January 21, 2024 by Hope Gardens
Plant-Based is the future of everything.
I still register the shock on people’s face when I tell them organic vegetables are all grown in animals. Not poo or manure as they might think, but rendered animal carcasses. Organic has been diluted to where it’s downright dangerous.
Everything from banned antibiotics to forever chemicals have been found in organic garden products. With Big Ag forcing its “waste” on organic farming and gardening, there’s really been no place for conscious consumers to turn for safe, ethical organic fertilizer.
Cabbage Hill® Animal-Free Fertilizer is a hearts and minds campaign. As CEO, I need to embrace a “thought leader” mentality and take the time to educate and inspire my customers. Because even the most experienced gardeners, even the most militant animal-rights advocates, aren’t aware this issue even exists. Successfully launching this company is not just a push to get Cabbage Hill fertilizers on the shelf. It’s revealing a truth to the public. Its creating alliances across the vegan and gardening and climate concern spectrums. That takes the time it takes. It’s wonderful to blaze a trail, but it’s time-consuming and unpredictable. But there’s good news!
On 11/11/23, I launched a social media campaign for Cabbage Hill. To my delight, both vegans and non-vegans, gardeners and non-gardeners, have embraced animal-free fertilizers with enthusiasm. And to find myself leading this discussion, feels amazing.
Being first in this space allows me to raise consumer confidence in our brand and of course, gain a large part of the future market…but that’s nothing to sleep on. All that to say, the time for investment is now. Like, right stinking now. An investment of 100K-200K would allow me to immediately start working on organic licensing and certification so we can legally start selling, as well as scaling the current business model.
I have found some organic fertilizer manufacturers/mixers who handle private label accounts. I think that will be a logical first step for scaling up. I need to research these contacts to make sure our processes and inputs can be certified organic, CDFA-compliant, as well as being able to provide vegan certifications. That’s what Cabbage Hill can accomplish with your help.
Let me tell you all I’ve been up to and how many strides Stewie and I have made this year!
The plan is to start selling at independent nurseries and even alternative spaces like vegan clothing stores and grocery stores, but eventually the dream is to have animal-free Cabbage Hill fertilizers sitting side-by-side with traditional garden fertilizers at big box stores. Our graphic labels are designed to help Cabbage Hill fertilizers stand out from the competition. The aesthetic is also designed to appeal to new gardeners: both urbanites and millenials: a fast-growing sector of garden customers catered to by exactly no one.
We have a beautiful new logo and label. The porches and steps pictured on the label are reminiscent of the city stoops my family gravitated to for e
avesdropping on the neighbors community. And always up front is Cabbage Hill’s signature black cat, throwing shade on animal-based fertilizers.
I also decided it was high time to roll out a new fertilizer formula. One that really embraces an enthusiastic group of new young Plant Parents who have adopted billions of these since the lockdown: houseplants!
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
And since we have gorgeous new labels, it was time to take some photos. We shot dozens of gorgeous stills to grace our social media and website. I also filmed a professional video to pitch Cabbage Hill as well as a how-to video for the website.
Our gorgeous new website has everything from our origin story to educational blogs to investor info. Once we are licensed, we can turn on the Shopify site for sales.
UPDATED SOCIAL MEDIA
Our social media was updated with the new branding and I have created a LOT of vegan fertilizer content. If you find a platform Cabbage Hill is not on, let me know! We are at all the scrolls @cabbagehillfertilizer.
Our new logo and black cat aesthetic are too cute not to share wherever possible. And truly, this branding really helps carry our message. This is far more than a product; it’s a movement people are going to identify with and want to show support for.
Cabbage Hill now has four investors. Let me introduce them all: Joan Valentine, avid gardener and a UCLA Distinguished Research Professor in BioChemistry; Mike Garcia, founder of Enviroscape LA, a permaculture-certified, sustainable and native landscape contractor; Wendy Kohn, long-time gardener and retired Los Angeles Superior Court judge; and our newest investor, Todd Metzger. Todd is a friend and passionate gardener from my hometown of Lancaster. And he updated the Cabbage Hill Pitch Deck. Thanks Todd!
I am absolutely honored to have these amazing folks as friends, investors and advisors. And I can’t wait to include you in that number.
The launch of Cabbage Hill in November ushered in new, exciting connections. Support & Feed’s Maggie Baird and I hung out with the same cool mom friends group when our kids were little. She has been a gracious advisor and had me on her Instagram LIVE (linked below). I also have received support and encouragement from other heavy hitters like Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur, World of Vegan’s Michelle Cehn and UK vegan gardening expert Cleve West. I’ve had positive engagement with the Canadian-based organization Learn Veganic and the father of Veganics, Jimmy Videle, as well as Animal Alliance Network, Vegan F.T.A., The Undisputable Vegans, Animal Save Movement and Los Angeles brand, Don’t Eat the Homies.
Lawyers from Fair Start Movement and Animal Defense Partnership agreed to connect me with pro bono legal support to get our fertilizers licensed by the California Department of Food & Agriculuture. They will help ensure Cabbage Hill is given a fair shake by the CDFA and not persecuted for our activism.
Lastly, embracing the thought leader mentality, I’ve been spreading the message on podcasts and in online articles. There are many more to come this year but here are the links to what is published already. I hope you are as impressed with Cabbage Hill as I am. Thank you for reading this, and for your support. This is something to feel good about. And we all need a bit of that right now. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can always find me on social media. 🙏🏾
You can also read this story on our Substack