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Who Finances a Product Like Eleanor’s Garden?

Eleanor’s Garden is the dream of a friend of mine who has been in the earth moving business and decided he’d like to make it possible for people to garden in containers and small spaces. He devised a patent-pending drainage system that can bring the joy of gardening to people even in urban spaces.

Eleanor’s Garden is the dream of a friend of mine who has been in the earth moving business and decided he’d like to make it possible for people to garden in containers and small spaces. He devised a patent-pending drainage system that can bring the joy of gardening to people even in urban spaces. Eleanor’s Garden just won the  2010 Green Thumb Award for New Products from the Mail Order Gardening Association after a triumphant launch at the Home Garden Show last year.

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Eleanor’s Garden was inspired by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who planted a Victory Garden on the White House lawn in 1943. Her Victory Garden ignited a movement based on row gardening for sustainability during World War II. At that time, the United States population was around 136 million and home gardens were said to have produced nearly 40% of all vegetables consumed in America.
 
Today, with the United States population estimated to be over 305 million people, large row gardens have given way to mechanized agriculture. Unfortunately, vegetables grown this way lose the freshness of back yard gardens, because they are genetically engineered to be durable during shipping, are harvested before they are ripe, are sprayed with pesticides, and have unknown supply chains.

The mission of Eleanor’s Garden is to make growing one’s own healthy fruits and vegetables possible again. For the one in 8 people in America on food stamps, this is a way to eat affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. And if you are not needy, growing your own food supply can still give you control over what you eat without wondering where the produce came from,  guessing about pesticides, or worrying about freshness. Eleanor’s Garden mails you everything you need to plant a healthy garden in less than an hour. 

But who finances this kind of product? Not the kind of investors I usually talk to. It has intellectual property, but it’s not a tech product. It is sustainable, but it’s not clean energy or clean water. It’s biological, but not biotech.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  I’d love to see this get the money it needs to manufacture on more than a one-off level. This is not a solicitation

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About the author

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned communications strategist. She co-founded Stealthmode Partners, an accelerator and advocate for entrepreneurs in technology and health care, in 1998

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