Karin Kallman – From Green Hobby to Sustainable Farming!

Photo of Karin Kallman

Plot 263 is an Aquaponic & Hydroponic Organic Farm in the Randvaal Region of Gauteng – the dream of Karin Kallman. The farm is completely waterwise, and practises sustainable farming for the future with the aim to be especially kind to the environment. All packaging is biodegradable, compostable and recyclable, and all products are organically grown with love and passion for fresh, wholesome and delicious tasting food! The way food’s meant to be!

Lets’ get to know Karin Kallman a little better!

How did Plot 263 come into existence – and how has it impacted your life?

We bought our 5 acre plot in an estate 20 years ago. With us both having busy work lives we never had the time to make anything of it, although we both had a keen interest in aquaculture and growing organic vegetables. We began as a hobby a year ago by putting up a greenhouse tunnel and fish ponds. Our pilot project drew lots of interest in our community, so we decided to do some additional courses on the side and start growing wholesome, organic vegetables for the local community. During the lockdown we were able to focus all our time and efforts into growing food that we soon started supplying organic shops around us. The past 5 months has given us the opportunity to delve into our passion for growing food and has opened up opportunities for us to supply good, wholesome organic vegetables to our communities around us. All our packaging is also made from cornstarch cellulose which is compostable, biodegradable and recyclable and kind to the environment, which is what we epitomise incorporating into our brand. Our farm runs on borehole water, making us sustainable and waterwise in our growing methods. Our goal is sustainable farming for the future! How this has impacted my life is that my dream and passion has become a reality!

If you had a theme song, what would it be? 

Counting Stars by OneRepublic

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? 

I gave up a well-paid, highly pressurised corporate job that I was working in for almost 25 years to spread my wings and follow my passion and dream.

If Mars was liveable, would you accept a one way ticket there?

Absolutely. To pioneer new ground with my family, plan and develop new methods in growing food would be a great canvas to start on.

If you were given one thousand acres of land what would you do with it?

I would put up a fish farm and grow food using different agricultural methods so that we could feed the developing community around us and in turn create employment and teach people respect for food and the environment.

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? 

Probably a hunter … haha

How many pairs of shoes do you own? 

About 20 pairs, but only really wear 2 pairs continuously.

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Smoked Trout, wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf, tied with fresh chives and served with a mildly infused chilli oil.

How would people communicate in a perfect world?

Face to Face in person!

When you have 30 minutes of free time – how do you pass it?

In a warm bath planning my next move.

If you woke up to 300 unread emails, how would you prioritise which ones to answer? 

I would scan my emails first to see if there are any complaints/issues and deal with those first.  Next would be to fulfil orders and then the rest would get prioritised according to urgency.

Where do you go and what do you do to find peace and recharge?

My favourite place is my mom’s beach house. I love walking on the beach and letting the sea breeze and waves soothe my soul.

If you could write one new law that everybody had to obey, what would it be?

To be respectful and conserve our environment. Fines and community work enforced if not adhered to.

What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted?

Hand and body creams.

What is the most interesting thing you have seen or read this week?

My course work which is based in the USA, is one of the pioneering facilities in modern agriculture in the world.  Every module changes my thoughts and direction about how to grow good food. The general knowledge I am gaining and putting into practice is showing in my crops.

What skill or craft  would you like to master?

I have been working closely with an Agronomist from Haifa to produce better quality and increase our yield. I have found the whole experience an amazing adventure and learning curve. 

An agronomist is knowledgeable about the production of field crops, including all the variables involved such as soil and land management, nutrient and water needs, pest control and minimizing environmental impact.

What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment? Conserve water. Keep your area clean, pick up rubbish. Learn to grow your own food.

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