The Product

The World’s Smallest Garden turns a bottle into a self-watering hydroponic garden. It’s perfect for growing fresh food in small spaces.

>> PRESS KIT image available here and our YouTube page contains a number of brief instructional videos also.

The small cylindrical device uses proprietary hydroponic techniques (patent pending) to create both an optimal environment for seed germination, as well as a mechanism through which plants can water themselves. This solution helps avoid the number 1 reason most indoor gardens don’t last long (forgetful owners!)

Unlike other devices on the market today that cost hundreds of dollars and rely on sophisticated pumps and automation, this product doesn’t need all the fancy bells and whistles. It’s elegant simplicity is what makes this product so exciting. All in all, this is a fun, easy and really affordable way for anyone to grow fresh food at home.

The People

Founders Nate and Rob met in early 2016 and quickly became obsessed with the idea of growing food at home. The opportunity, they felt, was in helping people overcome their intimidation – and showing them that green thumbs are not a prerequisite.

Nate left the finance industry in 2015, determined to build something that his grandchildren would one day be proud of. The first dish he learnt how to cook was spaghetti bolognese, and since a young age has been obsessed with food. He has taken cooking classes all over the world, including a Certificate of Culinary Arts in Toronto. Thai and Vietnamese are his favorite, and he once spent a month exploring the Central Highlands of Vietnam by motor bike in search of the perfect bowl of Banh Hoi (it’s all about the fresh herbs!!)

(Dr) Rob was raised on a wood farm in south eastern Massachusetts, and since moving to NYC has made it his mission to make the place a bit greener! His PhD dissertation focused on Vegetated Infrastructure, and after meeting Nate in early 2016 began to use his plant knowledge to design food growing systems. As well as running R&D, manufacturing and dispatch at Urban Leaf, he has also become famous for his “Upper Westo Pesto” (fortunately he has a very good supply of fresh basil).

At the heart of what we are trying to achieve at Urban Leaf is provide an experience that helps people reconnect with their food. By understanding what real food looks like, where it comes from and how it’s produced, we want to help people make smarter food choices. The World’s Smallest Garden is only our first step though; our ultimate goal is to help build a future where food is fresh, local and personal.

The Campaign

The product launches on Kickstarter on May 22, in a campaign that will run for 30 days. Look out for some BIG discounts for Early-Bird backers! Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform that let’s customers ‘pre-purchase’ a product. The project only goes ahead if the funding goal is met. If the funding goal is not reached, everyone gets their money back!

Through hundreds of customer interviews, dozens of prototypes, and now nearly 300 early adopters we’re confident that we’ve come up with a product that works. We’ve been 3D printing these products and assembling them by hand in Rob’s apartment. The proceeds of the Kickstarter campaign will allow us to move into a proper production facility and scale up our operations so that we can help more people enjoy the many benefits of growing their own food.

You can read more about the details of the campaign here.