But it was definitely not plain sailing.
We quickly realized that keeping a few plants on a sunny kitchen window sill was very different to cultivating hundreds of plants outdoors. We needed to protect the plants against wind and hail so we bought some small, portable sun tunnels.
It was a disaster!
We seemed to lose more plants than we sold. The plants were miserable. So we tried a few small green hothouses to house the plants but the results were still disastrous.
We realized that either we needed to take Jozi Carnivores seriously and invest in a proper sun tunnel or shelve our enterprise altogether. In an act of immense courage and bravery we installed our first proper sun tunnel in a slightly unused corner of the tennis court.
With trepidation we placed the depleted stocks in the grand new tunnel and waited expectantly.
The plants were ecstatic and they grew magnificently. I suddenly realized that almost anyone can be a carnivorous plant farmer.
Our thirsty bog plants needed lots of water and lots of plants need lots and lots of water. Why did we not think of this before? We decided to install our first JoJo tank to capture the summer rains. Carnivorous plants love rain water as they need water that is free of the chlorine and minerals found in tap water.
It was a brilliant move and we were instantly rewarded by the mother of all storms. Our water problems seemed to have been solved.
However more orders and more plants meant we soon needed even more rain water and so an even bigger JoJo tank was installed in the early part of 2013. Triumphantly, we managed to collect 3500 litres of water to see us through the dry winter.
We survived our first winter in fantastic shape. Our plants were looking better than ever and we were beginning to develop a presence in one or two local nurseries. We also worked on developing a range of care cards and branding for Jozi Carnivores. We installed a second sun tunnel to increase our production capacity and we installed our third JoJo tank giving us a rain water capacity of 6500 litres.
We appeared at several wonderful Christmas markets including the Bryanston Organic Christmas Night Market and also the St Johns College Christmas Market in November 2013. We were always so warmly received and it felt fantastic showing South Africans a range of plants they were often unaware existed.