One notable trend during this recession has been the emergence of victory or recession gardens, even the urban garden. These often take the form of small space gardens, or what some call postage stamp gardens. The green movement in America has impacted these newcomers to gardening, leading to more sustainable practices such as the elimination of harsh chemicals and pesticides. In all, this is a welcome trend! Americans are definitely getting back to the garden and rediscovering the joy of growing their own food. This summer my 11-year-old stepdaughter and I planted our first garden in our backyard. We grew primarily organic vegetables: cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, peppers and herbs. It was such a great experience for the two of us to share. Each evening we would venture out into the garden, water the plants, and take pride in what we had achieved. We had a bumper crop of cucumbers that lasted well into September!
Riding the wave of this trend is a company called Garden in the Koop (http://www.inthekoop.com). Emerging from a regentrified chicken koop in rural Hillsborough, North Carolina, founder Laura Baldwin is hoping to bring American families together in the garden by offering families organic and heirloom seeds in complete kits called a “Garden in a Box.” These all in-one starter kits have everything the beginning gardener needs to start his or her vegetable garden on a windowsill. When spring rolls around you’ll be ready to transplant everything, carton and all, into the garden. Each kit contains an egg carton (your container for starting seedlings), coir disks made of coconut fiber to serve as the germinating medium for the seeds, and seed packets with certified organic and often heirloom seeds.
Here’s an except from Garden in the Koop’s website:
“Housed in a reclaimed, two hundred foot chicken house on a historic farm-yes chicken house, we are carefully observed by our peaceable kingdom of goats, chickens, cats, dogs, an occasional skunk, the rabbits and of course the deer! This is where we created the idea and where we grow some of the seeds. Each box is packed, inspected and shipped from our chicken house. We continue to test and grow the different plants so that we can give you the best advice possible. In Reba’s Garden (one of the trial gardens named for an old friend whose happy bark is still missed) we are growing as fast as we can. What we can’t grow ourselves we have sourced from only the best of growers and vendors, keeping it heirloom if possible and always organic.”
It is worth visiting the site just to get a feel for this new company (one of my firm’s newest clients). Their kits are named things like: The Giggling Garden and Here Comes the SunFlowers. The Giggling Garden, a kit to be shared with kids, contains a wide variety of strangely named seeds including Rattle Snake Pole Beans, Dinosaur Kale, and Red Dragon Carrots. Come on, who wouldn’t love growing and then devouring some Rattle Snake Pole Beans? If every anything was going to get kids to eat their vegetables, involving them in their cultivation is a good bet. Feel free to visit them online at http://www.inthekoop.com.
Post by Dan Dunlop, Brand Expeditions