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GWI Kurtz-Fernhout Software
Developers of custom software and educational simulations.
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Garden with Insight
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Source code
About GWI
Why free?
Book proposal
NSF proposal
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What is Garden with Insight?

The Garden with Insight garden simulator is an educational simulation that uses weather, soil, and plant growth models to simulate a simple garden in an open-ended microworld setting. You can plant vegetables and grow them to learn more about plants, the soil, the weather, gardening, and science.

How can I find out more? We've also placed the entire 600+ page help system on-line; you can use it as a resource to learn about things like vertical screen shot
Great! How do I get it?

You can download Garden with Insight right now!

What does it run on?

Garden with Insight requires Windows 95/98/NT.


How much does it cost?

It's free! Garden with Insight is released under the General Public License (GPL), which means that anyone can use the program and source code. If you're a programmer (or you're learning to program), check out our guide to the downloadable GWI source code.

This looks like you must have put a lot of work into it! Why is it free?

We sure did put a lot of work into it -- six person-years of work. Thanks for noticing. Why is it free? It's a long story. Something like this:

  • the project was much more difficult than we had originally expected (here's a little history);
  • it was a labor of love (i.e., we didn't have any funding);
  • we're not as good at marketing as we thought we would be; and
  • in the end, we didn't have enough money left to market it.
Besides, making money was never as important to us as making a great product that helps people to learn about sustainable gardening. Here's a longer answer.

Can I pay you something anyway?

Sure! If you like Garden with Insight and you want to help support our work, we invite you to register one of our other fine products.

What's in the future for Garden with Insight?

Well, at the moment we're spending most of our time consulting for Fortune 500 companies to pay off the cost of developing GWI and our other products. We're awaiting further funding to improve GWI.

If you know anyone on a foundation board who might be interested in helping us continue to support environmental education, put in a good word for us. (Seriously.) Or if you have resources and are interested in collaboration, we'd love to hear from you.

There's some discussion of the future of GWI on our why it's free page; and we've posted a grant proposal and book proposal that give you an idea of what we're hoping to do in the future.

We'd also love to hear your opinions of where you'd like to see Garden with Insight go from here; send your wish list of GWI 2.0 features to

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Updated: October 27, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998,1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.