you have; treating the objects you own as not disposable, but valuable, no matter their actual monetary worth; and creating displays so you can value each individual object are all essentially Shinto ways of living.”
So how can you apply this method to gardening? There’s a couple different aspects I have in mind. First, most of us have garages or tool sheds, and they can sometimes become a collection point for all sorts of clutter. Do you really need 15 different types of weeding tools and that ripped row cover you might be able to repair? Another area is in the garden itself. I know planting 20 tomato varieties might sound like fun, but do you really need them? Maybe not.