The company entered the market with simple, natural, safe and effective products to help plants grow. They feature a group of natural, organic and sustainable products which contain no agrochemical preparations.
It sounds almost unbelievable that someone would produce organic and homeopathic preparations for gardening. But today, people are more than ever becoming aware of the importance of food that ends up on their plates. More and more people are growing vegetables at home because they wish to eat food that contains no pesticides. They also want to know how their food is produced. The need for organic products for comprehensive plant care was noted some years ago by Aleš Pfeifer, the director of the company, and Marko Hočevar, the development director and agricultural engineer, who joined forces in the company HomeOgarden and developed ranges of completely natural and organic products for complete plant care and protection from rodents. Their green idea was recognised at the 2013 Start:up of the year competition, which placed them in the finals.
HomeOgarden is a comprehensive system of sustainable organic gardening without use of agrochemicals or artificial fertilisers. The range includes a selection of products for the organic preparation of soil: organic soil, organic fertilising and organic additional fertilising. “All substances are natural and organic, of high quality, with natural growth improvers such as mycorrhizal fungi and mineral leonardite. The pharmacy for plants is based on homeopathic complexes for plants and natural substances which strengthen plants and increase their immunity to diseases, pests and negative impacts of the environment,” says Hočevar, the development manager and conceptual creator of the programme.
Pfeifer added that both had been involved in gardening for over 15 years. “During this time, we paid attention to all new environment-friendly solutions for home and garden, and so a few years ago we came across homeopathy for plants. After a thorough analysis of literature, we contacted two pioneers and authors of the first expert books on homeopathy for plants when we started development,” explains Pfeifer. During their in-depth study, they discovered many positive responses to the use of homeopathy for plants.
The right path
The company decided that this was the right path and that they had to persevere. Today, it seems that they have significantly exceeded their initial boundaries. “In addition to the Slovenian market, our products are also available in Austria and Croatia, where we work with the largest traders. We are negotiating further expansion in the region, and plan to enter the German and Italian markets next year,” says Pfeifer.
They plan to become the leading provider of natural and environment-friendly solutions for home and garden in the region. Their key markets are particularly the developed ones in the region, such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy. They found that an efficient offer is significantly lacking in these markets. They also noticed the high awareness of Europeans who want a safe and healthy environment to grow plants without the use of chemical preparations or artificial fertilisers. Such thinking is the result of legislation and European policies.
“Our company’s mission is to offer consumers simple solutions for organic and sustainable gardening, which is reflected in our motto, ‘Creating a natural environment’,” explains Pfeifer. “After a two-year presence in the market, I can say that we’ve received an acknowledgement: we took the right direction and our customers have recognised the additional value of our innovative solutions.”
Their products are suitable for organic production because they have all the necessary certificates: all their products are 100% organic. Their product range is divided into an organic section for plants and homeopathic pharmacy for plants. An important advantage of their products is that they are easy to apply and significantly improve user experience.
“An illustrative example is our patented innovation, Organic soil, 50l, which we are convinced will change the European substrate market in the coming years,” says Pfeifer. In addition to simple purchase, handling, transport and, finally, use, the business operations of trading partners are also being improved. The key advantage of this soil is that you prepare it yourself and do not have to carry heavy packaging. The biggest component of soil is usually water, which is not always clean or free of chemicals. In the case of HomeOgarden soil, you add the water yourself and thus know exactly what you’ve added. This is essential in organic gardening.
The future is in organic gardening
Slovenians are known for their connection with the land, and the idea of self-efficiency or producing your own food has been gaining increasing support in recent times. When speaking to Pfeifer, I wondered if their products derive from the Slovenians’ attachment to soil and amateur cultivation of one’s own little plot of land.
“The fact is that Slovenia is one of the most developed markets for gardening in the world. Not only is there the people’s attachment to the land or the fact that many people are gardening, but there are also many companies in Slovenia which develop and manufacture products for home and garden,” says Pfeifer. Therefore the competition in the market is quite severe.
Gardening has become one of the most popular hobbies in Slovenia, and it is still growing, particularly due to consumer opposition to chemical products and growing distrust in providers of fresh fruit and vegetables. HomeOgarden products are aimed at sustainable development, which may change the approach to gardening. If you are sceptical about homeopathic and completely natural preparations for plant care, we urge you to test them. Don’t forget: the motto is forward with nature.
Polona Prešeren, SINFO