You Grow Girl – I’ve Launched a Patreon

Patreon is a membership platform that allows online writers, artists, and other content creators to receive funding directly from their fans, or patrons. I’ve set up my account to include 6 possible tiers of support, each with specific rewards. Since I am new to this community-supported model, I am not sure yet how things will play out. However, my goal is to create a healthy, mutual exchange so that you feel you are getting something from your support, while also allowing me to still have energy remaining to do the things I hope to do with this support.
Become a Patron!
Early Backer Bonus
Your confidence in coming on as an early backer is especially meaningful, so I am thinking up some extras that I can offer to the earliest backers. Anyone who joins within this first week at $5 or higher will be sent a digital download of their choice (one of two books available in eBook format or The Makes embroidery patterns, which include a small instruction booklet with visual how-tos and my tips and tricks for transferring patterns and finding affordable materials. Since higher tiers may already receive one or more of these items as a reward, your bonus may include all downloads or something extra not currently available for your tier.
See all Tiers here.
Why Am I Launching a Patreon?
I’ve never been comfortable with advertising, especially in the Gardening World, where so much of it is in support of big chemical or is about selling gardeners products they don’t need. For that reason, I’ve always kept advertising on my website to a minimum, and that has come at a personal cost to me. The work I have been making here for 20 years was supported by paying work I did elsewhere (my day job) and all costs associated with keeping the site running came directly from my own pocket. And as the making a living through online work becomes more and more tied to corporatization, it’s become even harder to maintain an independent voice.
And then I got sick. As you may know, I’ve spent the last four years trying to get help and heal from chronic illness. Energy is extremely limited now and any I have has had to be directed toward paying work so I can survive and pay for the treatments I need to build my strength and resilience, and hopefully bring me back to full health again. Unfortunately, that means that there is not enough left to write about and do the work that I believe really matters. I have a strong voice and a wealth of experience, but that is being lost to the hustle of basic survival. Before illness came to me, I worked long hours everyday trying to do it all. It wasn’t the healthiest way to live, but I am passionate about gardening and believe in the work, so it was what it was. However, I simply can’t do that any longer. And frankly, even if I experienced a sudden recovery today, I wouldn’t want to revert back to the way I did things before. If there is one thing that this experience has taught me, it is that as a culture, we need to stop celebrating the grind and prioritize rest.
The extreme vulnerability of sudden onset illness as well as publishing my last book through KickStarter have shown me that doing it alone is a myth. There are other ways to move through life. We are meant to be together and support one another. I don’t consider this a hand-out, but am still learning about community-supported work and how to navigate it in a way that works for all of us. However, I am eager to give it a try and with time will refine how I use this space and the parameters of the tiers when it makes sense.
What Will My Patreon Support?
Accessibility has always been important to me because I believe that gardening is for everyone and not just those who can afford “the right” space, or tool and things, or access to information. But maintaining a website of this size costs money beyond the time it takes to create the content. Without running ads and sponsored posts (as I’ve said before, selling stuff to people that they don’t need), the site is not self-sustaining and monthly maintenance comes out of my own pocket. For the sake of accessibility, I have always rejected a subscription-based model, as I want what is here to continue to be available to anyone who needs it.
By becoming a backer and supporting the You Grow Girl Patreon you will be supporting the continuation of my work, allowing me to keep making content that is accessible to everyone. Once basic goals are met, I hope to use Patreon to create a few self-published books, as well as work on and finish other book projects that I have had to shelve for now due to a lack of time. Depending on how things go, there are other possibilities, but for now I am keeping my goals focused primarily on maintaining the site and creating new content here and on social media.
Thanks so much for being a part of my journey through 20 years of garden publishing and coming with me on this new path forward.
Gayla
Become a Patron!

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Heey welcome on my personal page! I am Lubna Berkhout and i will be sharing alot of my travels and also i will post tips for if you want to travel too. Feel free to contact me! Much Love, Lubna Berkhout

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