Elena is one of our Sassiest Mamas 2016…
A German mama of 2 gorgeous kids (Saoirse, aged 8 and Aidan, aged 6), Elena Kinane also takes care of over 120 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs – her other babies. Owner/Managing Director of Greenheart Organic Farms, Elena is a passionate organic farmer and advocate of sustainable, healthy and clean living that sees farming working in harmony with Mother Nature. Greenheart Organic Farms not only supply some of the city’s best restaurants but also deliver produce directly to your home or via the cutest farm shop near Arabian Ranches. When she’s not rushing between school drop-offs, overseeing operations at the store or getting her hands dirty on the farms, Elena loves to cook up a storm with her beautiful produce. (For more Greenheart info, read about our visit to the farm…)
Tell us about your business and why you started it.
I set up Greenheart in early 2012. We grow genuine organic heirloom produce in the UAE desert and sell it directly to end-consumers via our farm shop and website (home delivery) and to commercial clients such as hotels & restaurants. Ever since I can remember I’ve always believed in a healthy organic lifestyle. Now, more so than ever before, I’m convinced it’s the only way forward for the human race.
What kind of cake would you order for your birthday?
As I don’t eat gluten I usually bake my own organic Carrot Coconut Cake or Dark Chocolate Cake, both sweetened with very little Coconut Sugar.
If we handed you a concert ticket, who would you wish it was for?
It would have to be Van Morrison, ideally in a small venue.
What colour do you wear the most?
I just checked my wardrobe – figure this out.
When did you last cry?
About 1 week ago when my friends Dad passed away. But generally I start crying as soon as anything sad happens in a movie or any of my friends have sad news. Since I have had my children I just can’t control the tears in a private situation. At work I can handle anything without getting upset.
What’s the best thing you can cook?
Cooking is a passion of mine so this is a difficult question to answer. I do great unusual Salad combinations with very creative healthy dressings and my husband really loves my Daube (French Beef Stew).
Where do you get your hair done?
The Blowdry Bar in Motorcity. Its close to home and the staff is so lovely and Laline does the most amazing blow dries.
What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
I feel blessed that I’ve been able to turn my passion for an organic eco-friendly lifestyle into a successful business whilst at the same time, my husband and I have a loving marriage with 2 kind and caring children.
As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?
I was always creative as a child and wanted to be an artist like my mum but she told me that I could never make a living doing that. At one point, maybe when I was 6 or 7 I remember wanting to be a detective! I loved Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories.
If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
I find this difficult to answer as there is so much injustice and cruelty in the world but here are a few worthy wishes in my view:
Peace & Freedom for Palestine,
Worldwide Ban on all GMOs (and all adulterated foods)
No more animal testing or conventional livestock farming. If I could have a forth pick it would be Donald Trump withdrawing his candidacy for the American Presidency.
What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
To me being a Sassy Mama is about being street-wise and unafraid to speak your mind in a peace loving way. It’s also about being an inspiring parent.
Due to health reasons I’m fairly boring when it comes to treats. A glass of bubbly in late December and the odd latte is about as far as it goes.
Tell us about a typical day?
I get up very early, answer e-mails and finish up any left-over jobs from the previous day. After getting the kids ready for school and dropping them off I usually go straight to the farm for about 2 – 3 hours most days. Then I go back to the office or attend meetings. Between 2pm and 3.30pm I collect my children from school and feed them lunch. If I don’t have any meetings in the afternoon I try to work from home and do the kids homework at the same time. I try to be at the farmshop for closing and then I usually prepare dinner (as we eat a lot of fresh veg I have help with the chopping). After dinner we often read or play board games. Once the children are asleep I usually work for another 2 hours most nights.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
Don’t spend the rest of your life with someone who takes himself too seriously!
Occupy yourself with something that really means something to you.
What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Laughing and playing together without looking at a screen
If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?
A good History Book Set, a toothbrush and a knife
Describe your style?
Very casual, I love 50s inspired cotton dresses with Tropezienne sandals and floppy straw hats. Uncomfortable shoes and synthetic materials are a no-no for me, no matter what.
Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done?
Recently they’ve started working on syncronised dance routines inspired by 80s music videos … keeping a straight face whilst watching them perform has become quite a challenge.
How do you juggle work and family?
Rising early, working late and in between as much family time as possible. At weekends I often take the kids (and sometimes my husband!) with me to the farm and shop.
A huge thank you to Monica Chindalia for the beautiful pictures of Elena and her family.
To book a photoshoot visit facebook/monicachindaliaphotography