Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 30, 2012.

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What if you could tuck a lucky penny in the ground and watch it sprout into a flower? You can with our letterpress paper coinage!

Our Kickstarter campaign has ended - thank you supporters! You can now order Seed Money by visiting www.leafcutterdesigns.com/shop/seed-money.html

New goal (achieved!): $45K = Buffalo nickels for all backers

Read the full update here...

What is Seed Money?

Seed Money looks like the real thing - pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters - but is far more valuable. Use it to solicit surprise and smiles from friends and strangers alike, and then tuck these paper coins in soil to grow colorful flowers and delicious vegetables. It's tender for tending!

Seed Money will be lovingly designed and made by Lea Redmond and her pals at Slide Sideways and Porridge Papers. This initial run of currency will include hand-illustrated pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, and will be letterpress printed in Nebraska on thick custom papers embedded with seeds. Available in rolls for sharing and spreading the wealth, these lightweight, whimsical - and practical! - coins will slide easily into a purse or pocket.

What can you do with Seed Money coins?
All sorts of delightful things! And they're certainly not just for gardeners!

  • Secretly tuck them into medians, public parks, or your friend's front yard.
  • Leave a few with your tip at a restaurant.
  • Place them in coin return slots to surprise strangers.
  • Playfully try to use them at your local coffee shop or bakery.
  • Leave them on sidewalks for people to stumble upon.
  • Give them as a unique gift or party favor.
  • Grow an entire backyard flower/food garden with the full set of coins.
  • Pass them out at your farmer's market just for fun.
  • Send a roll to a politician with a letter expressing your opinion on agribusiness subsidies.
  • If you run a retail shop, hand over a few along with the real change.
  • Lock up a few rolls in a safety deposit box at your bank just in case Malthus was right. Or perhaps your porcelain piggy bank is more secure?

How is Seed Money designed and minted?
Lea will design both sides of each coin denomination. The artwork will be reminiscent of actual US coins but with a playful, hand-drawn aesthetic and a flight of fancy or two. Each coin will include the phrase, "In Soil We Trust."

Porridge Papers in Lincoln, Nebraska will then make four custom batches of hand-made paper embedded with organic seeds, one for each type of coin:

  • Pennies: flower mix (Don't worry, nothing invasive!)
  • Nickels: hearty greens mix (such as kale, chard & spinach)
  • Dimes: herb mix (such as thyme, dill, oregano, parsley & basil)
  • Quarters: salad mix (lettuce, carrot & tomato)

Seed Money will then be "struck," i.e. printed and die-cut, into tens of thousands of mint-condition paper coins on Porridge's letterpress machines. In the meantime, our pals Jacqui and Scott at Slide Sideways in Tacoma, Washington will design hand-lettered imagery for four unique coin wrappers. Finally, the loose paper change will be wrapped into rolls by hand in Oakland, California.

Lucky recipients might find the occasional rarity in their rolls of Seed Money: perhaps a 1935 buffalo nickel or a Canadian penny. Lea will also slip in a few "misprints" inspired by actual historical "strike errors." Did you know there are a few 2005 Kansas quarters out there that say "In God We Rust?"

In Soil We Trust
While our Seed Money is mostly lighthearted, it also carries subtle statements and questions about our relationships with nature and money. Can you imagine a culture that deemed food so important that its currency system was based on seeds? Call it the seed standard, instead of the gold standard. What if having a pocketful of seeds was a sign of wealth and prosperity?

A coin was once worth the actual amount of gold or silver it contained. Today, its value is purely representational. A melted down quarter is almost worthless and pennies are mostly just annoying. Our paper coins aim to re-infuse actual value into physical money. Seed Money promises to produce a bounty of beautiful, delightful, and edible experiences.

Exchanging real money for Seed Money
Our $10,000 funding goal is a function of the minimum quantity requirements for the custom-made seed papers and high-quality letterpress printing. We'd love to exceed our goal and "mint" an even bigger batch. The suggested Kickstarter pledge levels at right represent a roughly 30% discount to expected future retail pricing. Seed Money will be delivered to you sometime in October or November of this year - well before the holidays.

Thank you for your enthusiasm and support!
We absolutely love to create thoughtful, playful, high-quality objects and activities. We're regularly up past midnight dreaming up new concepts and making prototypes. Our last Kickstarter project - Retro Punch Boxes - was a big success and we can't wait to get Seed Money into your hands!

FAQ

  • The United States has no restrictions on shipments of seeds leaving the country. Some foreign countries do have restrictions on the types and quantities of seeds that can be imported via mail. Australia in particular is very restrictive. We will do our best to get Seed Money into the hands of our international backers, wherever you are. If we are ultimately unable to get your reward to you due to customs issues, we will of course find a way to make it up to you!

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  • The longevity of the various seeds in Seed Money will vary from 1-5 years. For example, generally speaking, kale seeds last longer than carrot seeds. Germination rates will decrease over the years. We'll choose varieties such that the coins are good for at least a couple of years. If you store them in a cool, dry place, that will help them last even longer.

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  • Yes! We'll be including text such as "Plant This Penny" on them so people who encounter just an individual coin will know it is for planting.

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  • The number of seeds per coin will vary based on the seed varieties in each denomination and also because of the nature of the papermaking process, but each one will have from about 2-6 seeds in it.

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1,109
Backers
$46,982
pledged of $10,000 goal
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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    497 backers

    One (1) roll of Seed Money: 50 pennies. Add $5 for international shipping.

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    124 backers

    Two (2) rolls of Seed Money: 50 pennies & 40 nickels. Add $5 for international shipping.

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    60 backers

    Three (3) rolls of Seed Money: 50 pennies, 40 nickels & 50 dimes. Add $5 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    253 backers

    Full set of all four (4) rolls of Seed Money: 50 pennies, 40 nickels, 50 dimes & 40 quarters in an official Seed Money cotton sack. Add $5 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $80 or more
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    67 backers

    Two (2) full sets of all four (4) rolls of Seed Money: 100 pennies, 80 nickels, 100 dimes & 80 quarters in official Seed Money cotton sacks. (This reward level is for those who want to "spend" one set and put a second set into a safety deposit box, safe, or piggy bank to remain in mint-condition and accrue value.) Add $5 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    45 backers

    Your choice of any ten (10) rolls of Seed Money coinage in official Seed Money cotton sacks. (400-600 coins total depending on which denominations you choose.) Add $5 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    10 backers

    5,000 letterpress Seed Money coins with your very own custom design! Text and face illustration of your choosing packaged into rolls and stuffed into official Seed Money cotton sacks. Maybe it's your own silhouette, or perhaps the silhouette of someone you love or admire?

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Funding period

- (30 days)