Our Little Roots is a new subscription service that helps you introduce gardening to your children. We have a working vegetable garden that my kids like to play in, but because we try to depend on it for food, sometimes I don't want the kids playing in it. I absolutely love the idea of helping them start their own garden!
This box was sent to us to review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription: Our Little Roots
The Cost: $11.95 per month
The Products: A monthly pack of organic, non-GMO seeds to plant, along with some stakes, a bag of organic soil, and a biodegradable planting bag
Ships to: US
Good to Know: When you subscribe, you can choose among fruit, vegetable, flower, or herb seeds.
This month's herbal selection is basil cinnamon, also known as Mexican basil. Mmmmmmmmm... They also provided little plastic stakes for labeling.
On the left is the bag they provided for planting in if you like. The bag is supposedly biodegradable and thus ok to plant outside if you'd like to start your plants inside. On the right is a bag of organic soil.
This is a card that was included, detailing Our Little Roots' referral program.
This is a card that was also included, listing Our Little Roots' various social media accounts.
The reason I made a point of showing the two included cards so specifically is because there is something missing from this box. Instructions. Especially if you are doing this with a child, you BOTH really, really need instructions. The directions on the back of the seed packet say:
"When and where to plant:
Choose a sunny, sheltered spot that is protected from wind and other temperature extremes. Basil needs at least 6-8 hours of full sun each day, so keep that in mind when choosing a location to start your seeds. Try to space your basil plants about 12 inches apart. There are also dwarf varieties that work well in containers."
This actually leaves me with more questions than answers.
First, what time of year should this be planted?
Then, why are you sending us basil in the fall? It should be planted after the last frost of the season in the spring, but doesn't really start bumping until it gets HOT, like in July. If I was new to gardening, I wouldn't know that.
If the plants need 12 inches of space, then is the bag only for one plant? What do we do with the rest of the seeds?
What is the protocol for starting the seeds indoors and moving them out? Why might I want to try this?
If you sent us the bag, which is a type of container, does that mean you've sent us the dwarf variety?
And probably others...
The Verdict: I don't mean to sound too negative with that last point, but directions are sooooo important in children's boxes, and preferably instructions that they can read and understand themselves. I was actually pretty excited when I hear about this box, but I am disappointed that I will have to wait until the spring to share it with my children. Their website says that they will be sending seasonal seeds, so I'm hoping that this is just a random box they sent me for review. Also, unless they are sending seeds that can be planted very close together, a la "seed bomb" style, then I'm not really feeling the grow bag. It would be much better if they would send an organic peet growing tray, even a small one, with cubes to sprout many plants indoors and then separate and space them when they are ready to go outside. That would also make the little stakes make more sense. I would also like to know what the soil content is, and what they mean by organic. Is it already fertilized? Or has it just been cleaned / sterilized?
I have been keeping my eye out for a good gardening subscription box for a while now. I actually think this is an excellent concept, but the execution is currently lacking. If this box came with thorough, readable instructions plus a growing tray instead of the bag, I would subscribe for my children in a heartbeat (provided that they actually send seasonal seeds to regular subscribers). I think they could do that without affecting their bottom line too much. I also think that would be worth the $11.95 monthly cost to me. Otherwise, there's not much advantage to this subscription over going to your local plant store or CSA and buying a $2 pack of seeds. Usually the farmer or sales person is more than willing to tell you everything you need to know to plant them.
What did you think about Our Little Roots?