We started early 2010 at The Hub Rotterdam after a random conversation about how hard it is for the uninitiated urban inhabitant to start growing fruit and vegetables at home. In April, we drove to Milan to showcase some of our first ideas to the public during the Salone del Mobile. SInce then, we have been testing a balcony farm at The Hub Rotterdam. Now, we are on a mission to bring the growing of edible plants closer to people, both literally and metaphorically.

sophia van ruth

Role: Co-initiator and the primary face of Urban Edibles.
Sophia has a long history of experimenting with edibles in her immediate urban environment. She has inhabited various urban environs in Australia and the UK and now resides happily in Rotterdam. She was originally trained as an interior designer, and began her career working with an organisation called Urban Ecology Australia during which time she also did a permaculture course. More recently she gained a MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College in the UK, where she lived for a year, enthusiastically embracing their forest garden ethic and learning a tremendous amount from the College gardens. Databases like Plants for a Future inspire her, and her idea of the ideal Sunday afternoon involves planting out the edible hibiscus seedlings.

eefje ernst

Role: Co – initiator and freelance collaborator
Working at the Hub Rotterdam, Eefje met Marten, who asked her: “Would it be possible to have a starter kit for Urban Farmers?” Being a Social Designer and having a small and empty balcony at home, Eefje didn’t hesitate to answer: “Yes, of course!” Since that moment she’s been using her design skills to come up with clever ways to connect plants with people. Eefje also tried some balcony farming herself and proudly harvested strawberries, garlic, mint and rocket last year.

marten witkamp

Role: Co-initiator and freelance communications partner
This go-go gentleman was raised in an array of urban environments, savouring the fruits of society’s cultural pursuits while remaining completely oblivious of the sources of all that tasty food he was eating. One day 28 years later, in yet another balcony-less city apartment, it hit him. He realised it was not normal for his pesto-destined basil plants to keep dying after a few weeks. This epiphany initiated an avalanche of questions, culminating in: what would it take for a great home growing experience?