Goossen launches mobile garden shop – Pratt Tribune – Low Calorie Diets Tips

By Ron Wilson Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University

How about we go to a garden store? Or what if the garden shop could come to you?

Today we meet an innovative young rural entrepreneur who has developed a mobile system to bring vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants and plant care information to the public.

Renata Goossen is the founder of Renata’s Garden in her hometown of Potwin. Her parents garden, her father grows tomatoes, and her mother’s family runs Henry Creek Farms, a fourth-generation family farm.

“I grew up in 4-H,” Goossen said. She tried the gardening project and found that she loved it. “Our Butler County horticultural agent, Larry Crouse, has been excellent at encouraging young people to judge and identify plants. Our advisors have had a strong influence on me.”

“In middle school, I started a project I called Renata’s Garden,” she said. She bred special varieties of plants, cataloged them, and marketed these plants to the community. “Luckily I have amazing parents who were willing to make me deliver these plants when we went to school or 4-H events.”

Goossen attended Kansas State University, where she received her degree in horticulture. “The College of Agriculture is really great at helping you find your place,” Goossen said. “I had great professors who helped me.”

She has received several grants and internships in business, including working as a horticultural marketing specialist for an Ohio grower. “I was surprised that more growers weren’t using expansion resources,” Goossen said. As a student, she directed and published research papers and traveled to Europe on a study abroad program.

In the Netherlands, she observed mobile street vendors. It reminded her of seeing a refurbished school bus used for summer feeding programs in Butler County.

After graduating from K-State, Goossen considered her options. “I liked the consumer approach and I also liked the reward for successfully growing a crop,” she said.

She decided to combine the two and start her own mobile horticultural retail store, again named Renata’s Garden. She built a greenhouse and produces specialty plants such as Celebrity Tomato, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, Patio Baby Eggplant, Snackabelle Pepper, Marigold Strawberry Blonde Flowers, Everleaf Emerald Tower Basil and many more.

She bought and renovated an old school bus, painted a floral design on the outside and outfitted it with benches specially designed for her plants, with space underneath for pots, soil and other supplies. The bus is printed with “Renata’s Garden” and “Plant Bus” in large letters on the front and side.

Goossen drives the bus to various places where customers can buy the plants she grows. “I wanted to give the idea of ​​European mobile cars a Kansas twist,” she said.

“I’m building it like a pop-up shop and notifying people where I’ll be on my social media and website,” Goossen said. She makes a tour of Wichita, Newton, El Dorado and surrounding communities where she stops for a day or a few hours to allow the public to come on board and purchase her plants.

Plant care and training are important to Goossen. She inserts a QR code on each plant label that links to the plant care information for that particular plant. She also produces a weekly YouTube program called Unearth Horticulture, which is all about plant care.

“I love seeing how people’s eyes light up when they see the inside of the bus,” Goossen said. “People are excited to take on this type of business. When a little kid tries edible flowers for the first time or an older person gets on the bus and says, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ those moments are incredible.”

It’s a remarkable business to have its origins in a rural community like Potwin, which has a population of 421. Well, that’s rural.

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Would you like to go to the plant shop? What if the plant shop came to you? We commend Renata Goossen for making a difference with her creative approach to marketing and educating consumers about horticulture. I would say your business is on the move.

*Ron Wilson is Director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University. The mission of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development is to advance rural development through empowerment. The Kansas Profile radio series and columns are produced with support from the K-State Research and Extension Department of Communications News Media Services Unit.

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