~Post made possible by Earth Starter. I received complimentary Seed Balls in exchange for writing about this amazing concept! Opinions are entirely my own.~
The moment I laid eyes on the Nourishmat & Herbmat Garden System I fell in love; not only for myself but for all the schools, programs and centers for children. They are both simplistic educational gardening systems with step-by-step mats as well as innovative seed balls that are encased in clay and compost to allow better germination and growth outside.
The Nourishmat and Herbmat yield great results because they were designed using proven principles of companion planting and square foot gardening. All 19 plant varieties were selected for being great neighbors. For example, marigolds and nasturtiums (both edible flowers) help attract beneficial insects to the garden. Square foot gardening allows you to produce the same results with only 20% of the space and resources.
The Nourishmat Garden System is 4′ x 6′, and the Herbmat Garden System is 2′ x 6′, allowing people to utilize small spaces for growing vegetables and herbs (even flowers). The mat rolls out on top of soil with a grid that shows where each plant should be placed and includes a guide that details when to plant different types of seeds. The plants come in the form of 82 pre-planted seedballs that are made from clay, compost, chili-powder and seeds rolled together for easy germination and less soil disruption. These can simply be pressed into the ground and do not require the need to begin growth indoors.
The seeds are chosen to create a gardening ecosystem: such as certain flowers attracting certain insects that help the vegetables and are aligned specifically in order to do their best job. They also block weeds from sprouting in the garden, are easily hosed down for watering and some even come with irrigation!
Just imagine if everyone had the ability to create fresh vegetables and herbs easily, even within confined spaces. Schools would have an simple and educational way to teach children about healthy foods and gardening and centers / summer programs could have important lessons on where food comes from and healthy habits. The Nourishmat & Herbmat have so many incredible possibilities and value towards family and children, especially in the city.
The Nourishmat has already made an appearance in the classroom at a private international school in Manassas, Virginia. Students at the school received two Nourishmat kits and learned how to plant, care for, and harvest the plants as part of a sustainability, science and healthy food curriculum. Weiner and Gorby want to make the Nourishmat kit readily available to teachers and classrooms so that kids can start learning the importance of healthy, fresh food at a young age.
Here is how you can help play a huge part in this program. Nourishmat & Herbmat are currently Kickstarter projects and are asking for donations to help this program get a headstart into schools and homes. To give back, they are offering rewards for donations – depending on the amount, you could receive an 8 Pack of Seed Balls to your own Nourishmat!
But honestly the greatest reward for helping out is knowing that this program’s entire goal is to help children learn about healthy foods and change the way they think about those foods. When child obesity rates are on the rise and many families don’t have the understanding (or large space) available to create a successful garden, Nourishmat & Herbmat are priceless.
Donate: Take a moment and donate what you can to this amazing project on Kickstarter. You can even donate just $1 and I know many of us have at least that!