We’re launching a brand new wiki-website today, the 4th of August 2012, Practical Plants. This is a project we have been working on (in between gardening and building) quite a lot since January; it’s been a lot of hard work and we’re extremely excited (and relieved) to be able to launch it now. We hope that it becomes a lively project with a strong community that helps us to build it.
Practical Plants is a collaboratively edited encyclopedia and database of information on plants cultivated with a practical intention. Over 7400 plant articles covering edible, medicinal and material uses, propagation and cultivation information, plant associations and polycultures, and everything else you need to know to grow and benefit from practical plants.
We’ve launched it, but it belongs to all of us. Everything is editable by anybody, and licensed under a Creative Commons license to be used by anybody. This is incredibly important for the future as “social” websites claim ownership of our information. The data we create belongs to all of us in common, not any one person or organisation.
The aim is simple: if a plant has practical uses, inform how to propagate, cultivate, and use it. There is a natural bias towards environmentalism, sustainability, and against chemical agriculture, but the information is widely applicable.
Practical Plants articles are collaboratively edited, like a wiki, and contain embedded data which is machine readable. This enables advanced search capabilities while still presenting people with articles written to be read by human eyes, not fields of data intended for a machine.
The website also includes a ‘community’ section with a forum. If Practical Plants is a project at all relevant or useful to you, by all means please do log in to our new forum and say hello.