About this project
TogetherFarm Blocks in the News
- Sunset Magazine’s blog, “Westphoria”: Kickstarter We Love: TogetherFarm Blocks
- Portland's KGW’s news coverage: Portlander's Invent Modular Garden Box System
- Portland's FOX12 news coverage: Portlanders create garden box from recycled plastic
- Seattle's KING5 news coverage: "Edtior's Pick"
- SolidSmack article: Stackable Blocks for Modular 'Anywhere' Gardens
- Guy Kawasaki's Tweet: TogetherFarm Blocks
- Katherine Cook's (KGW) Tweet: I want these!
Who we are
We are TogetherFarm and we are passionate about helping people grow their own produce, whether you own a farm or a small city lot. We exist to bring people and produce together. That is why we are excited to introduce you to TogetherFarm Blocks!
What are TogetherFarm Blocks?
TogetherFarm Blocks are a modular garden box system (Made in the USA) manufactured from 100% recycled materials with the goal of making gardening more accessible to all. With an elegant design that is packed full of features, these lightweight, interlocking blocks empower more people to take back their food by growing produce in their own raised garden beds. You don't need any tools, hardware, or special expertise to quickly put together a garden box of any shape or size. Whether you are a gardening expert or perhaps looking to build your first raised garden bed, TogetherFarm Blocks are the perfect companion for your next gardening project. And kids love it too. These blocks make it easy and fun to involve and educate your kids about where produce comes from and how to grow it.
Features of TogetherFarm Blocks
- INTERLOCKING BLOCKS, NO TOOLS REQUIRED - All of the blocks snap together without any tools required for assembly. As rows of blocks are added, the box is strengthened by alternating seams and connected corners.
- INTEGRATED TRELLIS/STAKE HOLES - The entire block system is built for the gardener in mind with 3/8” diameter holes running vertically down each section of the blocks. These holes can be used to stake the box to the ground, add reinforcement for retaining wall applications, add flexible tubing overlaid with clear plastic for a cold-frame, and insert trellises to support the growing vegetable plants.
- ADDITIONAL HOLES FOR SCREWS - Holes for ordinary deck screws are built in to the flower top design of each block on 2 inch centers. The blocks can be secured to each other or to a wooden platform or base. The screw holes have many other applications including securing landscape fabric to the box system to block weeds
- ANY SIZE, ANY SHAPE, ANY DEPTH CAPABILITY - Because of the modular design, these garden boxes can be built in any shape or size required. For the space on the side of your house, the blocks can be built as a 2 foot wide box that is 10 feet long. For the sloping front yard, the blocks can be built in a terraced fashion to take advantage of as much growing space as possible. For the small back patio the blocks can be built in an 'L' shape to wrap around the corner of your patio.
- PORTABILITY AND RECONFIGURATION - At any point in time, the blocks can be reconfigured for new needs in the yard. In addition, the blocks can be easily disassembled and taken along when moving to a new house - no need to reinvest in a whole new set of garden boxes.
- EXPANSION ACCESSORIES - As TogetherFarm releases additional accessories, all future add-ons will be compatible with the existing garden block system.
- BPA- AND PHTHALATE-FREE - Rest assured that the blocks will not leach harmful chemicals into the soil ensuring that the growing plants are fully organic.
- MADE FROM 100% RECYCLED MATERIALS - All the blocks are made from 100% recycled plastic. The blocks repurpose discarded plastic that might otherwise end up in landfills or the ocean.
- LONG-LASTING DURABILITY - A UV protective coating will be applied during the manufacturing process to reduce the breakdown of the plastic over time. Each set of blocks will give many years of use. Because the blocks are made from recycled plastic, they will withstand termites, rotting, and other common causes of garden box failure. The block walls are reinforced with ribbing to prevent bending and buckling.
- MULTICOLOR - The standard blocks will come in an earth tone brown but gardeners can select from 4 additional colors (earth tone blue, orange, green, and beige) to add extra flare to their garden boxes.
Micro Garden and Indoor Seed Starter Kit
TogetherFarm Blocks are extremely versatile. If you flip the blocks upside down, you get a perfect plant starter or micro garden space that can be used indoors. There are holes in each cavity that allow for water drainage. Simply place a tray underneath each block to catch runoff water. Stack the blocks to create eye-catching designs in your window sill as you grow micro-greens or seed starts.
