Free is cheap. And nobody wants cheap.
Despite the baggage that a lot of people carry around on the topic of money, it is important to remember that money is simply a neutral arbiter of value.
So when something is free, that sends a signal to people that it is not valuable.
And who wants something that isn't valuable?
People are willing to, and want to, pay for things that add value to their life.
Especially with "products" that require our time (like a gardening class), having to pay money reassures us that we are spending our time wisely, because money = value and free = cheap.
I see too many well-intentioned people undercharge for their service, event, or product.
Sorry friends - you're not doing anyone a favor.
Charge some money. Even a small amount is better than $0.
Not only will you not turn people off, you will actually attract even more aspiring gardeners than before, and the value you ultimately add to their lives, to your life, and to the world, will be much greater.
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