When you do what I do there is lots of good will, and the expectation I think, that you share what you know what you have learned. Of course you want other people to get into farming, and you hope of course, that they will be decent about it and not stab you in the back after taking off with your pearls of wisdom. And in his business, if an employee was sharing company secrets with "the competition", adios amigo!
I have talked to Farmstart about my farming experiences in the hope that sharing will help those starting out. I have had a steady stream of folks through over the years who ask both general and sometimes very specific questions about what I do. Sometimes these folks do end up in the growing business and sometimes they don't for whatever reason.
But I have been burnt sometimes. I had a gal here years ago asking for advice. She came out many times to talk, but then never showed up again after I gave her hundreds of dollars of tomato plants in exchange for work.
I had a gal asking me about my best tomatoes, I gave her seed and then 20 minutes from my home she begins selling the transplants the next year. Not mentioned to me! Some of this seed cost me literally hundreds of dollars because of associations I have to join and work I do in these organizations. Do I feel used? Sure do.
A fellow was here this winter asking me about growing heirloom tomatoes and then a few weeks later I get an email saying he is offering heirloom tomato gardening workshops....at a hefty cost.
I could go on, but don't want to. My husband would call these folks "the scufflers"....knocking over whoever they have to, to make a run for the top.
I never envisioned growers like this. When I was a kid growing up, our harvest table was always full with farmers who stopped by to help my dad out. My dad did the same.
I have also run into some tremendous people, who have gone out of their way to help and I do try to focus on this. But it troubles me. I don't want to stop talking to people...but this is my living too. I work awful darn hard, and it has taken me years to figure some things out. I'm still learning-every year you do.
I have to muddle my way through this one and hope to continue offering good will to other growers. But the way it looks, if I keep on-I may be jobless! Or husbandless!