Custom Colors and Dimensions
If you pledge at the $150 or above level, you get to choose from 4 custom colors in addition to the standard earth tone brown. Here are all 5 colors:
- August: Mold design completion
- October/November: Build mold; design product packaging
- December: Begin manufacturing first run of 10" blocks; finalize product packaging
- January/February 2014: Ship TogetherFarm Blocks to backers in time for the Spring growing season
We have completed the final design stage and are ready to begin the tooling and manufacturing phase. We have a mold maker ready to build TogetherFarm Blocks' Mold and a manufacturer ready to begin producing the blocks after the mold is made. All we need is your pledge to help us get through these final steps.
TogetherFarm Blocks will be MADE IN THE USA:
- Our product design company, Self Aware Design, is based here in Portland, Oregon and provided expert product engineering guidance as we painstakingly worked through numerous design iterations.
- Our product mold will be built by Weissert Tool and Design in Vancouver, Washington. Weissert brings years of experience and helped us understand how to get the very best mold for our dollar without compromising quality.
- Our manufacturer, ABC Plastics in Vancouver, Washington, is a short 15-minute drive from our homes. They have played a key role in our manufacturing education and helped us select the right materials and manufacturing process to keep costs down and quality high.
Kickstarter is a fantastic community of people that believes in new and exciting ideas and projects. Kickstarter is the place where this community rallies to do something together that couldn't be done alone. That's why we wanted to put our idea exclusively on Kickstarter. We know TogetherFarm Blocks are a great product that will change people's gardening experiences but we can't make this a reality by ourselves. That's where you come in. With every pledge that is made, all of us get one step closer to seeing TogetherFarm Blocks become a reality.
Join the community that is inspiring a new era of gardening for all!
Risks and challenges
With every new business venture there is a certain amount of risk. This is why we've done much of the research and heavy lifting *before* asking for your help with funding.
We believe the best way to mitigate risk is three-fold:
First, you need a rock solid product design and manufacturing team to help make your product a reality. We've accomplished by building strong relationships with people who are local.
Second, you need business sense. The co-founders of TogetherFarm all graduated from the same MBA program at Concordia University in Portland. Two of the co-founders focused their final consulting project on quality assurance and traveled abroad to learn about manufacturing and quality control.
Lastly, you need a market. We've talked to countless friends, family, industry professionals, and gardening experts. We even demoed our product during a TEDx event here in Portland, OR, to hundreds of people and consulted with a local nursery. We always get the same responses: "Where can I buy these? I need these blocks for my yard!"
Everyone has loved the product and affirmed our intuitions that TogetherFarm Blocks are going to be an incredible way to get more people gardening and harvesting their own fresh, organic produce.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, we can ship internationally. Please send us a message with the city and country you want the blocks to be sent to, and we'll calculate the additional shipping that you can add into your pledge.
We've been getting a lot of requests from people with balconies. A base plate is in our product roadmap but we needed to focus on creating the mold for TogetherFarm Blocks in this first Kickstarter. We have a few potential solutions for our apartment and second story dwellers and will have a solution before we ship.
We've had a few requests to "finish" the top rail with a cap system. We're really excited to get this Kickstarter behind us and focus on our long list of modular add-ons which will provide a finished cap plus some surprises that will integrate into the deck screw and accessory holes in our TogetherFarm Blocks. Please check back - more soon!
Due to the high demand, we cannot sell individual blocks through this Kickstarter. Once the mold has been made, we will have options for those of you that are interested in expanding your kits and building structures of unique shapes and sizes.
Kickstarter is a venue to help companies get new products off the ground. Your pledge contributes toward helping us build a mold and produce the product here in the USA. We've also opted to make things as easy as we could for you and have included the cost of shipping and handling at the pledge level.
Shipping is FREE and included in the pledge levels. You WILL NOT have to pay an extra charge to receive your TogetherFarm Blocks once we fund.
We have spent countless hours working closely with both a product designer with a horticultural degree and the manufacturer of the product to ensure you will receive many seasons of enjoyment from your TogetherFarm Blocks. All the blocks will ship with a UV-treatment to increase the durability and longevity of the blocks.
We have worked closely with the manufacturer of the product to identify a source of BPA- and phthalate-free plastics that are safe to grow produce for human consumption.
Most wood products are made from first-run materials. Although there are many reputable sources of wood from responsible tree farms in the US, less reputable "discount" wood products actually contribute to the deforestation of certain parts of the world. Like it or not, plastic waste is a readily available resource. By using food-safe recycled plastics at a low-emissions factory here in the US, we are not only using less first-run forrest products but also eliminating waste that could otherwise end up in a landfill or worse, our oceans.
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