The Garden Rangers know a thing or two about going places. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is to get there. It might be crossing the Sahara, rappelling down a cliff, slogging through a swamp, backpacking through the jungle or taking a simple a trip to downtown LA. The Garden Rangers will get there.
Garden Rangers are tasked with carrying the advice and knowledge from the experts at GardenAdvice to people around the world, many of whom are in some of the most out-of-the way places. The help and assistance they provide is often life changing for the people on the receiving end, especially after major environmental events. Their motto is “Always ready to assist.”
Each Garden Ranger team is made up of people with different skills. Just think for a moment about the United states Marines. Each member of the crew on a mission has a different area of expertise that is needed to get the team where it’s going. The Garden Rangers operate on the same principle.
One team member might focus on the mechanics of traveling tough terrains, another navigates, a third handles communication, a fourth takes care of any first aid requirements along the way, and a fifth takes care of all the food for their journey. Each team member is vital to the journey, and each has a role to play. A few of the most recent additions to the Garden Rangers are retired U.S. Marines. Their expertise in getting to difficult places is crucial to the goal of the Garden Rangers.
Those who want to become a Garden Ranger must undergo a rigorous test showing that they have the necessary skills to reach these difficult places. The tests are conducted in teams, just as if they were heading out on a real expedition. Each group member plays a role. The test is called the Three Peaks. They’ve got to be able to travel 26 miles of varying terrain in eight hours or less. The retired Marines who took the test did it in less than six hours, including a lengthy break in the middle of it to take in the sights at the local pub!
The test to become a Garden Ranger is about more than just making sure you have the necessary skills. If you fail the test once, you just take it over and over again until you pass. Each time you take it, you’ll have more confidence than the last time because you will have been there before. It’s about building your confidence so that when you’re in a real situation, you know what to do.
Before a Garden Ranger team sets off, a good deal of research is undertaken in relation to the place they are going, often by the Junior Rangers who are part of the GardenAdvice young gardeners program. The Junior Ranger program shows them just how much the Internet can be used to communicate, research, and publish information.
Although Garden Rangers are heading into some very rugged and faraway terrain, they are not alone. They’ve got a team back at home base helping them out. When they get where they’re going, they use the latest tech to access the Internet and get additional information and advice for the people they are assisting. If they’ve never seen a certain kind of soil before or there’s a pest problem that falls outside their experience, all they do is send a picture back and have a specialist member of the GardenAdvice team look into it.
Being a Garden Ranger is certainly not for the fainthearted, but it is for those who can ask the simple question of themselves ‘Why not?’