A couple years ago, I visited my friend Heather Gorringe at Wiggly Wigglers in England. Wiggly Wigglers is so very unique and wonderful that it’s almost hard to explain exactly what it is. It’s primarily a mail-order company selling any sort of supply you might want for eco-friendly country living. What does that mean? From one catalog you can order seeds and plants, worm composters, bird feeders and feed, tools, eco-friendly cleaning products, chicken-keeping supplies, beekeeping supplies, bat boxes, and more.
Heather also produces my favorite gardening podcast, which you can listen to here, and she recently got a grant that allowed her to travel around the world and find out how other small farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs are using social media (blogging, podcasts, etc) to connect with each other and grow their businesses. (check out Podcast 0113 for her visit to my backyard while she was on that trip)
I just got the latest Wiggly Wigglers catalog–if you can even call it that. It’s 224 pages, bound like a paperback book, and full of articles, interviews, stories, clippings, ideas, and beautiful photographs, along with merchandise. It’s the kind of thing you could keep on your nightstand and read all year long. Yes, there’s something very old-school about printing a catalog on paper and mailing it out into the world, but there’s a social networking element to this catalog, with its contributions and ideas from fellow gardeners all over the world.
I’m not sure if they’ll ship a catalog to the US for free, but in spite of the dreadful exchange rate it would be well worth it to find something interesting to buy from the Wigglers just to get their catalog along with it. Good luck resisting the tile lantern, the string garden dibbler with concealed blade, or their incredibly cool chicken runs. You’re supporting a good cause–this company is helping to support local farmers by buying their products, employs quite a few clever and interesting people, and is really spreading the word about all things green. Mostly, I just suffer from serious Wiggler envy–how I adore their bucolic English countryside lifestyle. Sigh.
You can also find Wiggly Wigglers on YouTube–here’s the sort of silliness you can expect: