MEET ANDREY TKACHENKO
the town of Labinsk, Russia
Translated from Russian by Irina Kalmykova
| Photo 1.
| Photo 5.
| Photo 6.
| Photo 7.
Andrey was born in 1968 in a small town Mostovskoy in Krasnodar region of Russia. Having graduated from a tech-college, he then began working as a tractor operator, later he went into the army. In an accident he lost both his legs. After his demobilization in 1989 he made the acquaintance of Anatoly Evdokimov (read about him in the issue 6 (7) June 2001).
Let us give a word to Andrey (Photo1):
I visited Anatoly's greenhouse which contained more than 400 cacti species at that time. And even though there were always lots of plants in our house, I had never seen that many plants at a time before. Anatoly offered me to became a salesman of his cacti, and so I decided to try it.
Even the first sales experience was a success. Since that time I've started to deal with cacti. I began to sow seeds and grow the plants first on the window-sill. Thus I became more experienced, thanks as well to my wonderful teacher Anatoly Evdokimov. Later on I got my own greenhouse and... my own cacti growing business.
Presently I have three greenhouses in my backyard: two of them with an area 15 square meters each, and the one I got last year has total area 90 square meters. Every year I saw more and more seeds and all the greenhouses are already tightly packed with plants (Photo 2 - 7). Now I need a bigger greenhouse, but unfortunately there is no more room in my backyard.
Of course it is almost impossible to deal with such enormous amount of plants by myself (now I have more than ten thousand plants). That is why I had to ask help from my relatives. There are some difficulties with sales, too. Labinsk is a very small town, which means that to sell my plants I have to go all around the Krasnodar region and outside of it as well. In every trip I have a true companion with me, that's my wife Natasha.