It only took three weeks for Katie and Tom Van Kley to create their organic gardening business.
Katie started growing peppers in her backyard plot this spring and wanted to use organic soil. She stopped at several locations across town but couldn’t find any that fit her standards and needs.
So they started their own business, Grow Organic, which opened in mid-May at 3017 E. 10th St., focusing on organic gardening needs in the Sioux Falls area.
“As far as quality organic soils, inputs and fertilizers in Sioux Falls, you couldn’t go somewhere and get everything you need,” Tom said. “We don’t have anything that we wouldn’t use in our garden.”
Gardening as a hobby has boomed across the country since the pandemic. Several people in Sioux Falls have hopped onto the trend as well, Tom said. Organic gardening is just one branch of that trend that hasn’t been addressed yet.
The business is centered around a soil-first mentality instead of “feeding the plant,” Tom said.
While several area gardeners might source their compost from the landfill or other areas, the compost sold at Grow Organic is “guaranteed clean compost,” Tom said. The inputs, fertilizers made from plant fermentation byproduct, compost and soil are all teeming with minerals, nutrients and microbes to help support the garden in full.
“If you’re passionate about soil, when you cut this bag open it’s just gorgeous and you’ll love it,” Tom said.
While the store just opened a few months ago, Tom and Katie have both learned more about what is in demand for Sioux Falls organic growers. For example, organic compost needs far outpace their expectations, since greenhouses around the area can’t source quality compost quickly, the couple said.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.