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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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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: It's a simulation!

You might be asking: "Exactly what is Garden with Insight, and what can I do with it?"

Is it a garden planner? No, Garden with Insight is definitely not a garden planner. You can lay out your computer garden in any way you want, and theoretically you could use this program to help you plan a garden. But planning is not its purpose.

Is this a garden database? No again. Though Garden with Insight can simulate over 700 soil types and 1000 weather stations, it does not have a database of thousands of plants, and probably never will. It is not meant as a reference library.

Is this a garden encyclopedia? Not really. There are many excellent gardening books you can read, and we recommend some of our favorites. We do not attempt to encompass all the things you can learn about gardening or give you specific advice about how to grow your own garden.

Then what is Garden with Insight? It's a simulation! A simulation is a simplified, abstract look at a complicated system that helps you understand some of the important processes that are going on. The great strength of simulations is that you can make measurements and changes that would be impractical, too expensive, too dangerous, or even impossible in a real garden. Simulations have their limits, though -- see A cautionary note about simulations.

We believe that using Garden with Insight will help you garden with more insight (get it?) into the many processes and connections that make a garden so complicated and so fascinating. You can use Garden with Insight to learn more about how the weather, the soil, and plants interact, and about the science that is used to model these things.

We hope that after using this program you will look at the soil and plants in your garden in a new way, and that it will encourage you to learn more about the science behind gardening. We have gained a new respect for and fascination with our real garden as we have worked on this computer garden.

If you are a teacher, a student, or a student of gardening, see the Introduction for teachers and students for more information about how Garden with Insight helps you learn about gardening. If you want to use Garden with Insight with your kids, see the Introduction for parents and kids.

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Updated: May 4, 1998. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.