Phung Sinh Hieu and Ho Thanh Thuan spent years working abroad in the agricultural sector, in charge of chemical pesticides and herbicides. They wondered what harm these chemicals were doing and decided there must be another way.

With backgrounds in agriculture they knew that when producing crops in large quantities it’s difficult to avoid the use of fertilisers. But what if individuals grew small amounts, just for themselves and their family? Vietnam is a country with a rural heritage, but as people migrate to cities, moving away from agriculture, the opportunities to grow your own produce is becoming harder.

Gagaco was founded to bring agriculture back in to the city, one balcony, terrace or rooftop at a time. From a single herb planter on a window sill, to large herb and vegetable gardens for the city’s food and beverage outlets. The aim is to bring the joy and independence of home-grown produce back to an urban community.

Describing themselves as Saigon’s urban farmers, Gagaco wants to bring about a revolution in healthy, home-grown produce in a city environment. Their aim is to bring clean industries to the city by designing and producing environmentally friendly vegetable boxes, made individually for urban spaces.

While doing this, they want to teach people how to grow and maintain agricultural processes themselves, in the empty spaces they have in their homes. By growing herbs and vegetables at home, Gagaco hopes people will re-connect more with the environment and become more aware of the origins of the food they eat and how it’s grown. 

The benefits of growing your own produce far outweigh the costs involved, in fact it often works out cheaper than buying from local shops and markets. In addition, you’re growing an extremely healthy food source, often low in cholesterol and high in fibre, not to mention the many nutrients and vitamins that freshly-grown vegetables contain.

Each Gagaco installation is custom designed for the individual client, looking at location, size and planting requirements. Once designs are approved, planters are built, installed and filled with a choice of herbs, vegetables or ornamental flowers. Maintenance is provided free of charge for the first month, and then charged by the hour for those who would like to continue. Each installation is priced differently but start in the low hundred thousand dong range.

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Craft Saigon is a monthly column to highlight new small businesses in the city, if your business wishes to be featured please email craftsaigon@asialifemagazine.com