My name is Christina Nikolic and I took over The Organic Gardener's Pantry from Phil Nauta on January 1st, 2010.
Phil and I are colleagues and friends, sharing a passion for the organic movement in its countless aspects of everyday life, and particularly in agri/horticulture - the care of the land.
I am continuing Phil's business for the same reason he started it: There is contagious excitement about finding real (and real simple) solutions to some of today's pressing environmental issues, and to share these finds with others so that we can effect real change, using low tech methods at low cost, one garden and one field at a time.
Phil will stay involved from a distance, kindly helping me to get on my way while pursuing new projects of his own. We will continue to work together on the process of transitioning the Organic Gardener's Pantry to the next level.
I am absolutely thrilled to be offered this opportunity. When I asked another close friend about her advice in this endeavor, she expressed her belief that as long as my business supported the earth, the earth would surely support me. That pretty much sums it up!
Way back in my country of origin, Germany, I received a degree in landscape architecture and extensive industry training, yet I always felt that there was something important amiss.
I found the answer to that "something" in Victoria BC upon joining the Society for Organic Urban Land Care, SOUL.
Not only did my approach to horticulture shift completely towards organic principles; something like a general paradigm shift happened. Ecology, a mere elective during all my years of study, has now become an integral part of my work and daily life.
Up until 2010, I ran Stewardship Natural Landscape Design in Victoria, B.C., offering certified organic garden design and consultations as well as planting service and light garden maintenance since 2003.
I had been using Phil's products at numerous sites, including my own garden, with great success. With the Pantry gaining ground, the design business is now simmering on the back burner.
A graduate of Gaia College, I became a SOUL Certified Organic Land Care Professional in 2005 and soon after that, a Gaia College instructor.
I teach both the Ecological Landscape Design program and the SOUL Organic Master Gardener course and, more recently, the course on Plant Knowledge for Organic Gardeners. I find that teaching compliments my other work in a very rewarding way.
A "student of life" in times of considerable local and global challenges, I feel a strong dedication to living in harmony with each other and with the earth.
My name is Phil Nauta and I am an organic gardener. I'm certified in Organic Landscape Management from Gaia College, an amazing organization where I have also taught.
I am a SOUL (Society for Organic Urban Land Care) certified Organic Land Care Professional. I have my Permaculture Design Certificate and have also forayed into studying sustainable and natural building.
I owned a small organic gardening company in London, Ontario for two years before moving out to Victoria in the fall of 2007 and staring The Pantry.
Here is a list of how I have decided to run this business:
- As myself - While many businesses put up a formal, corporate appearance, I want to show up front that I am one person. I chose to start this business because I am a passionate organic gardener and I am enthusiastic and knowledgeable about these products. I hope to gain much more knowledge along the way.
- As a website - I operate only on the internet without a bricks and mortar store. This greatly cuts down on overhead, allowing me to offer the product at the lowest possible price. Still, I am excited to meet anyone in person if you would like to see some products or discuss anything.
- Without marketing psychology - If a product is $20, it will be priced as $20, not $19.99. I will sell you only products that I think you need, not only those with high profit margins. I will avoid marketing hype (such as 'this product is better/faster/cheaper than any other in the world').
- For our planet - I operate every aspect of this business for our planet. This includes reducing waste, using recycled and sustainable materials, and reducing emissions. This also includes sourcing my products as locally as possible, without sacrificing quality.