Finally, a windowsill planter for style savvy homesteaders that's simple, self-sustaining & fertile with success. SOLAR model available Read more
This project was successfully funded on May 15, 2013.
About this project
Ditch the gardening gloves, bag of soil and shovel; this planter will arrive assembled and only requires a few simple steps. Place the planter near a sunny window, set the timer, add plants, water and organic fertilizer (3-6 months included!) and plug it in. Plants will grow quickly - watch our video to see a time lapse over 3-weeks!
Sized small enough to fit comfortably in a petite window, but large enough to grow three bountiful plants. Available in four finishes including chalkboard, rustic gray weathered pine, high-gloss white and reclaimed wood.
Our eco-friendly air pump only uses an estimated $5-$7 per year to run. Save even more when you upgrade to our solar option! Enjoy organic windowsill-to-table dining all year long for a fraction of the price at grocery stores.
What to Grow
Endless options including but not limited to...
How it works
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a soilless medium with liquid mineral nutrients. Our planters feature a hidden top-feed hydroponics system (see faq) to deliver nutrients and water to the roots of three separate plants. A timer and air pump are located on the underside of the planter. The timer triggers the air pump to push water from the reservoir into the planter baskets.
Two power options are available, solar and electric. In Chicago, the electrical cost to run a planter is an estimated $5-$7/year. The air pump is very eco-friendly and quiet!
The included soilless medium is clay pellets - these pellets let the roots breath better than soil and absorb less water and nutrients.
These planters are designed for interior use only and need to be placed near a sunny window for most plant types. Either transplant botanicals or seeds in a grow cube will grow quickly and successfully!
Wondering about the return on investment? This planter will yield fresh herbs, produce and flowers year round! Check out our video for more details on our "inner workings."
- a programmable timer
- a quiet and powerful eco-friendly air pump
- an adjustable control value (did you know that rosemary likes a little less water than basil? Once launched, we will provide you with all of the tips you'll need on modsprout.com)
- expanded clay pellet growing medium and 3-6 months worth of organic liquid fertilizer (usage depends on climate and plant type). The pellets can be washed and reused. The organic fertilizer is comprised of kelp (seaweed) and other natural products and will be available for purchase on our website or at gardening stores.
Closing the loop
Because the air-pump uses so little energy, a small solar panel can do all of the work! If the campaign is successful, this 4″ x 2.5″ (somewhere between 200mA-400mA) panel will be placed into a white enclosure that will easily hook onto the top of the planter box and connect to a built-in battery mounted underneath the planter. If overcast conditions occur, the battery will kick in.
5/2: We are excited to announce a plug-in adapter as an add-on for our solar powered planter boxes. This will give people who live at extreme latitudes or in cloudy climates the ability to run their planters year round. If you add an additional $15 (per planter) to your pledge, we will include a wall adapter to plug your planter directly into an outlet.
Go greener with reclaimed wood
We've contracted with the Rebuilding Exchange in Chicago to offer a limited quantity of one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood planters. The Rebuilding Exchange is an incredible not-for-profit organization that diverts wood from landfills, promotes sustainable deconstruction and hires people with barriers to employment.
Add $50 to your pledge and we'll convert your planter to a solar model.
Once our campaign goal has been reached, we will immediately place an order with our suppliers and manufactures. Our goal is to begin delivery in mid-July.
How will the funds be used?
The funds will be used towards planter production and company growth.
- Wooden enclosures
- Custom Injection molded water reservoir and top lid
- Plant baskets, growing medium
- Timer and wiring
- Air pump, hose and valve
- Marketing & PR efforts
- E-commerce website
- Size: 16'' l x 5.5'' w x 10.5'' h (41 cm x 14 cm x 27 cm). Reclaimed wood option may have slight variations.
- Weight: approximately 6lb 5oz (2.9kg)
- Built-in 2W air pump
- Programmable timer that can set in 30 minute increments on a 24 hour cycle
- Electrical plug is US compatible but with common adapters can be used throughout the world
- Solar panel (for those units designated to have such)
- Patent Pending
Risks and challenges
We made every effort to source our materials locally, which will enable us to be hands-on through every step of production. However, we are aware that issues may arise and hope to identity them as quickly as possible to minimize delays!
