view current print edition





Compostable, self-feeding garden pot debuts

Danny Mishek, founder and president at SelfEco in Stillwater, MN, is a third-generation manufacturer who grew tired of throwing his yearly garden plant pots into the garbage. After he and his four kids planted their “salsa garden” each spring, they would wind up with numerous wasted plastic pots. An estimated 200 million pounds of plastic garden pots end up in landfills each year in the United States alone. So, with his background in plastics and manufacturing, he invented the SelfEco Garden Pot, billed as the first compostable, self-feeding garden pot.

“I couldn’t be prouder that we’ve invented a product that can truly make for a better future,” Mishek told The Produce News in a written statement. “It avoids landfills, prevents drilling for oil, and it allows us to avoid contact with harmful fertilizers.”

Because you can plant the entire pot into the ground, the SelfEco pot produces no waste  and avoids adding to landfills. Plus, plant food is integrated directly into the walls of the pot, thereby eliminating the need for granular fertilizers. The SelfEco Garden Pot is made in the United States from a plant-based plastic — which is a renewable resource — compared to petroleum-based products. Using the SelfEco Garden Pot is simple — just add water and walk away.

Mishek believes the pot is not only more earth-friendly, but could also potentially cut overall gardening costs. Compared to a petroleum-based pot, plant food, fertilizer and other materials, Mishek said in a news release that its pot “would be about 60 percent to 70 percent of the cost of a stable pot and fertilizer.”

SelfEco had launched a crowdfunding campaign Jan. 11 on to raise funds for a high-cavitation production mold so it could bring its garden pot to market with competitive pricing. The company began with a  $25,000 goal and it reached that benchmark within 30 hours and 139 backers from around the world. Mishek was thrilled with the response.

Mishek also revealed in an interview that several home and garden companies are interested in placing SelfEco orders.