This is a fun project: it’s a premium cedar pencil, that has a seed embedded in a water-activated capsule in the top. When it gets too short to use, stick it in some dirt, water it, and watch the seed grow! Here’s their Kickstarter project (check it out for a really awesome video):
Sprout: a pencil with a seed. | Kickstarter.com
It comes in several different varieties: from flowers to vegetables, jalapeño, marigold, parsley, basil, cherry tomato, and lots more.
Can you imagine how fun this would be in a classroom? Each kid gets a different variety, and after they wear their pencils down, the teacher plants them in a big window garden, and by the end of school — vegetables!
It seems like these guys aren’t just putting seed in any old pencil, either. The description of their project makes it sound like they put a lot of thought into the quality of their pencil:
We really like writing with wooden pencils. They have a tactile feel that even the best mechanical pencils can’t match. Getting up to sharpen them forces us to take a break and look around, a great way to reconnect during a long problem set. We designed Sprout around a high quality Ticonderoga cedar pencil body. It’s a great writing experience. And it smells really nice too.
I couldn’t agree more. The creators are a group of MIT engineers who formed a company, Democratech, who conceived and produced this whole thing!
The only possible flaw I could see in this pencil is the very thing that makes it unique: the water-activated capsule at the top. As the FAQ says:
What happens if I accidentally wet my Sprout?
If you spill something on your Sprout the tip will begin to dissolve, getting the seed ready for germination. Unfortunately Sprout doesn’t know the difference between accidental and intentional watering, so if you accidentally wet your Sprout it’s time for planting. We’ve worked hard to make a resilient seed capsule but it’s a tradeoff between resistance to accidental spills and plantability.
Not being an engineer, from MIT or anywhere else, I can’t think of a way around this, unless it comes with a plastic cap or something to keep the water out (and would defeat the purpose of being eco-friendly).
I maxed out my Kickstarter budget for the year, so I can’t get in on this. But you should! This is my favorite donor level, for $100:
Bacon Bliss Pack. We wish we could grow Bacon at home, in our office, or in our classroom. Unfortunately we can’t, but it doesn’t mean we can’t pretend! We’ll send you 10 Heirloom Basil Sprouts printed as though they contained Bacon. And we’ll laser etch your logo or up to 50 characters of your choosing onto all the Sprouts in this pack. Free domestic shipping.