Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Come join the wiki group (and earn some badges)!

Hi all – I’m currently kick-starting some winter wiki projects over in the Wiki group , so if you feel you might like to participate, come and join in!

There is no obligation, you can do as much or as little as you like. You definitely don’t have to be an plant expert to take part – if you know how to google and find information from various sources that’s pretty much all it takes!

As a bonus, if you haven’t already earned your wiki badges (Contributor , Editor and Curator ) , then it’s also an excellent chance to get a start on these!

First project is Vitis – I’ve made a start on this, but still plenty left to do :)

Suggestions for next projects for the wiki are also most welcome!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Our first official Bloom Day is this Wednesday!

Inspired by Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (started I believe by the creator of the May Dreams Gardens blog a couple of years ago ) we thought we would create a badge to honour those bloggers on Folia that are also participating in this wonderful gardeners online event each month!

To participate and earn your December Bloom Day badge, simply log a Bloom event on the 15th of December (that’s this Wednesday – mark your calendars!).

Although this one might be a bit of a challenge for those in the northern hemisphere as it’s now getting pretty wintery , those on the opposite end of the world have a great chance to get this badge and show the rest of us what’s currently blooming! We’ll feature some of the best blooms throughout the day on the site, on our facebook page and on Twitter

More details over on our Badge group post (while you’re there, consider joining our group if you want to hear the latest on new Folia badges!)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Folia Faire 2010 - The Winners!

Over the past week, Nath and I have been busy tallying results for the Folia Faire, and have managed to whittle away the nominations to a final set of winners.

Without further ado here are the results of the Folia Faire 2010 !

Congratulations to all awardees – you’ll be receiving your official Folia Faire Awardee badges very soon!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Woohoo! It's Folia Faire time again!

It’s that time of the year again! Like any good village faire, we’re holding a friendly contest to find the biggest, best and most beautiful plants and gardens on Folia.

To remind you of all the fun we had last year, here were the winners for 2009.

This year we are going to change the way that the nomination and vote process works a little bit – you’ll find a nomination form here that you can fill out to nominate your favourite for each category. Voting is anonymous – if you want to add reasons why you nominated each one, feel free! We’ll compile the best comments and display on the final award results page.

You can fill out as many as you like, and you can nominate yourself if you want. Try to include links where possible as it will make it easier for us to tally and to award the winners. The only rule is: the nominee needs be a member of Folia, and the journal, plant or garden needs to be posted on Folia to be eligible.

Let the Faire begin! Voting will be open from 14 Nov – 30 Nov 2010

Folia Village Faire Nomination Form 2010

Along with the main nominated categories, as part of the Faire you’ll notice that we’ll be releasing a ton of interesting new awards and badges over the coming weeks (so far, this weekend we have just released the Old Growth badge, the First Sprout badge and the First Bloom badge, with plenty more on the way) For more info on what badges have already been released, hints on new badges and to make suggestions for new ones we should consider join our new Folia Badges group!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

What are My Frost Dates? instant search (BETA)

New this week is another (beta) search page for finding your frost dates:

What Are My Frost Dates?

The idea is that this will be a standalone tool (exactly the same as the new What’s My Zone search page) – it should work worldwide as it is based on everyone’s Folian Frost Date observations. For the same reason, it can be a little less accurate as we are dealing with real data so we need your help to make it as good as it can be:

Check that you currently have the most accurate Frost Dates listed in your Gardener configuration settings

To make sure at the start that we are using the most accurate data available, instead of using the search to check your Frost Dates, try and validate your dates with an outside source if you can. Frost dates can be quite difficult to find, so it would be great if anyone finds some good sources that they could list them in this thread for others to use.

I’ll start with a few that I have found in my travels around the net: (US) (US, UK and Australia)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

"What's My USDA Zone?" Instant Search

Hi all – this week, we’ve also rolled out a new (beta) search page for finding your zone:

What’s My USDA Zone?

The idea is that this will be a standalone tool that anyone can use to check what zone they are in – it works worldwide as it is based on everyone’s Folian Zone observations. For the same reason, it can be a little less accurate as we are dealing with real data so we need your help to make it as good as it can be:

Check that you currently have the most accurate Zone listed in your Gardener profile, and each of your Gardens.

Make sure you are using the USDA Zone scale, not Sunset / Aussie etc. as different scales will effect the accuracy of the search.

To make the conversion easier, we have also developed a new Aussie to USDA Zone converter to easily check what your USDA zone is (if you don’t know your Aussie zone, check this site first).

Sunset to USDA is a bit trickier as Sunset is much more granular than USDA, so several Sunset Zones can be the same USDA Zone. We’re still working on a converter for this, but in the meantime you can find a basic converter here (if anyone can find any others, let us know!)

The wikipedia entry on Hardiness Zones is also a good reference point to use.

Why does Folia use the USDA Zone system?
We are using the USDA zone system as our standard reference point as it is the most widespread and recognizable climate zone system. We know it has a limited practical application in places where frost dates are rare or non existent, but the main benefit of the system is to group gardeners together that are in similar climatic conditions – so it’s a useful system for Folia to use (until a better system comes along!).

Anyway, let us know what you think about the new What’s my Zone? page !

New Garden Harvest Tally Reports

Quick note about a new feature for our lovely Supporters – from today, you’ll now see a “Harvest Tally” tab on your Garden profile pages.

This is a brand new page that summarises all of your harvest logs for every year of your garden. Instead of basing this on the traditional Jan – Dec calendar year, the year is based on whatever date you choose your gardening year to start at – you can configure this date over on your Account Configuration page.

The page is also nicely printable (only prints the tally, not the rest of the page), and also is exportable for import to your favourite spreadsheet program. You’ll find both of these options over on the right hand side of the page.

How far you can go back in your harvest history is also configurable – it’s based on your garden’s Established Year – to change, edit your garden and you’ll find a box to modify (under the Location details).

To see an example, check out my Rooftop Terrace Garden Harvest Tally from last year (I can already see that this year hasn’t been nearly as productive as last!), cristina’s Herb’s and vegetable garden or flowerweaver’s Vegetable garden (both have weights AND amounts recorded and are much more diligently entered than my own records!)

This feature is exclusively available to our Supporters. Supporters help us keep the site up-and-running and allow us to spend time working on funky new features like this one. Check out your Account Upgrade page for details on how you can become a Folia Supporter.

Let us know what you think! If you have any suggestions or issues with using this feature, please log it over in our new Support / Feedback area so we can track it through for you :)