About this project
What if instead of throwing your pencil stubs away you could plant them and have them grow into something delicious, beautiful, and fun? What if pencils could grow?
Sprout is a pencil with a seed inside. When it's too short to use, it can be planted at home, at the office, or in the classroom. (If you're really excited to plant Sprout, you can do so before it's too short.) Sprout is Made in the USA.
UPDATE: International Shipping now available! Please add $5 to your funding level to cover the cost of international shipping.
Flavors of Sprout
Sprout comes in a number of delicious flavors, including:
- Cherry Tomato
- Forget Me Not
- Green Pepper
- Heirloom Basil
- Heirloom Cherry Tomato
- Heirloom Tomato
- Morning Glory
- Special Edition Bacon
We've got lots of ideas for new varieties and would love to hear what your favorites are. Imagine a Sprout colored pencil set where the color of the flower matches the color of the pencil... did I hear anyone say "stretch goal"?
Writing With Sprout
We really like writing with wooden pencils. They have a tactile feel that even the best mechanical pencils can't match. Getting up to sharpen them forces us to take a break and look around, a great way to reconnect during a long problem set. We designed Sprout around a high quality Ticonderoga cedar pencil body. It's a great writing experience. And it smells really nice too.
Sprout doesn't have an eraser because we don't believe in making mistakes. We've never been happy with the stock erasers on pencils, they tend to be too small and low quality. We want every part of using Sprout to be fun, so instead of sacrificing overall quality (and adding cost and complexity) by grafting on an eraser, we scrapped it entirely. Putting an eraser in it would have been a mistake. There's a lot of good "external" erasers out there, we're happy to make some recommendations. And who knows, we may be putting seeds in them too soon enough.
When Sprout is too short to use, it can be planted to grow into a wonderful flower, herb, or vegetable.
The seed capsule is water activated, the first few times you water Sprout dissolves the protective capsule and starts the seed's germination. The pencil shaft can be kept in the soil as a helpful labeled planting marker or it can be removed. We've planted dozens of Sprouts and have found that they usually sprout in around a week.
We want every Sprout to succeed so we include at least 3 seeds in each capsule to maximize the chances of successful sprouting.
Each Sprout package comes with a helpful planting instruction card.
The History of Sprout
We met in a graduate product design course at MIT and were tasked with creating a product for the eco-friendly office of the future. We came up with Sprout! While Sprout is eco-equivalent to a standard pencil, we think that it's a nice way to reconnect with our environment. We're particularly excited about getting Sprout into the hands of kids, getting them off the street and into the garden!
The Future of Sprout
We've hand assembled over 100 Sprouts and have designed the tools needed to make as many Sprouts as you desire. We have an American manufacturer lined up who's as excited as we are to make this project happen, all we need is your help to get enough volume for a production run!
Questions and Answers
How does Sprout work?
Sprout is a high quality cedar pencil with a water-activated seed capsule at the tip. When the seed capsule is exposed to moisture it begins to degrade, releasing the seed within Sprout and starting its germination. You can leave the pencil in the soil as a helpful planting label, or pull it out. You can plant Sprout wherever you like, though we recommend an area that gets plenty of sunlight.
What happens if I accidentally wet my Sprout?
If you spill something on your Sprout the tip will begin to dissolve, getting the seed ready for germination. Unfortunately Sprout doesn't know the difference between accidental and intentional watering, so if you accidentally wet your Sprout it's time for planting. We've worked hard to make a resilient seed capsule but it's a tradeoff between resistance to accidental spills and plantability.
What if I chew on my pencil?
If you are in the habit of chewing on the end of your pencil Sprout will probably activate and dissolve in your mouth. We think this is a great tool to break yourself of that habit. On a lighter note, Sprout is entirely non-toxic!
Is international shipping available?
YES! Please add $5 to your backing to cover the cost of international shipping.
Yes! After lots of work figuring out international shipping restrictions for plant materials we can confidently say we can ship anywhere. Please add $5 for international shipping.
No. Sprout contains absolutely no lead. The writing material is graphite and clay. These are natural and do not pose any risk to plants, groundwater, or people. Sprout is entirely non-toxic!
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