Business Grow Your Own Food

Published on February 7th, 2012 | by Priti Ambani

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Grow Your Own Vegetables With Smart Gardener – Interview Part II

Smart Living Studios founder Kristee Rosendahl talks to Ecopreneurist about her newest offering Smart Gardener, an customizable online tool that helps newbies start their own vegetable garden – to enjoy and grow their own food. 

Smart Gardener is a new SaaS productivity tool that enables enthusiastic gardeners to easily design, grow and harvest a successful organic vegetable garden.

Read part I of the interview here.

You have run other businesses. What is different about starting a business that underscores the triple bottom line?

For one, the general excitement, enthusiasm and energy level of people who want to be a part of these kinds of businesses. There are a lot of us who have been looking for something that has a greater purpose, that means something to us, that hits home in our hearts.

To work in a business that can be conscientious, make a difference, and be sustainable enough to create a livelihood for people, is a pretty powerful promise. It sure makes it easier to find great people. Who doesn’t want to be apart of the energy of that?

Secondly, these types of business are about solving problems with either completely new solutions or taking something that lives on the outside edges and moving it into mainstream. Think back to when most of us knew virtually nothing about the importance of composting, why we should read the carton on our eggs carefully, or how little control we really had about the food we were buying for our families. Moving those discussions and solutions from the early adopters to a larger majority of people is essential and exhilarating! This really speaks to the third point – the challenge that drove me to want to create Smart Gardener.

One of the most exciting parts of this for me has been the ability to apply technology solutions appropriately to an eco-social business. It seemed like a ripe opportunity to use the combination of technology and design to take something that is so “hands on”, like growing food, and make it fundamentally easier and more accessible to others. Can’t technology add value by automating or calculating the hard parts like crop rotation, seasonal scheduling or  how much to grow for a family of four? Doesn’t this save us time and allowe us to focus on the satisfying parts of raising food?

What are some of the challenges worth tackling in your eco-socio-centric business?

Many of us grew up in jobs surrounded by business tools, calendars, trackers, and other management tools that helped us get our work done efficiently. It seemed to me that there was a real opportunity here to create some easy to use productivity tools that could apply to a whole group of tasks around becoming more self reliant, and sustainable in our personal lives. What kinds of smart tools would you need to plan, manage, and harvest your vegetables, fruit trees, bees, chickens, water usage, security, even energy use. for your urban or suburban “homestead”?

The exciting part of all of this is not only trying to solve some of these huge problems, but actually figuring out how to incorporate solutions that can be adapted into the way we live – to mainstream sustainability. We won’t get the changes that are needed in our world if we don’t start to deeply root sustainability into our everyday lives. The challenge for eco-socio-centric businesses is how to move as fast and as fluidly between solving the big problems and making the solutions easily adoptable by an individual.

Through this offering, Kristee helps good food enthusiasts to

  1. Create a layout for their garden.
  2. Select plants according to the geographical location.
  3. Obtain a smart garden plan and
  4. Receive weekly to-do list to help you keep the garden healthy and happy.

What is stopping you from starting your own vegetable garden?



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About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+



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