Monday, April 17, 2017

Eat It, Then Plant It!

Candy With A Purpose! Just add soil, sunshine, and water.

It is right about that time of year when my parents start spending hours outside on the weekends tending to the garden. They start preparing the soil, planting flowers, and sowing seeds for fruits and vegetables. Every year I enjoy opening the door and stepping outside to be greeted by pleasant floral scents carried by the wind, walking to the garden and picking fresh tomatoes for a salad, and overall gazing at the aesthetically pleasing view.

As appreciative as I am towards it, I will admit: I am definitely not the first to offer help in the garden. Each year, I convince myself that a desire for gardening will come to me with age, or when I buy my own home and will desire a garden of my own. But is that necessarily true? Why don’t I have an inclination to help now?

To inspire those like myself, Amborella Organics has designed six flavors of seed bearing lollipops, whose intention is to connect both kids and adults with nature. Their motto? Eat, Plant, Love.


Growing up, Brennan Clarke, Founder of Amborella Organics, spent weekends with his grandmother tending to her plant-filled balcony. Each week, he would be most excited to see how the plants were doing and which ones were growing the quickest. However, what he quickly noted was that his peers, like a large portion of the younger generation, were completely uninterested in gardening. So, in 2011 he came up with a concept that would coax both younger and older generations alike back into the garden. 

The unusual result? Housing a seed inside a lollipop stick.

How Does It Work? 
Video Here
Step 1: Buy it! Buy an Amborella Organics Lollipop
Step 2: Enjoy it! Eat the lollipop.
Step 3: Plant it! Plant the biodegradable stick in soil…the seed planted corresponds to the flavors of the lollipop.
* The biodegradable stick is made from recycled paper so that the seed is able to germinate, but also so that the stick can decompose!
Step 4: Water it…daily!
Step 5: Wait for the seed to sprout!
Step 6: Love It! Use as garnish, use the herbs for cooking, or add the edible flowers to a salad or desert

How Much Does It Cost? What Are My Options?

They currently offer six main flavors (at only $2.25 a pop!): 
*The company also offers bundles of 12, 24 or 48
•           Lavender & Lemongrass

•           Sage & Marshmallow

•           Rosemary & Mint

•           Lemon & Thyme

•           Peach & Marigold

•           Vanilla & Hibiscus

New Featured Flavor:
•           Champagne & Roses


Besides the drive to entice people back to the garden, Amborella Organics is also an eco-conscious company, whose products, as implied in the name, are organic. “After creating the technology, testing seed growth, and legally protecting the invention, we reached out to a candy maker. Our requirement was that the ingredients had integrity”. The dyes used in the lollipops are all natural and plant-based – ranging from turmeric to carrot.

As for general motivation, no one can summarize it better than Clarke himself, “ I wanted to connect adults and children with the garden, so they could create the same memories I had growing up […] Today our lollipops represent sustainability, as the stick is made from recycled paper which is biodegradable once planted in soil. They represent a connection to where our food comes from, something each generation can be reminded of. And they represent something yummy that hopefully you devour with people you love as you begin your journey of growing an herb or flower.”

In Clarke’s case, his product was a combination of conventional and innovative material. He took a standard lollipop (general convention of a lollipop on a stick), and added a twist and new innovative method – added edible flowers and plants into the lollipop and not only made the stick biodegradable to reduce waste, but added a unique option to be able to plant that stick. As Brian Uzzi and Jarett Spiro describe in Collaboration and Creativity: The Small World Problem, Clarke’s concept, “extends conventions by showing them in a new form or mode of presentation”. And, since his original push was to lure people into the garden, his product “emerged from exposure, which inspired creativity” (Becker, 1982).

What's great is that little knowledge of gardening is required in this process, so the product is friendly to any age group. The flavors can expand children’s taste choices, yet be sophisticated enough for adults. In fact, Amborella Organics partnered up with a top lingerie brand, La Perla, to serve their champagne and roses lollipops at a Women’s Day fundraising event.

What’s In A Name?

So, the Organics part of the name is rather direct and has been previously explained. Furthermore, as seen in the picture above, the company’s logo is shaped by flowers and herbs. But why Amborella? According to the company, amborella comes from the first flower species to grow on land. If all the flowering plants (aka angiosperms) were placed on an evolutionary tree, Amborella is on the lowest branch.


*Evolutionary Tree

Amborella Organics – Combining delicious treats, nature’s beauty and sentiment

One of my favorite things about this product is that, while it may not be revolutionary, it gives me (and others) a gentle push towards gardening. If nothing else, it certainly gives a fun element to nature, and a sort of reversal. Now, instead of taking tomatoes from my garden and eating them at home, I can eat my lollipop at home and go plant it in my garden.

And, while I’d love to stay and chat some more, the vanilla & hibiscus flavor is calling my name.


  1. This sounds amazing! The creativity is in knocking two birds with one stone: encouraging ecological diversity with a desire for food. In a way, the simple nature of the task-putting the stick in the ground-encourages participation so that the required task isn't unrealistic for actual application. I wonder if the operation is cost-feasible? Most lollipop company could do this if they were affordable, but the original company could profit if they trademarked the process. The intentions of the creators have a huge impact on the potential feasibility of this concept. One one hand, it could become widespread, but the original creators wouldn't make as much of a profit. On the other hand, it might be something so expensive that only the original company can afford to sell these lollipops, and therefore it makes sense to keep that trademark. Hopefully, sustainable practices such as these will become more commonplace.

  2. This is such a great idea to get more people gardening. Like you, my mother has a garden at home for fresh tomatoes and cucumber. But the most gardening I do is watering my cacti in my room. I think this product also exemplifies the creators originality and usefulness, as stated by Simonton. This product seems to solve the problem of large scale transportation of produce by lessening the impact of buying produce from grocery stores that may not focus on stocking their shelves with locally grown products. This product also relates to the enjoyment the creators derived from creating this product. The lollipops serve to empower the ouse of gardening, as they experienced in their lives. In that sense, their desire to seek out ways in which to first create the technology of planting seeds via a lollipop stick shows their recognition of a unique problem, as stated by Csiksgentmihalyi. How do you think motivation played into this creation in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?

  3. I actually remember eating these lollipops as a kid at our local gardening store, but had no idea that they grew into plants! Hopefully the packaging has changed a bit since then, but I think it's a wonderful way to engage kids in gardening and caring for nature. This seems to be a product of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the sense that his family and their connection motivated him, but it was through himself that he created the product. Does he have plans of expanding the line at any point? Perhaps he could put a healthy eating spin on it and those lollipop sticks could grow into vegetables. I think this would be a great way to combat something like childhood obesity or diabetes with a fun and interactive twist on gardening and vegetables.

  4. I really like how this is something that can appeal both to parents and children. I think many children litter and don't realize how their decisions impact our environment. By teaching children that they can take something that was seen as trash once the lollipop is done, to making it something that can grow into a tangible object, will spark young minds with how else can they lessen their ecological footprint. I wonder if other seeds could be added to the collection or if they could also expand it to biodegradable fertilizers so someone can just toss it when they are done. I hope they sell these at local farmer's markets and family fairs so more children have a chance to try them out! I think gardening has become a bit of a lost art, at least in my neighborhood where people can't find the time and money to have all these intricate plants to tend to. Hopefully more products like these can be "user-friendly" across all generations and not take up too much time.


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