[nafex] Non-members: JOIN or NOT JOIN?

Greg Miller gsmiller at cet.com
Sun Dec 10 00:56:42 EST 2000


It helps to have a sense of humor to post a comment about how 
well the current method of subscription works, only to have that 
premise shaken by a subsequent line of discussion.  

If there was any question about the genie being out of the bottle, 
having directions to the list published in Johnnys Seeds should 
pretty much answer the question.  (We usually order something in 
Johnnys, and I have nothing against them.  But it doesn't strike me 
as being obviously related to the promotion of uncommon nuts and 
fruits.)  

I guess it's a good time to get to get to the basic question, WHAT 
DOES ANYONE BELONGING TO THE LIST OWE TO NAFEX?  To 
answer that question I think we have to look at what this list gains 
from being associated with NAFEX.  (For those who like the brief 
version," joining NAFEX" is my answer--the longer version begins 
now.  <g>)

1.  POMONA, the publication of NAFEX, helps direct people HERE 
who have a common, SPECIALIZED interest in the cultivation and 
utilization of uncommon varieties of fruits and nuts.  If you want 
general gardening information I have little doubt there are much 
better sites; a web search will likely find tens of thousands sites 
along those lines.  (Maybe other people will even pick the same hit 
you choose.)

2.  Many of the people who are directed here as a result of NAFEX 
have a tremendous wealth of experience, especially for specialty 
questions.  Put more succinctly, there are a lot of people on this list 
who actually know what they are talking about (at least when it 
comes to fruit cultivation <g>).  Anyone who gardens long enough 
eventually experiences the revelation where you find out that 
some of the axioms (repeated in article after article in much more 
attractive magazines than POMONA) exist only to the extent that 
someone else wrote them down somewhere at some time in the 
past.  (I have often wondered if there is a secret chain-letter for 
gardening writers that threatens horrific consequences unless 
"obvious" admonitions are passed along to their receptive 
readers.)  Compared to most other information on the internet 
(misinformation?) the information here ranks high.

3.  The Board of NAFEX has graciously, if implicitly, (at least up 
until now) not taken the action of demanding that people prove 
NAFEX membership before joining this list.   There is a large 
proportion of NAFEX membership NOT on this list also deserving of 
the Board's attention.  Without getting too self-important, to some 
extent this email list has the potential to divert potential members 
away from NAFEX membership.  To the extent that lower 
membership impacts content in POMONA, it could impact those 
members who choose to stick with POMONA alone.  And of more 
interest to NAFEX members who frequent this list, open 
membership makes the likelihood of drifting "off topic" more likely.

Obvioiusly the NAFEX Board (which I will add has the right to 
speak for itself on any of these matters) can't prevent people of 
like interest from associating in an email list or any other forum, but 
it doesn't have to facilitate anything potentially destructive to it's 
membership, either.  Those who appreciate the current 
membership policy of this list might consider supporting 
CONTINUATION of that policy by joining NAFEX if the list is of 
benefit to you.  (Which raises the question, if it's not of benefit, 
why are you wasting your valuable time here?)

There are actually one MUCH BETTER reason to belong to NAFEX 
than this list alone.  POMONA *really* is worth the price of 
membership in my opinion.  Not every article is a jewel, but when 
an article does hit, it does so in a way that general comsumption 
articles can't begin to approach.  Person after person has noted 
that they save back issues of POMONA (I do!), and it ain't for the 
grand prose or compelling literary style.  It's for the information.  It's 
truly one-of-a-kind.

I would invite non-members to join NAFEX.  $15 a year isn't going to 
be the deciding factor for anyone capable of owning the computer 
and connection service required to read this message.

Greg Miller

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