Saturday, October 14, 2017

That Was It

   The Kickstarter campaign was my last ditch effort to fulfill my life long dream of a small plant nursery growing fuchsias and a few other favorite plants.  If it had been successful, even with the tragic turn of events for Michael Breneman, I would have been able to finally focus my time on making cuttings and caring for them at a crucial time of year when it is still possible to make and grow cuttings without the support of a heated greenhouse.

   But do to the fact that Gustavo Beyer of Alladin Nursery and Gift Shop's decision to disregard the verbal agreements between Michael and I (we have been friends for over 35 years going all the way back to the Antonelli Begonia Gardens where we both worked for many years) and then shut me out of the nursery when I did the unthinkable.  I took an inventory of Michael's remaining plants after the retirement sale was supposed to have ended.  It will not be possible for me to continue to try and restart my plant nursery.

   I took an inventory for two reasons.  The primary reason being that Michael had told me that Gustavo was considering purchasing his remaining inventory after the sale ended on the 17th of September.  One of the reasons why Michael and I had not cemented our agreement was that until he knew how well the sale would go, he didn't know if he wanted to go with Gustavo's offer to purchase the remaining inventory.  Michael felt it would be too much money for Gustavo to have to pay all at once.  So Michael was thinking that I would instead get a percentage of his percentage as I took care of his plants and helped sell them as time went along.
   In order for Gustavo to have any idea of how much the remaining inventory was worth, it had to be counted.  In in order for the count to be fair, I first took the time to go through the entire greenhouse, cleaning it as I went and documenting this in Kickstarter updates to my campaign, and threw away all of the dead plants and emptied out all of the 2" and 4" pots which had no live plants in them.  In all, I emptied over 1200 2" bands and stacked them in their flats by the back wall.
   When Gustavo, Michael's life partner (who had a right to know the value of Michael's remaining inventory), and I had dinner after a meeting with Michael's doctors, I brought out the sheet with the tally of the inventory.  And I brought a sheet detailing all of the work I had done since the 15th of September.  I didn't even include the month of work I put in prior to Michael's original official retirement date.  Which tragically also turned out to be the day he had a massive heart attack.

   Gustavo was not at all happy that I had taken and inventory and he was especially upset that I would share this information with Michael's partner.  He declared that I was to get out of the greenhouse immediately and that he was only going to pay me $500 for my work.  But after I had removed all but the plants Michael had agreed to give me in return for his continued use of 100 square feet of the greenhouse for as long as he needed it, Gustavo declared that he wasn't going to pay me a dime and that I could not have any of my plants.  The last thing in the world he wanted in that greenhouse was someone who could count and keep records.

   Only Gustavo knows what has become of all the plants in Michael's extensive collection that he had packed into the 100 square foot area and the others he had intended to take home.  And only Gustavo knows what has become of Michael's entire inventory.  Because Michael has yet to receive payment for any of the sales made from the first of September and on to now.

   This was a financial blow I was not in a position to endure and therefore have been working several jobs since.  One full time.  Which means that there is not only no time to make cuttings, there is no time to care for them if I did.  I barely have time to keep the stock plants alive.

   That was it.  After six years of trying to recover from moving the nursery and having it freeze and then mowed down by deer, having to dig it all back up and build a deer proof enclosure, and meanwhile work many jobs, I give up.  It just makes me to sad to even water the fuchsias now.  And the jobs I have do not make anywhere near what I need to be making.

   When I started the Kickstarter campaign, I was so full of hope!  I didn't ask anyone I knew to make a pledge, I just asked them to please share the links, leave a comment, read the updates, etc.  Because Kickstarter watches the traffic a campaign is getting, very closely.  They even count how many times the video is watched and how many times it is watched to the end.
   Campaigns that capture a lot of interest, are almost always chosen as one of their "Projects We Love."  And if a campaign is tagged as a Project We Love, it is almost always a guaranteed success.  Some of them obtain ten times the amount of funding requested.
   But only a couple people could be bothered to share, some shared the wrong page, and only one person could be bothered to leave a comment.
   So it failed.  Thanks, thanks so much.
   Yes, I am a bit angry about it all.  The jobs I have are not sit down jobs, they are not good jobs.  They are what I could find on short notice.  Time has run out.