Anyone can create a green space!
One of the most valuable things I’ve experienced over the course of my university degree is the great network of people I am able to meet outside of classes. I was fortunate to come across My Green Space, and interviewed start-up founder Michael Moll….
Is gardening the new ‘hip’ cool thing to do? It is always a challenge to balance life, especially if you live in an urban setting but Michael Moll, who grew up with about 2000 acres of farming land in Kenya, saw an opportunity.
After university, Michael and his girlfriend started growing food in Kitsilano (a Vancouver BC neighbourhood) and got really into full-time gardening. Over the course of this experience, he realized people weren’t necessarily disinterested in growing food; they were afraid.
Gardening requires time for learning the basic skills and knowledge/concepts like many other things, but a lot of the hands-on learning comes from experimenting, so it’s expected to fail sometimes. But people, especially these days, are afraid of failing.
Many of my friends tell me they keep killing the plants in their homes, and so they can’t ever imagine being successful in gardening, but maybe it’s just the knowledge they are missing about the plant. Is it meant for indoor environments? Are you giving it too little or too much sunlight, water, etc.? What if you had all the knowledge to grow healthy food in your pocket? This is the social impact start-up Michael began. He wanted to share the beautiful experience of growing your own food.
About My Green Space
My Green Space is an app that helps you plan a productive green food garden. It gives you tutorials at each stage, sends reminder notifications, maintenance, and harvest information. The aim is to make sure people are able to grow food with confidence.
You can choose to buy a garden: using the shopping wizard, you can customize the planter box based on your location and space, then select the plants that will thrive in it
The second option is if you already have an existing garden and want to get some extra management tools and customized tutorials.
In a phone interview, Michael illustrates some of the challenges behind his idea and business:
- Growing food in every microclimate is different.
- It is extremely important to be efficient in managing your time, because there is so much to do, and they are a small team of three.
Michael emphasizes he really aims to empower people to grow their own food, and bring back food justice. He talked about the current issues around global food poverty, and the uneven food distribution. Eventually, he would like to see My Green Space in schools and offices.
The Final question: How has this experience affected your lifestyle?
A start-up is like a marriage. You are looking at 80-90 hours, plus weekends, but it doesn’t seem like work all the time. Michael strategically engineered his time schedule so that he gets time in the office, in the community, at events, and the garden.
Michael and his girlfriend share the base of food in their value system. It is who he is. His advice is that start-ups can consume you, so choose something that you love.
And if you love food, you will most likely love it even more if you grow it yourself. Check out My Green Space to get started.