“The appreciation of childhood stories of my parents farming with donkeys kicked in, and now I’m returning to it with a modern twist — using battery powered sensors, rather than beasts of burden to aid the process”
Tanja Polegubic from Croatia leads the GROW place in Mediterranean Croatia. Originally from Australia with a professional communications background, she is now exploring her ancestry in the region.
“Our specific interest is to provide much needed support for agriculture on Croatia’s coast and islands by bringing tech, data, marketing and sustainable tourism practices,” Tanja added.
Tanja’s interest in GROW stems from different areas — representing growers in Croatia who are under-supported, having a citizen science framework where everyone can join, introducing tech and data analysis to growing practices, and learning from regenerative agricultural practices from other GROW places.
Tanja is catering to the growing wave of remote workers as the founder of creative hub Saltwater Workspace. The business is built on networking, meaningful work, and change-making. They are a women-led community and environmentally focused. As a community, they support each other with knowledge exchange, workshops, and projects to support business, visitors, and locals.
Saltwater is also building a network which brings together a variety of growers — from award winning wines to aromatic and essential oils to organic olives. All of these are family run, smallholder plots in isolated parts of Dalmatia’s coast and islands.
“We hope to demonstrate we are a ‘hub’ for any grower. We want to connect with youth in particular and engage in a rewarding, accessible manner,” Tanja said.
Tanja hopes to bring in the latest information and best practice to Croatia’s coast and island growers. Their aim is to bring opportunities and raise awareness to growers in Croatia about opportunities through GROW observatory.