In the age of Kickstarter loans for new product rollouts, gardeners who can’t find the products they need can just make their own. Modern Sprout creators Nick Behr and Sarah Burrows are condo dwellers who were looking for a solution for successful cultivation of plants indoors.
“We’ve had too many friends come to us and say, ‘We’ve tried to grow herbs and they inevitably die. I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t even try out their green thumb because they don’t have the space, time or expertise,” Burrows says.
While traditional hydroponics can be a more automated way to garden at home, the exposed tubes and ugly plastic buckets made it the wrong fit for Behr and Burrows’ condo.
The Modern Sprout brand is dedicated to refashioning the residential hydroponics industry and simplifying urban and indoor gardening. Modern Sprout “joins the market as interest in hydroponics is rising, demand for organics is growing and more people are opting for city living,” the company states in a press release.
“We developed Modern Sprout for people like ourselves — people who love to cook, love to eat and care about where their food comes from,” Burrows says in a YouTube video.
The Modern Sprout hydroponic container garden is a 16- by 10½- by 5½-inch planter, available in four finishes — chalkboard, weathered gray, glossy white and reclaimed wood (special edition featuring salvaged barn wood available for a limited time), and in either plug-in or solar-powered options. Each Modern Sprout windowsill planter includes a hidden control valve, timer and air pump, plus three 3-inch net pots, a ¾-gallon reservoir, soilless growing medium and a water measuring stick.
In April 2013, the Chicago-based startup launched its first product on Kickstarter. Modern Sprout raised nearly $80,000 in 35 days. The premier planter self-waters and self-feeds, perfect for space-conscious city dwellers, absent-minded gardeners and armchair agrarians. Edibles, flowers and houseplants, like orchids, can be grown in Modern Sprout’s planter.
Minimum assembly is required; just set the preferred time and add plants, plus water and plant nutrients. Following set up, the planter needs to be plugged in near a sunny window (for most plant types). Depending on climate and botanical type, the reservoir will most likely need to be refilled with a mix of water and plant nutrients approximately every two to four weeks.
Modern Sprout is made in the USA. Windowsill planter prices range from $129 to $219, with more Modern Sprout products coming soon.