Grow Organics

Initiated mostly by my wife, Grow Organics emerged out of a growing interest in gardening and growing concerns about the trajectory of our current food system. It started with simply planting some veggies and herbs wherever we could and soon we (re)discovered how delicious fresh tomatoes and home made pesto really are. At the time, we were both working full-time in our own practices. My wife as an architect / urban planner and me as web designer / developer. From these perspectives, we started talking about a marketplace for organic veggies. The idea was to connect organic farmers in the Philippines to each other, to the external resources needed for their growing operation and ultimately to buyers of their produce. That was around 2015.

The first sprouts of Grow Organics
The very first sprouts of Grow Organics, grown in my basement appartment in Utrecht.

As we got to know more and more growers and learned about their problems, the concept constantly morphed into different shapes, taking us into different directions. We realized, among other things, that there simply wasn't enough supply to meet the growing demand for organic produce. So our efforts needed to be more focused on switching to organic farming. It became less of a technical exercise and more of an advocacy. Not everything can be "solved" with an app.

In the end, we didn't really turn it into anything tangible. But the journey has given us many valuable insights, about ourselves, about the world, and has led us to meet so many great people. My wife and I got to know each other a lot better too and we even ended up in a startup competition on a tropical island once (in a typhoon, so romantic), where Tricia was brave enough to "pitch" our still scattered and vaguish plans to a group of possible investors. We weren't the unicorn they were looking for, but that's OK. In fact, I don't think it ever needed to turn into anything specific. The journey is the destination, as they say. And it got us to where we are today.

We never stopped growing herbs and veggies, and we probably never will!