Earlier this week I wrote a post on my meal plans. I briefly explained how I decided to take the route I am on now and the successes I’ve had so far. I never did get any comments on the post, but I wasn’t expecting very many since I posted it on the meals section of my website and very few people subscribe to that page or check that section of the blog. At some point I decided to visit my blog online instead of the admin panel to make sure the post published correctly and by doing that I discovered I (apparently?) deleted the meals section of my website. I don’t know how or when I would have done this, but that sure does explains the lack of comments on my post.
That post was supposed to be lead me into a later discussion on GNOWFGLINS, one of my favorite health and food blogs. The name is a mouthful the first time you see it, but it is an acronym for God’s Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season. Wardeh Harmon authors the blog, and I swear there isn’t a kinder person online. I’ll share my proof on that in a minute.
Earlier in the year I registered for Wardeh’s course on the fundamentals of traditional foods. Tristan had asked me at some point if I liked it, and I immediately responded in the affirmative. There are a few things about the course I loved, and for those who are thinking about taking it, I’ll share with you what I experienced.
- Wardeh dedicates an inordinate amount of time to her courses. I’ve taken a few, and I can tell you she goes above and beyond the call of duty. She is by far the most supportive, attentive, and conscientious ecourse instructor I have seen to date. Once you register for the course, you are allowed access to her private forum where you can chat with your classmates or ask questions. I think you all know me enough by now to expect I had a million questions. Wardeh answered every single question. She participated in every single thread posted by every single member. She personally welcomed every single person to the forum with a unique, unscripted comment in their introduction post. Every. Single. Person. This, on top of regularly posting on her blog and taking care of her family. I’m not sure she sleeps.
- Wardeh accounted for various learning styles. We all received weekly pdfs that detailed the week’s lesson. This was perfect for people like me, who learn best when reading from paper. But not everyone is like me, which is why Wardeh also had the same content in a video format for both the week’s lesson and recipe. For my thoughts on this, see #1 above.
- Wardeh priced her course reasonably. Everyone is trying to make a buck, so when I told Tristan what I was paying for five months of weekly instruction ($27/month), she about fell out of her chair. I told I was confident Wardeh, given the time and effort she put into her ecourses, would soon increase her prices significantly. I felt lucky I got in at the “lower” rate.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have singled out a blog in a post, and this is one of them. I’m writing this post for two reasons. First, I believe in what Wardeh is doing and would like to see her succeed. The best way to see that happen is through word of mouth.
The second reason has to do with my confidence in getting the lower rate. I was wrong. At the end of my session, Wardeh announced that she and her family had decided to offer all ecourses at a “pay what you can” rate. You can imagine the furor this caused. No one had ever heard of such a thing, especially in an online environment and with the economy still so poor. You can read more on her payment policy here, but here is a small portion that explains the main motivation behind the change.
We will make GNOWFGLINS eCourse available to everyone, regardless of income or schedule. We will no longer permit arbitrary factors to prevent someone from experiencing the blessings of God’s foods. There is too much at stake. When you register for a future GNOWFGLINS eCourse, all resources will be available to you immediately and without restriction. We have eliminated warranties, contracts and course deadlines. Share the learning experience with your family, friends, and co-workers. Take all the time you need to browse the lessons, study the materials, and participate in the forums.
What we ask is that when the time is right, you submit a payment for what you think the experience is worth. You decide when, how often, and how much to pay. This is our way of respecting your decision about what is best for you and your family. Some will contribute more and others less, but each according to one’s ability.
We take our example from Scripture, when Jesus praised the poor widow for her generous offering to the temple. The offering was just two mites, or the equivalent of a loaf of bread. The point was not the total amount, but its value to the poor widow. Christ said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 21:3-4). We encourage you to do the same.
Sounds like good people to me. I mean, I don’t know Wardeh in real life. For all I know, she drinks puppy blood out of horse hooves. But I’m going with my gut, and my gut says good people.
Because I am part of the last session before her “pay what you can” program, I have access to all courses and programs. I will be participating in the Sourdough ecourse she is starting on Monday. I encourage all of you to join me! I’m excited to learn all the recipes (just check out the video for most of what we’ll learn) but I am especially excited to make some crackers. I made some a while back and let me tell you, you have never tasted something so vile and repugnant in all your life. I couldn’t get my gluttonous beagles to so much as sniff at those door stops.
I think it goes without saying, but Wardeh did not pay me for this post and I did not tell her I was writing a post on her. I’m sure she is as surprised and exhausted as all of you who have just muscled their way through 1,138 words.