The two major components of the planters are the enclosure and the reservoir. Our enclosures will be made by Quality Wood Products in upstate Wisconsin at a rate of 500 units per week. The reservoirs will be made at Du-Call Plastics outside of Chicago, they have the ability to produce several hundred in a day.
The hydroponic system hardware is sourced from a variety of U.S. based distributors and we have verified that plenty of inventory is available for immediate purchase.
After that, our team will oversee all assembly and packaging in Chicago.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants with a soilless medium. Our planters feature a hidden top-feed hydroponics system (see “what’s included”) to deliver a nutrient solution (water & organic fertilizer) to the roots of three separate plants. A timer and air pump are located on the underside of the planter, and the timer triggers the air pump to push water from the reservoir through the three feeding tubes and into the planter baskets to water the roots. Our standard planter uses electricity to power the timer and eco-friendly air pump. In Chicago, the plug-in model costs $5-$7per year to run. Information regarding our solar powered option is outlined under a separate FAQ – see below. The soilless medium consists of clay pellets, which let the roots breath better than soil and absorb less water and nutrients. The air pump is quiet…if anything, you will hear the light trickling of the water when the timer goes off. It’s nice. These planters are designed for interior use only and need to be placed near a sunny window for most plant types. Transplant botanicals or seeds in a starter cube will grow quickly and successfully!
The planter measures 16” x 5 ½” x 10 ¼” and is available in four finishes: high gloss white on pine, chalkboard on pine, weathered grey on knotty pine and reclaimed wood. Once the campaign successfully closes we will contact you regarding your finish selection. Inside, the planter features a built-in PVC-free plastic reservoir and top, soilless medium, timer, air pump, water-measuring stick, white power cord and one 4 ounce bottle of organic liquid nutrients. The organic liquid nutrients is kelp-based and will last 3-6 months, depending on plant type and climate. It will be available for purchase on our website.
So many options! The planter works great for herbs (e.g. basil, rosemary, cilantro, mint, tarragon), produce (e.g. strawberries, cherry tomatoes, peppers, kale, spinach) and flowers (e.g. orchids, lavender, anthurium). Weight is not an issue if you trellis the plants. A 3-way gang valve provides the ability to control the amount of water delivered to each of the three plants, and therefore each plant’s feeding preferences can be met. Depending on plant type, you can enjoy growth for several months or even years.
International customers - we have received your feedback regarding the shipping rate included under our "rewards" (currently $55). We are working on getting that rate reduced, and once we do we will contact anyone who has pledged and advise them on what $ amount to reduce their pledge by. Unfortunately we are not allowed to edit the "rewards" category to reflect shipping changes. Until we receive our new reduced rates, we are offering the following: Canada, $30 for qty 1 planter, $50 for qty 2 planters; Europe, $40 for qty 1, $60 for qty 2; Singapore, $45 for qty 1, $70 for qty 2. Feel free to contact us for a custom quote.
To make a pledge with international shipping simply choose domestic shipping and add the estimated shipping cost above your pledge amount.
Due to import restrictions, we are not able to send seeds to international orders.
For most plant types, direct natural light will yield the best results. We recommend placing the planter in east, south or west-facing windows. If you’re windows don’t get much natural light, you may need to provide supplemental lighting (e.g. fluorescent lights/LED lights). Herbs will grow fine even with low lighting, while fruit bearing plants need a good dose of sun. Our website will provide tips and tricks so that you can choose the right plants plants for your space and achieve the best results. We’ve had great success with herbs in January in Chicago…and trust us, Chicago does not get much sunlight during the winter. It doesn’t take much!
Minimum assembly is required. Nearly every element listed in “what’s included” is already in place. All you will have to do is place the planter in a sunny spot, set the timer and add water along with the included liquid organic fertilizer. Then, fill the baskets with the included growing medium and add your plants (either seed or transplant will work). Feel free to add a decorative river rock or moss to cover the top and baskets. Lastly, plug it in and watch your plants grow!
