[NAFEX] nafex Digest, Vol 107, Issue 17

Neil Lewis lewisn at georgetown.edu
Sat Dec 17 13:40:16 EST 2011

Present state of NAFEX

I'm glad to hear that membership is increasing with the new website; 
this shows the value of making proactive attempts to increase interest. 
If there is any time that a fruit growing club should be increasing in 
size it is now, with the explosion of interest in growing one's own 
food, keeping chickens and bees, and so forth. My suspicion is that one 
of the difficulties that NAFEX faces is not that it is not sufficiently 
international but that it is not sufficiently local. Local fruit growing 
clubs like Backyard Fruit Growers in PA have large memberships and 
meetings are very well attended by people living in the area. NAFEX 
basically has only one meeting a year and a newsletter, and it is often 
expensive to attend that meeting if it is at the other side of the 
country from where one lives.

One positive step that could immediately be taken is to make the online 
forum open to all viewers and not password protected. Perhaps only NAFEX 
members could contribute, but it should be something anyone can see. 
This is common with forums on the web. We are stabbing ourselves in the 
foot by not allowing anyone with an interest in fruit to see it. 
(Incidentally, I like online forums. One problem with the email system 
is that we get a lot of repetition in the posts from the preceding 
posts; it is also easy to search online forums for material.)

I'll be interested to hear the thoughts of others on these issues.

Neil Lewis

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