Who are we?
We are a small Canadian company that believes:
- Everyone deserves to eat fresh, healthy, pesticide-free food
- Growing food at home reduces our impact on the planet, including: reduced water consumption, no fertilizers which contribute to green house gas emissions, no pesticides, and eliminating shipping food long distances... the average NA meal travels 2,414 km's!
- Making our products in Canada with the highest environmental standards from packaging to materials used.
- Food security and sovereignty: unlike other indoor gardens we do not make customers buy our seeds. You can use our organic and heirloom seeds, or your own.
How we started
Jen grew up in a food insecure home. As a child I remember having an empty fridge and the stress our hard-working single mom endured, trying to keep food on the table. Part of that included growing a vegetable garden. The flavour of a carrot with only the dirt dusted off and fresh peas devoured before ever leaving the garden, made an imprint on my taste buds at a young age.
In the mid 1990's my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He had enjoyed fast food most of his life, but changed to an organic diet, high in fruits and vegetables. His health improved for several years, before losing his battle to cancer.
Founder - Jen McGuinness
Hard work and perseverance
Pictured below are some of our growing pains, earliest prototypes, and some of our brave family and friends that helped test and provide feedback.
To: beautify your living space, grow food year-round indoors, and make it easy for novice gardeners.
Counter-top space is sacred and I hate clutter, so if I was going to design an indoor garden it had to be vertical. Here is one of our early prototypes, tested by early adopters in 2015.
Feedback led to improvments
Refinements to the VerdeGraze came following feedback from our early adopters. Christina, quoted below, called her first prototype the "Franken-wall." It was ugly, but it still grew food:
Meanwhile Jen moved from her townhouse with the shady yard to an apartment with no balcony, and Matt to a basement suite with no yard, highlighting the need for an indoor garden. Surely there were other Canadians that had the same problems.
The refined VerdeGraze in Jen's new apartment
Getting closer, no longer the Franken-wall.
Our Kickstarter Campaign
Customers were asking to buy the VerdeGarden, then called the VeggieWall. With 90% of the design done, we launched our Kickstarter campaign. We ran in to difficulties around increasing costs and complexity with the final 10% of the design. Matt moved to Australia, and Jen continued on alone resolving the remaining challenges. We are very grateful to our faithful customers that have stuck with us and patiently awaited their product.
Ready to see the final product?
To learn more about VerdeGardens, click here.