Depending on plant type and climate, we predict that you will have to refill the 1 gallon reservoir every 2-4 weeks. To determine when to refill, use the included measuring stick and add the remaining balance of water and nutrients. To add, simply pour the mixture through one of the plant baskets. Directions on water-to-nutrient ratios will be included and modsprout.com will provide pruning and harvesting tips along with how to start a new plant while reusing the existing growing medium.
Several other “self-watering” planters feature a wicking with soil solution. The disadvantage of this method is that the soil absorbs a lot of the water and nutrients, and therefore the plants grow slower. The other big difference is the design and quality; a lot of self-watering planters have plastic enclosures, are visibly branded with the company name, and some even use batteries. We focus on design and function. Additionally, with the exception of the hardware, we source all of our materials from local companies. Check out our video to see our partners.
All units will be quality inspected before they are shipped out. In the rare instance that a mechanical error does happen, we have a minimum of one year warranties for both the timer and air pump, and will be happy to manage the replacement process. To receive a replacement part, you must provide your product number and proof of purchase. Shipping charges may apply.
No! They are nearly silent! The pump will run several times a day, and when it does you may hear the trickling of water or the soft hum of the air pump.
The solar panel measures approximately 4″ x 2.5″ and will be packaged in an enclosure that will easily snap onto the window-facing side of the planter. The solar panel will be connected to a rechargeable battery that is connected to the air pump. The air pump uses so little energy that even on a cloudy day the solar panel will pull enough power to keep the battery charged and the pump running.
Delivery will begin in mid-July. If we meet our funding goal, our partners and manufactures have confirmed that turnaround can meet this deadline.
Our campaign will close on May 15th. At that time, Kickstarter will charge your credit card and we will send you a request for the shipping address and additional information needed to finalize your reward.
To purchase a Modern Sprout planter, simply click on “Back This Project” and enter your payment information. If the campaign meets its funding goal, your credit card will be charged on May 15th. At that time, we will contact you to gather your shipping address and other details pertaining to your reward (e.g. finish type). Rewards will begin to be delivered in mid-July. Why Kickstarter? Kickstarter offers small businesses and start-up companies the opportunity to pre-sell a product before it is manufactured. This enables start-up companies the ability to launch with the confidence that there is market interest for their product and with the capital to do so! By funding Kickstarter projects, you are helping bring new ideas and products to the marketplace while supporting small businesses.
Pledge $1 or more
A heartfelt thank you that will be posted on our website and Facebook.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
"Counter Agriculture" t-shirt.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $65 or more
150 backers All gone!
Early bird special - A Modern Sprout planter box in your choice of finish (weathered gray, white or chalkboard)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $65 or more
1 backer All gone!
ATTN INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: Please see FAQ section at bottom of page for NEW international shipping rates and how to purchase. We now have better pricing, but are unable to edit the existing reward categories.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $75 or more
A Modern Sprout planter box in your choice of finish (weathered gray, white or chalkboard). 30-40 percent below estimated retail price.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $85 or more
A Modern Sprout planter kit w/ decorative top tray cover (river rock or moss), grow cubes and choice of seeds from Seed Savers.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $99 or more
55 backers Limited (145 left of 200)
A Modern Sprout planter box made from reclaimed wood by the Rebuilding Exchange. Each planter will be unique. Add $10 for decorative top tray cover (river rock or moss), grow cubes and choice of seeds from Seed Savers. Add $50 to your pledge and we'll upgrade you to the solar version.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $125 or more
Solar version of the Modern Sprout planter in your choice of finish (weathered gray, white or chalkboard)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $135 or more
Solar version of the Modern Sprout planter in your choice of finish (weathered gray, white or chalkboard). Plus choice of seeds from Seed Savers, grow cubes and decorative top tray cover (river rock or moss)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $140 or more
2 pack of Modern Sprout planter boxes in your choice of finish (weathered gray, white or chalkboard). - Great for those outside the US for better shipping rates.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $240 or more
2 pack of Modern Sprout Solar planter boxes in your choice of finish (weathered gray, white or chalkboard). - Great for those outside the US for better shipping rates.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $1,000 or more
You and a guest will join Sarah and Nick for a locally-focused multi-course dinner prepared by renowned Chicago chef, Cleetus Friedman. Additionally, receive any planter box of your choice!Estimated delivery:
- (35 days)