Renee Mendelow refers to herself as an accidental urban farmer. Her search for a companion for her daughters ‘lonely and bored’ Venus flytrap (her words) in 2012 made her realise that carnivorous plants were in very short supply and there was a gap in the market. She found a grower in the Western Cape and bought a small order of plants with the intention of selling them as an organic, educational gift for children in the neighbourhood. Renee also thought it would be interesting for her children to try and run a home industry and learn the basic principles of business. This resulted in the birth of Jozi Carnivores, a dedicated carnivorous plant nursery in the heart of Sandton.
Some additional points about Jozi Carnivores:
- Their product is reasonably unique in South Africa. Most people are unaware that there is such a wide range of carnivorous plants exist and that so many of them are available in South Africa. Twenty three species of carnivorous plants are endemic to the Western Cape.
- The company’s product is organic and they use organic farming practices. Renee farms in sun tunnels in her garden in addition, she has installed two extra tunnels in another garden. They collect rain water and avoid chemicals and pesticides.
- Their plants appeal to such a wide cross section of people.
- They teach consumers about the importance of collecting rain water and even sell bottled rain water. Carnivorous plants prefer mineral free water and rain water is an obvious choice. Once they explain to people how easy it is to collect rain water and that it is in fact a very scarce and precious resource, they are very motivated to start collecting it for their new carnivorous plant.
- They have