We love to talk about food. Less about farmers.

Since social media became part of our identity so also taking pictures of dishes prepared at home or ordered at the restaurant. I remember the “Peasant Wedding Feast” by Pieter Bruegel (1556). Pieter would disguise himself as a peasant to join the party and get inspired, where porridge and soup were served and wine poured lavishly. For farmers by farmers, probably celebrating a good harvest. Nowadays we still like celebrating but although I know Pieter Bruegel, I do not know the farmers. Also today I do not know the farmer when I buy food or eat a great meal. Food is becoming a huge issue, just check the Sustainable Development Goals. It also attracts the so-called specialists who put their logo on any food-related subject with ‘knowledge’ that is most of the time not even theirs. Nor did they ever work on a farm and harvested anything meaningful apart from some lettuce in the kitchen.

I worked for 4 years at the farm, even wanted to start my own farm and got my licence. A nice diploma as we call it in Flanders. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find 4 hectares in one piece so that dream disappeared. Maybe a good thing that I couldn’t as ı was very naive and aiming at organic farming and not sure I would have survived.

AgroTech or Agriculture 4.0 is now a trending topic mostly driven by would-be specialists or companies selling solutions just for the sake of sales and profit. Remember Smart Cities. A long road is ahead of us. This ancient profession should be seen more holistic and there is a great need for regulation by the governments. Just a weather station is really not enough although a good start. I don’t see the challenge in solutions but rather in understanding the challenges, local, region, country based. To map these challenges we need to listen to farmers first. We are giving workshops on Design Thinking for refugees, would-be startups, corporates and you name it. But never we did it for farmers. So let’s start with listening first. One of the reasons we started in Urla is to connect with the local farmers and understand what the challenges are. We strongly believe in a bottom-up approach. So as hiGI, our NGO, we organise a first meetup with local farmer organisations and stakeholders. It will take time to get the trust but that is the path we choose. Look below for all info (Turkish).

‘La vie en Rose’ is the signature song of popular French singer Édith Piaf just after the war. Very meaningful as it is a song of hope. Lately, I discovered Zaz. I already heard her songs but never really paid attention to her. A couple of weeks ago I saw Zaz at Montmartre with Les Passants on TV and from then on I started listening to all her songs. What a voice and what a vibe. Zaz is unique and gives me this great feeling that all will be good. One day, also for the anonymous farmers, who deserve much better. We will get to know by scanning a vegetable or fruit who cultivated this amazing artichoke, using no pesticides. Listen here.

Kolay gelsin,

Patrick Bosteels


Stage-Co, Urla Coworking, Now Sprint! Accelerator and Creative Academie co-founder, Facilitator, Accelerator Program Manager and Mentor

Stage-Co, Urla Coworking, Now Sprint! Accelerator and Creative Academie co-founder, Facilitator, Accelerator Program Manager and Mentor