Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sundays with Sparky - Psst! Wanna buy a Tomato?

Sparky has been planning to start a business for some time now.  He and his buddy Meep - along with other friends - have thought that maybe a comic-book business was a good way to make money.  However, the appearance of several volunteer tomato plants in our backyard gave me an idea for a different sort of business, and Sparky and Meep, after a little convincing, decided to follow through with my plan to make recycled-container upside-down tomato planters.

First, they sat down at the computer and created a marketing plan for their tomatoes, centered around the fact that we have no idea how these plants will turn out:

001After this critical phase in product development, we began creating the upside-down tomato planters.  First, we crumbled styrofoam into small bits (it does not break down, so won't affect the plants, and lightens and aerates planting material) and added it to standard potting soil.
004We then cut the bottoms off of several scavenged 2-liter soda bottles.  We then poked several large holes in the bottom part and set it aside. 

006The plants were teased through the hole,  leaves out, and the stem snugged in place with cotton wadding, and then the bottle filled with soil.  
010After watering the soil and topping it off, we inverted the perforated bottle bottom and duct-taped the seam together - in this way, there's a water reservoir to allow water to drip in slowly, and to help keep the plant from drying out.

012We then poked three holes through the duct-taped edge, and poked heavy string through, creating our hanger (it helps to set your tomato plant over a duct-tape roll so the plant doesn't get squished during this process.)

Afterwards, the marketing plan was stuck on the outside of the bottle on printed mailing labels, and Sparky and Meep started to sell!  We have a few left - if you live in the Chicago area and want one, you can reach me by commenting on this post.


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