Hi, my name is Volker Heinrich and I am growing carnivorous plants since 1980. As usual it was that magical Venus fly trap that had to change my life, quickly followed by a yellow trumpet plant and a cape sundew, and many more to come. It was still difficult to find carnivorous plants for sale, but it became better in 1987 when I became member of the German Carnivorous Plant society GFP. A society like that was heaven in those days prior to Internet and online discussion forums. I moved with my plant collection in Germany from Frankfurt to Munich, where I became engineer of horticultural sciences. My horticultural trainings and work brought me to the botanical gardens in Munich, Bremen, Kebun Raya in Indonesia, and later for research to the Philippines. However, I had to give up my collection, parts of which can still be found in the Botanical garden Würzburg, at the Technical University of Munich, and with several friends.
I happened to get married to my coworker, Janet, in the Philippines, who got us for her studies to Virginia, USA. After one year, I felt terrible, even if Virginia was quite nice, too. I found out why: I didn't have a carnivorous plant collection. So I started again, this time heavily specialized on tropical pitcher-plants.
Since the Philippines seems to be the most suitable country for a Nepenthophile like me, we settled down here after her studies. Thanks to CITES, I had to sell all plants before moving... :-(
After some odyssey of living in a condo in downtown Manila, a house in Laguna, and a HDB flat in Singapore, we finally decided to put a base in a more plant (and human) friendly climate. We moved in 2006 once more, this time to an intermediate location at 700 meter altitude in Bukidnon Province on the island of Mindanao.
Meanwhile, the number of people in our household also increased sharply. Suddenly there was a very small fellow called Sam, followed by his sister, Sophie, both of whom are not really that helpful yet in the pitcher-plant production.
In 2007 an expedition together with Stewart McPherson and Dr. Alastair Robinson led to the discovery of N. attenboroughii, which was followed in 2008 by another discovery, together with Stewart McPherson and Dr. Thomas Gronemeyer, resulting in the description of N. micramphora and N. hamiguitanensis. Those were the golden days when new Philippine species didn't look like another N. alata, N. mira or N. ventricosa yet... :-)
2009 is our official commercial launch as the 'Pitcher Plant Farm', and aside from the initial importing from the major global carnivorous plant nurseries, we have the luxury and space (1.7 ha) to do our own mass propagation and rely less and less on importing, thus making thousands of artificially propagated carnivorous plants available to the Filipino people at affordable prices. Propagating them locally, makes them much sturdier and well adapted to the Philippine conditions. Plus, what survives with us has a good chance of surviving in Manila or other large cities where most of our customers are located.
Photography on this site is mostly done with a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7, with a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 1:2.8-3.3/6-72 ASPH lens, later with a Nikon DSLR 5200 or (don't tell anyone!) with the excellent camera of my China made Cherry Mobile phone. All software used is non-commercial open source: The latest (or next) Ubuntu Linux, GIMP photo editor, Phatch photo batch processor.