New breakthroughs in the world’s oldest science–farming–are rare. Most recent “innovations” have been of the toxic pesticides, fungicides and herbicides variety. But a young man named Cam MacKugler has created a great new product that makes gardeners’ lives much easier.
MacKugler is the inventor of Seedsheets. The product is a garden kit that employs weed-blocking fabric with seed pods embedded in it to create an easy to plant garden.
In an interview MacKugler did with Vermont Life, he said his inspiration came from the shag carpets with holes for plants that his grandfather used to keep weeds down in his gardens when MacKugler was a boy.
VL: Best of all, no weeding required, right?
CM: Yes, my grandfather was a big gardener and we always helped him. One of my earliest memories is how he’d roll out pieces of old shag rug and cut holes for the plants to keep weeds down around them. When I did my first prototype, I embedded seeds between toilet paper, paper towels and newspaper to try to do the same thing. Now we use weed-blocking fabric and dissolvable seed pods.
VL: You grew up in Londonderry with parents who were ski instructors and the sport was a huge part of your life for many years. How did skiing shape you?
CM: I could ski before I could walk but I rebelled against my parents by switching from downhill to Nordic racing. At Middlebury, I raced all four years and planned to try out for the 2010 Olympic team; it was a long shot but I was among the best sprinters in my age group. Then I blew out my knee so that was the end of that dream. But the work ethic I got from ski racing stuck with me. There’s a level of persistence and stubbornness you get from training thousands of hours running through the woods with sticks on your feet.
VL: How has the Seedsheet vision evolved?
CM: We started with larger gardens with more plants and more varieties but it turned out that was too much money and commitment for someone starting out gardening. We were giving away samples with just one sunflower in them and people wanted to know how much those cost. So we went smaller, more container-garden style and we called them grow-your-own smoothies or grow-your-own Caprese salad. People want to grow food, not just plants.
Read more from Vermont Life here.