Various ideas for the future of the Wild Edible Plants Wiki.
- Well, first off I think a page for each plant, or genus of plants when that's more appropriate, is in order. Exactly what info should be included isn't exactly clear but linking to the pages for each plant on the different sites seems to be one of the most vital parts. With up to 10 different links, I think they could just be slapped on the wiki in the traditional way, but for more (as I expect to arrive if this wiki takes off) other methods of posting them will be necessary. Perhaps posting links from the main sites (like PFAF, USDA, Wikipedia) in a box with their own places so users can immediately find links to their favourite sites for the plant. Other sites could be organized by type of site, like community sites, location specific sites, etc.
- That brings me to the question, how should we title the plant pages? Common name? Latin names? I'm thinking simply use the binomial Latin names then redirect the common names to the Latin named plant page. If there are multiple plants with the same common name, a disambiguation page, maybe with small pics for identification, would work out best.
- I think that we should create our own area specific info pages. Clearly we can't put area specific info in every plant page. Imagine just putting info from every province in Canada for each plant on their pages. Then try to add in info from other places. And of course, those areas are still too large and must be subdivided. For example, my province of Ontario I wish to split up into first, North and South, then split up Southern Ontario into at least 3 more groups. Perhaps a link mapped image or a few link mapped images would do the trick. Those links could go to... perhaps a template page where basic details from the main plant page are automatically placed and updated, but with other areas open for custom data for the specific region.
- I'd like to take the previous idea even further and offer highly specific details. For example, I'm a loner and, by definition, encounter few people. Yet despite that, in the last two months I've encountered 4 people I can think of that wanted to go pick ostrich fern fiddleheads this spring. Having specific locations in my area where they can be found and maybe including data (like how many were seen, when they were ideal growth, etc) on the page from year to year so that kind of stuff can be kept track of. A disturbing trend I found was that at least 3 of those other people didn't seem to mind taking every fiddlehead from an individual plant as well as taking far more than they could eat before they spoiled. Keeping this kind of data, I think, would help prevent damage from such activities.
- A community, as mentioned in the goal section. Levels of community, like the wider, global community, but also ever more narrow communities, ending on the individual level on their talk pages. I believe this wiki would be an excellent tool for such individual communities, but also to tie the communities together! If, *crosses fingers*, this wiki really, really takes hold and people all over the world, many from each province/state join, then we could have several levels of pages for each plant which can act as focus points to bring communities together, sharing info. Wikis could be made for prime spots, like provincial/state parks that would draw various communities to them.
- A place to tie in and contribute one's own experiences with plants as well as their own photos. Other possibilities exist as well, like 3D, rotateable images of plants for easier identification. Each person's creativity and work, even if it only amounts to one image, can all be gathered together here so that it has more meaning. The whole being more than the sum of its parts and all that.
- A big issue I have with the dead (static) way info about plants is passed on (through books, non-wiki pages, videos) is that it's from one moment in time. Or from one location. Or it's so scattered that there's little cohesion. Or that there's so much info for one plant that the entire book has to focus on that one. With a wiki of almost infinite size and human resource pool, with excellent organizational tools, a much better, more organic approach can be made. This may be asking a lot, but I don't think it hurts to look towards the ideals and strive for them so long as the more humble, immediately useful goals are not neglected.