I was a country music ‘aficionado’ growing up in the 1950s and 60s.
So, when I talked to Robert Campana recently, it was easy for me to remember Merle Haggard’s 1968 signature song called, “Mama tried”. The catchy tune laments that his “mama tried to raise me better” but he refused and at age 21 was doing life without parole. In a much less traumatic sense, my father had what they called a green thumb. He grew all our vegetables and flowers around the house. He enjoyed it. It was fun for him – a true hobby. And he tried to get me interested, but I was not interested – and I refused. Father tried.
Robert Campana is the owner and CEO of a company called PanDia Seeds, as well as a sister company called Leaf’d Box, which is what I needed sixty years ago. A box arrives at your doorstep, delivered at the perfect time for your zone and climate, with ready to grow herb & veggie plants. On top of that, the instructions are easy to follow. Can you believe it? See www.pandiaseeds.com and www.leafdbox.com
The customers get the right varieties, delivered at the right times, customized to their location. The veggie selections are non-GMO varieties that are healthy, nutritious, natural, and highly productive. He says it is “your easiest garden ever”!
“We believe that growing an herb and vegetable garden shouldn’t be scary, it should be easy and fun. We do the head scratching research that comes with setting up a garden, so you don’t have to! We send you a box 4 times a year with each box containing plant varieties that thrive during that season!”
“We send you custom lessons that match what you’re growing, at just the right time, to take you from a novice to a gardening pro.”
With PanDia, the story is that Robert’s father was in the seed business for more than thirty years. Ten years ago, he left it to start PanDia Seeds which partners with seed breeders all over the world. PanDia seeks to solve the needs of commercial growers, by tailoring naturally developed plant genetics to their local environment all producing healthy, quality produce. Need a firmer vegetable? Got it! Need disease resistance without damaging chemicals? Got it! Need field holding ability for market purposes? Got it! Teams of geneticists are at work in many countries, latitudes, altitudes, you name it – experimenting, experimenting, experimenting.
PanDia does business in numerous countries in Latin America and is expanding throughout Africa and the Middle East.
I met Robert at a BAM conference in 2019 and learned of his vision. He explained that in 2017, he had begun to think about what this could look like overseas. “What if we could use seeds to connect with unreached people in closed or hard to reach areas?” he queried. While talking to me now in 2021, he remembered the many obstacles along the journey such as family illnesses, opposition, COVID, and typical entrepreneurial issues, but he reminded me that God is faithful and is in it all. Robert’s desire is to integrate faith with a profitable business which is creating jobs and feeding people in poverty, AND living and sharing the good news. This has to be Business as Mission at its best. IBEC is proud to have a part in this endeavor.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” Colossians 3:2
Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures