UpBeet Gardener Newsletter Announces Doubled Subscriptions in Past Year

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Alaska gardener reaches around the world with free newsletter of upbeat gardening tips.

Gardeners around the world are finding a needed break in something not usually associated with relaxation--their computers. The UpBeet Gardener, an electronic newsletter published by master gardener Marion Owen of Kodiak, announces that it has touched people beyond the shores of Kodiak Island with the doubling of its subscribers in the past year.

“It’s more than just a newsletter,” Owen says. “It’s a gentle ‘how’s it going?' I believe the reason for the newsletter's popularity is that there’s a curiosity about Alaska that provides a vacation for the mind in this fast-paced world."

“With so much negative stuff in our newspapers these days it’s wonderful to read fun, helpful information,” wrote Tess Conrad of New Brunswick, Canada in an email to Owen. “You always manage to bring a giggle out of a person, too.” Wisconsin gardener Judy Jentz also appreciates Owen’s touch. “Your email newsletters are so uplifting. They deserve an A+, and the added humor is a bonus. I have never felt so invited, wanted, and welcomed to belong to a group of enlightening people.”

The UpBeet Gardener, available free and e-mailed to subscribers every month, contains tried-and-true organic gardening tips such as “Help from Kelp” and “163 Things You Can Compost,” unique recipes like chocolate beet brownies, and “sneaky nutrition” tips to help families get more nutrition in their meals. Owen, a master gardener for more than 15 years, teaches organic gardening classes, conducts workshops, writes for national publications, and developed PlanTea, a patented organic fertilizer in pocket-sized tea bags.

The newsletter, which features a dancing beet as its logo, also contains regular departments such as “Ear to the Ground” which provides readers with positive global news and earth-friendly buying tips, and “Garden Humor” to bring a smile. Uplifting quotations and stories from Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, which Owen co-authored, provide inspiration.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and now living on Kodiak Island, Owen personalizes each issue with news about eagles, earthquakes and local characters--a breath of fresh air to her subscribers living a fast-paced life.

A member of the Garden Writers Association, a professional organization of communicators and industry experts, Owen has had her work featured in hundreds of publications such as TIME, Better Homes and Gardens, National Geographic Traveler and Organic Gardening. She printed the first issue of the UpBeet Gardener in 1997; but when postage costs soared, she responded with an e-mail version.

“We’re so bombarded with demands for our attention, I try to keep articles short and sweet,” Owen says. Her simpler version counters the lack of gimmicks with helpful links, books and other resources so readers can follow threads of interest at their leisure. Owen also posts an online version on her plantea.com website.

Members sign up on her website through a secure method to ensure personal privacy. Her subscribers, who include editors from Sunset magazine and HGTV.com, businessmen and women, and home gardeners like Elaine Baldwin of New Zealand. “Your newsletter is so helpful and so straightforward, with so much information. Long may you garden."

To read the current issue and to sign up for the UpBeet Gardener, visit http://www.plantea.com.

Marion Owen lives, works and weeds in Kodiak, Alaska as President of PlanTea, Inc., manufacturer of PlanTea, the organic fertilizer in pocket-sized tea bags for the home gardener. To read her blog, visit http://garden.blogware.com


Marion Owen

PO Box 1980

Kodiak, AK 99615

Phone: 800-253-6331 (US & Canada) 907-486-2500

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