Got zero space? Got zero time? Got wine bottles strewn over the floor after your last drunken fiesta?
Good news – you can “grow” from that!
Urban Leaf has just introduced the “world’s smallest gardens” on Kickstarter. The idea is for people who like to “upcycle,” grow their own food, but have little space or time.
Bottle gardens are the ultimate indoor gardens for minimalists and people who want “table-to-table” food with the most aesthetically pleasing, enviable kitchen garden to boot. Seriously, when you want food just “throw back a bottle.”
Growing fresh, healthy food at home has never been this easy.
How It Works
Now you can enjoy the benefits of fresh herbs year round, even if you don’t have space for a conventional garden! Just find an empty bottle, fill it with water and insert the World’s Smallest Garden.
The World’s Smallest Garden contains a special smart soil that uses a capillary action to lift water up to the seed. As the seedling sprouts it sends roots down into the bottle. Not only does this look really cool, but it also allows the plant to water itself. Young plants can survive for up to a month using the initial water in the bottle. As the plants mature their water usage will increase, and we recommend checking the water level at least once a week. Topping up the water supply is straight forward.
This product does not come with bottles – we encourage repurposing and up-cycling. Maybe its a champagne bottle from your anniversary dinner or an olive oil bottle from your trip to Italy. The small amount of plastic we do use in this product is food-grade and biodegradable. It costs us a little more to produce it this way, but we think it’s money well spent.
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What You Can Grow
The World’s Smallest Garden will come with a selection of herbs, most likely:
- Sweet Basil – endlessly versatile and relative to ‘holy basil’, a sacred plant in Indian culture. Perfect for pasta, pesto and pizza topping.
- Mint – best known for its medicinal properties and smell, mint is historically a symbol of hospitality. There’s no better way to welcome your friends over than with a fresh mojito.
- Plus one more variety, that is yet to be decided. If you’ve got any ideas on what the third one should be, please leave a comment on our Facebook page (@GetUrbanLeaf) – we’ll be figuring it out soon!
Seeds typically germinate in 3-14 days (depending on variety) and yield harvestable amounts of herbs in as little as 4-6 weeks. Plants will typically outgrow the bottle after 3-5 months, but some of our beta samples are over 6 mths old and still going strong.
What You Get
The basic kit we’re offering as a reward for pledging is a 3-pack of the World’s Smallest Garden (garden). The garden contains nutrient-enriched smart soil, and the kit comes with a quick start guide, stickers for the bottles and non-GMO seeds.
Rob and Nate met in early 2016, and immediately bonded over their shared vision for building a healthier and more sustainable food system. From the outset, our goal at Urban Leaf was to make a product that was easy to use. Unlike other hydroponic grow kits on the market today that cost hundreds of dollars and involve sophisticated pumps, lights and automation, the World’s Smallest Garden is simple. It doesn’t need any of those bells and whistles!
Nate left the finance industry in 2015, determined to build something that his grandchildren would one day be proud of. The first dish he learnt how to cook was spaghetti bolognese, and since a young age has been obsessed with food. He has taken cooking classes all over the world, including a Certificate of Culinary Arts in Toronto. Thai and Vietnamese are his favorite, and he once spent a month exploring the Central Highlands of Vietnam by motor bike in search of the perfect bowl of Banh Hoi (it’s all about the fresh herbs!!)
(Dr) Rob was raised on a wood farm in Southeastern Massachusetts, and since moving to NYC has made it his mission to make the place a bit greener! His PhD dissertation focused on Vegetated Infrastructure, and after meeting Nate in early 2016 began to use his plant knowledge to design food growing systems. As well as running R&D, manufacturing and dispatch at Urban Leaf, he has also become famous for his “Upper Westo Pesto” (fortunately he has a very good supply of fresh basil).
This project will go ahead as long as we can come together and raise a combined $40,000. The more we raise, the better the product becomes however.
If the total amount pledged to this project exceeds $100,000, our quantities will be large enough to produce different color units for each variety of herb. Stay tuned for the post-campaign backer-survey, when the community will together determine the 3 colors that get produced.
By sharing this project with your friends, everyone wins!
We have manufacturer quotes in hand and are ready to get started. The sooner we reach our goal the sooner we can press the button on getting the necessary molds made.
Risks and challenges
Through hundreds of customer interviews, over 300 beta-testers and many prototype iterations – we are confident we’ve come up with a product that works.
The beta-versions of this product were 3D printed in small batches in New York City – which allowed us to improve and iterate the design while listening to user feedback and testing usability.
We have manufacturers in the New York area lined up and ready to go. We have quotes in hand for the molds, manufacture and assembly. All we need now is your support so we can go ahead, press the button, and get started!