The Nourishmat, a 4′ x 6′ garden system, is an all-in-one roll out garden designed to empower people to start growing food and flowers. The Nourishmat is rolled out onto your soil for easy DIY food production. Roll out the mat, push in the seedballs (clay, seeds, chili-powder and all-natural nutrients), and hook it up to the hose. We think of the Nourishmat as the way to cultivate the next generation of food growers.People have become disconnected from their soil. Earth Starter was formed in order to solve what we believe will be the world’s most pressing issue in upcoming years: sustainable healthy food supplies. Given limited resources and budgets, food as it is available today might not be so accessible in the future. By using the Nourishmat products, you are preparing yourself for this future. Our products offer cost-effective solutions that have a tangible return in your wallet. Our goal is to help people reduce their dependency on global food markets while focusing on creating a more nourishing Earth.

Earth Starter is doing more than just empowering consumers to grow their own food.  They are now making a huge push to help feed children who struggle with hunger. Earth Starter has teamed up with Two Degrees Foods to give 4 meals to children in the United States when you purchase the highly anticipated Nourishmat.  For every Nourishmat YOU PURCHASE, WE GIVE 4 meals to children suffering from hunger in the United States.
The Nourishmat is made of polypropylene, a recyclable landscape fabric used in industrial agriculture.
The Nourishmat was designed to be multi-sensory and intuitive. We used colors in combination with the square-foot method. The layout of the plants revolves around companion planting. For example, the bugs that like marigolds are the same bugs that love to eat the bugs that love to eat tomatoes. Other plants like Nasturitum (everyone’s first question, what is nasti-tu-…..) are great pollinators and so forth. The Nourishmat comes with a planting guide that tells the user where and when to plant.
Every 4′ x 6′ Nourishmat and 2′ x 6′ Herbmat comes with pre-planted seedballs separated by plant type. There is a combination of spring, summer and fall crops so users can continue to grow almost year round (we even have winter wheat during the winter).
We completed a 22 state beta test over the last year and a half. In order for us to have a successful first year run, we had to choose plants that would grow in all USDA hardiness zones. We took the data from our beta test and created the first Nourishmat iteration and adapted a planting guide accordingly. The combination of cool and warm weather crops with a mix of herbs for the summer allows for more successful yields. Bio-diversity promotes more pollinators and the seedballs help protect seeds against harsh environments and pests.
Eventually users will receive instructions based on their geo-location online. That is one of the goals with our Kickstarter — to make information available to our users without overwhelming them or keeping them glued to a tablet or PC. By 2014, users will be able to go-online – select their zip code, we will tell them what grows best in that location, choose a size, and based on seedball inventory, we will use a companion planting method to automatically position and space the plants. It’s all about cultivating gardeners not gardens.
After Kickstarter the the mat will run $39-$79
Nourishmat with Irrigation – $79.95
Nourishmat without Irrigation – $64.95
Herbmat with Irrigation – $49.95
Herbmat without Irrigation – $39.95
The nourishmat
We have already done some pilot testing with the summer camps and schools on the east coast. Right now we are working with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and the Mayors office in SF to work on using our curriculum and the Nourishmat as an educational tool. It reduces the intimidation factor because all of the tools are already laid out.
When you combine outdoor learning with something like the ‘Nourishmat’ designed to allow students to grow their own garden and share with other students around the country using the Nourishmat application…well this is hands on learning at its best… students can watch plants grow, share their growing time and success, read, write and communicate with other students, sharing together in the learning experience. Designed for students and schools in mind, the inventors of this creative product are developing a user-friendly curriculum for students as well.Theresa May – Head of School Prince William Academy 

Working with charter schools and visiting the school fairs has been helpful, but parents have been some of the biggest advocates. They have purchased some of beta quantities to be tested in schools in MD and VA. Some of our Kickstarter levels focus directly on allowing folks to give directly to a school of their choice. By working with the SFUSD we are able to use initiatives like Proposition A which gave 120 schools in the San Francisco area each $150,000 for schoolyard greening. We have proposed to put Nourishmats in those spaces with a curriculum with a much small $6,500 budget. Each school is receiving  $150,000 for their own green schoolyard. This gets spent on landscape architects, and plants, mainly and for some, the process will most likely take a few years to get completed.
Our focus is on providing people with all the resources needed to start growing food and flowers today. We have come a long way and have had many bumps and scrapes on the way. Our Kickstarter page doesn’t show the grit that it took to keep going and how hard manufacturing in the US can really be. But it’s part of our mission. We’ve been getting pushed around since day one. Family friends tried to take our idea, the doors to banks were closed and the only funding we could get was from our bank accounts. We started as two young professionals from the University of Maryland who stepped out of their comfort zone to self fund a company. Our team worked hard to beat out better funded company and apps that were poised to win the 2013 Cupid’s Cup presented by fellow UMD Alumnus Kevin Plank. We took the Nourishmat from three stages of product development on our own dime and just when we thought things were going great, a deal with Orchard Supply went by the wayside when the company fell bankrupt a few weeks ago. It hasn’t been easy but it has always been a battle against the rays of the sun.
In order for Kickstarter to be successful we must reach our $70,000 goal.
Here is a link to the campaign:

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