December 20, 2022 by Hope Gardens
Cabbage Hill Fertilizer Co.
Los Angeles, CA
Elevate organic gardening beyond its reliance on animal byproducts.
Provide vegan garden fertilizers that feed plants as well as enhance soil’s microbial vigor.
Create an ethical and empowering gardening movement, respectful of the natural world and agriculture’s impact on our climate.
I’ve found a problem. It’s well known that organic standards have become diluted over the years. In response, an effort has been made by independent review boards (i.e. OMRI) to provide clarity and accountability by certifying soil amendments and fertilizers through an approved list of organic materials and then publishing that data. But transparency is meaningful only if someone does the research. I have and I don’t like what I found.
I’ve been synthesizing this information for over a decade and I’ve realized that even though our vegetables are organic, it doesn’t mean they’re safe, ethical or cruelty-free. You see, all organic vegetables are grown in manures and fertilizers that contain animal by-products, even those at the highest level of organic certification. This includes skin, bones, blood, urine, entire carcasses – materials that can leave a lot of contaminants on your organic produce. Along with safety concerns, there’s the ethical question: do we want our organic fruits and vegetables growing downstream from slaughterhouses and factory farms?
Every day in the egg industry, 20 million male chicks are culled from female chicks. To get rid of these unwanted chicks, egg companies macerate them, grinding the chick alive. Other times, chicks are gassed or suffocated in plastic bags. But why kill the chick when scientists have engineered an in-egg genetic testing that eliminates this practice? Because these chicks are converted into bone meal and sold to consumers as organic vegetable garden fertilizer.
There’s got to be a better way to fertilize organic vegetables. And there is.
I’ve created the first line of all-vegan, cruelty-free fertilizers that are completely safe, non-synthetic, organic and animal-free. Cabbage Hill® Fertilizer Co. fertilizers are made from all-natural plant materials, minerals and healthy bacterias that feed both plant and soil. Our fertilizers are specially formulated for every kind of garden and for every season. Your indoor plant food. Your hydrangea fertilizer. Your mid-season tomato fertilizer. Your liquid, your dry fertilizer. Even a self-diluting bucket bomb that makes a perfect pre-measured root drench for your plants that smells GREAT.
As a master gardener and licensed contractor, I’ve been gardening professionally through my edible-landscaping company, Hope Gardens, for over 13 years. That’s over 4,600 straight days of vegetable gardening! My healthy obsession with suburban agriculture opened my eyes to organic gardening’s dilemma…and thankfully to the solution.
I’ve seen first-hand how reliant traditional organic fertilizer companies are on animal products; but I truly began to see organic fertilizers in a different light when I poured these seemingly innocuous materials into the hands of students at my school gardens. I couldn’t honestly explain to them what was in their fertilizer (without giving them nightmares); even explaining it to adults at my workshops, their stunned looks told me how bad the situation was. It was through these experiences, I realized: no one knows this. Even vegetarians don’t know their organic vegetable fertilizers are full of animal products.
So I designed my own garden fertilizer. A fertilizer I could feel good about. A fertilizer I could happily relate the ingredients of. A fertilizer encompassing everything the dabbler and the professional want. A fertilizer that brought great results in my own gardens. Now is the perfect time to bring this fertilizer to market.
Home gardening, concern for health and safety, climate change and veganism, are all popular and hot-button issues and my product is at the epicenter. Cabbage Hill Fertilizer Co. is the first line of exclusively animal-free fertilizers available to the public. Our entire enterprise is animal-free and we donate a portion of our profits to school gardens, farm animal sanctuaries and nature preservation projects.
Cabbage Hill Fertilizer Co. will have a large social media presence, an online store, subscription boxes and an app, but our products also deserve to be sitting alongside every major fertilizer in nurseries, garden stores, home improvement stores, box stores and boutiques. Wherever someone buys garden fertilizers and specialty gardening goods, our all-natural, animal-free alternative should be sitting right next to it.
Cabbage Hill Fertilizer Co. fertilizers are innovative in their vegan raw materials, but also in their presentation and use. Our fertilizers are available in traditional formulations: dry, granular, time-released blends as well as in soluble, concentrate blends for liquid root and foliar feeding. But our most inventive product is The Bucket Bomb™. (still in R&D)
The Bucket Bomb is a fast and fun way to create a liquid fertilizer ready to pour on your plants. Drop a Bucket Bomb in water and like a bath bomb, it fizzes and self-dilutes in minutes. Liquid is the fastest way for plants to take up nutrients and our Bucket Bombs – full of organic, animal-free ingredients – will keep plants and soil healthy, and gardeners happy. Bucket Bombs are pre-measured so they are fast and convenient and Bucket Bombs don’t smell bad like a lot of liquid fertilizers…in fact, they smell good!
Education is key to this kind of gardening and so our products will come with links to informative online content. There will also be a paywall for advanced content and of course, a Cabbage Hill Fertilizer Co. monthly subscription box. We are the first ever vegan fertilizer line and the first ever vegan gardening subscription box.
As a business, I am licensed to sell fertilizer in California. For the past year, I’ve been slicing through red tape, licensing each individual fertilizer with the CA Dept of Food and Agriculture. Any day now those individual licenses will come through and we will be free to sell. (We do not need licensed products to launch the Kickstarter however.)
So far this venture has been self-funded and I have setup an LLC and a website. I acquired a $20,000 small business loan and received my first investment of $25,000 from a client who is a UCLA chemistry professor and researcher.
We are launching a Kickstarter in Jan ‘24 to raise money to send complimentary vegan garden subscription boxes to 100 hand-picked celebrities and influencers. The Kickstarter will be a pre-order of the product as well. Then with that influx of cash, we will set ourselves up to be on shelves by next Spring. We are excited to give the world something to feel good about.
Cabbage Hill Fertilizer Co….something to feel good about
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