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Bethande Dube the flower farmer of Jardin Eden

Bethande Thandeka Dube

Profiles & Interviews

Bethande Dube the flower farmer of Jardin Eden

We offer landscaping, potted plants, gardening consultations, and garden maintenance services.

Bethande Thandeka Dube of Jardin Eden

Bethande Thandeka Dube

Please give us a brief bio about yourself, anything you’d like for our readers to know about you.

HI, my is Bethande Dube, I’m a lady aged 33, and I am popularly known as “Plant mama”, being a flower farmer is a passion for me. When people ask me why I love plants so much, my simple answer is I was born for this.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a flower farmer in Bulawayo?

I’ve always loved plants and flowers from a young age. In high school when we were choosing practicals I was one of the few girls who chose to do agriculture willingly and I proceeded to specialise and do a Diploma in Horticulture at the Bulawayo Polytechnical College. My journey into flower farming was thus birthed. In 2016, after having stayed and worked in South Africa for 5 years, I relocated back to Zimbabwe to start a potted plants shop. This was when Jardin Eden was established. Flower farming started with me just growing flowers for my home and myself because of the love I have for flowers and growing plants.

@maplazini_diaries

Do the things that scare you the most . #plantmamazwdiaries #flowerfarm #flowerfarmer #flowerfarmflorist #flowerfarmerflorist #zinnia #zinnias #sunflowers #urbanfarm #urbanfarming

♬ original sound – Denis

What initially drew you to flower farming?

What drew me to flower farming was obviously the high returns flower farmers make in the industry. However, it is a different story for Bulawayo because of its climate. Most of the cut flowers in the market cannot be grown in this arid region, which is the reason why Bulawayo is not in the flower growers map of Zimbabwe. So, after much research and following other flower farmers from all over the world, I finally stumbled upon a few flowers that thrive in our arid region. And from then on, I have been dedicated to getting the flower farm dream off the ground.

Can you describe your Jardin Eden flower farm and the types of flowers you grow?

For now, Jardin Eden flower farm is operating on a small scale. However, we are hoping to expand in the May to September 2024 season. So far, the flowers being grown on the farm are a wide variety of sunflowers, zinnias, Celosia, and dahlias.

What are some of the unique challenges and rewards of flower farming in Bulawayo’s climate?

The biggest challenge is the heatwaves and outages that affect our watering especially during the germination phase of the flowers as they hinder or totally kill the new plants before they are mature enough to withstand the drought conditions of Bulawayo climate. The reward for flower farming obviously comes when it’s time for harvesting and getting the product into the market, the marvels and wows you get from flower retailers and florists is really a humbling and feel-good experience.

@maplazini_diaries

Not giving up on the dream . Stay focused. Keep on pushing . One day at a time . #plantmamazwdiaries #womeninfarming #flowerfarmer #flowerfarm #girlfarmer #farmingandyoung #farmtok #farmingislife

♬ original sound – Mighty De Creative

How do you approach sustainable practices in your flower farming activities at Jardin Eden?

Most of the flowers we grow require little to no fertiliser, so we focus more on them being organically grown. Because the flowers are drought resistant, it means we use less water. The flowers are good bee and bird food, so we are contributing to the ecosystem, and our carbon footprint is less. We don’t burn plant residues from previous seasons, we turn it into compost manure and mulch for the next growing season.

How are you coping with the water shortage situation?

The water shortage situation has dealt us with a huge blow, especially in the early days of planting, but thankfully, having a borehole has kept us going.

How do you source your seeds and supplies? Are there any local sources you’d like to highlight?

From the time we started, it was hard getting locally sourced seeds. Hence, we got our seeds from our neighbours South Africa. So, with this in mind, we have been producing our own seeds, and we will openly sell to other flower growers in the near future.

@plantmamazw

Plant mama life … #plantmama #plantmamalife #dayinmylife #vlog #plantparents #fyp

♬ original sound – Gazankulu_Projects

Do you sell your flowers directly to the community or through other channels?

We have been selling directly to the communities and have also enlisted the use of social media as a marketing and selling tool for our flower business.

How do you see your flower farm contributing to the community of Bulawayo?

Our biggest contribution will be putting Bulawayo in the flower growers map of Zimbabwe. And also opening a channel for Bulawayo to export flowers worldwide.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your flower farm?

Our hopes and dreams are to expand and get more farmers in Bulawayo to start growing flowers, especially for the export market. We want to be pioneers of flower farming in Bulawayo and tap into a less exploited revenue stream.

@plantmamazw

#HavaianasLivreDeCliches I love what I do. #plantmama #plantsoftiktok #planttok🌱 #bornforthis #mypassion #iloveplants #bulawayo #bulawayogirl🇿🇼 #zimtiktok

♬ BORN FOR THIS – Foxxi

What advice would you give to others who might be interested in starting their own flower farm?

My advice is to start no matter how small. Even that small space in your backyard can turn into a flower farm.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience as a flower farmer in Bulawayo?

One thing for sure is that it’s not an overnight type of business to start, it takes years of planning and trials. I’m still learning as it is, experience and failure are the best teachers you can ever get in this life. There are a lot of curve balls that will come your way, but keep that goal straight ahead and soldier own.

Can you share a story about a particularly memorable experience you’ve had as a flower farmer?

The most memorable experience I have had as flower farmer is at the beginning of the growing season as I was preparing for planting, I had 1st put my seeds in germinating trays so that I could then transplant when it’s now seedlings because seedlings have better chances of surviving the harsh conditions than seeds sown directly into the ground, so long story short I woke up one morning and snails had eaten a whole tray of 240 seedlings. I laugh about it now, but that day, I was defeated.

@maplazini_diaries

The farming side we dont show often 😅😅 . Therapy required 😭😭. #flowerfarming #flowerfarming101 #flowerfarmingnotforthefaintofheart #womeninfarming #youngfarmer #farming #farminglife #farmtok #farmgirls #farmgirllife

♬ Original Sound – Unknown

What is your favourite flower to grow, and why?

So far, my favourite flower is the Zinnia flower, it’s a very resilient plant, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about flower farming?

A lot of people think growing flowers is a waste of time, I’m often asked why I don’t grow vegetables because that’s easy money as food has a broader market.

What other services do you offer at Jardin Eden?

We offer landscaping, potted plants, gardening consultations, and garden maintenance services.

Which plant would you recommend to first-time plant moms?

The easiest plant to start with as a plant parent is a cactus

Which plants have the highest demand in the market?

Fresh flowers have a high demand as they are used in a lot of occasions and events.

 

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https://www.tiktok.com/@plantmamazw/video/7190418435933736197

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