At Sprout we wanted to face the whole throw-away culture, starting with the most basic of our everyday utencils: What if instead of throwing your pencil stubs away you could plant them and have them grow into something delicious, beautiful, and fun?
We asked ourselves this question, gave it a shot and Sprout was born.
We’re really happy to present the world’s first pencil that grows!
Being a sustainable pencil, Sprout is often nominated for various awards, and quite often actually wins! Latest news is our nomination for the German GreenTec Award, and the Earth Day Network 2015 partnership for the third year in a row!
Read more about how we work with sustainability at Sprout.
Sprout comes in 13 different plants:
Basil is one of the most important culinary herbs. Sweet basil, the most common type, is redolent of licorice and cloves. Basil is used in the south of France to make pistou; its Italian cousin, pesto, is made just over the border.
Basil is also used in sauces, sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Basil is in top form when married to tomatoes, as in the famous salad from the island of Capri. Insalata Caprese is made with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and fruity olive oil.
Americans call it cilantro; the British call it coriander, some even call it Chinese parsley. Whatever you call it, chances are you either love it or hate it.
This native of southern Europe and the Middle East has a pungent flavor, with a faint undertone of anise. The leaves are often mistaken for flat-leaf parsley, so read the tag. One of the most versatile herbs, cilantro adds distinctive flavor to salsas, soups, stews, curries, salads, vegetables, fish, and chicken dishes.
Since ancient Roman times, dill has been a symbol of vitality. In the Middle Ages, it was thought to provide protection against witches and was used as an ingredient in many magic potions. In the
kitchen, its feathery leaves lend a fresh, sharp flavor to all kinds of foods:
gravlax, cottage cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, omelets, seafood (especially salmon), cold yogurt soups, potato salads, and all kinds of cucumber dishes (including, of course, pickles).
Mint isn’t just a little sprig that garnishes your dessert plate. It is extremely versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
In the Mediterranean, mint is treasured as a companion to lamb, and is often used in fruit and vegetable salads. Though there are many varieties, spearmint is preferred for cooking. You can add it to a bevy of dishes and drinks—lamb, peas, carrots, ice cream, tea, mint juleps, and mojitos.
In Latin, rosemary means “dew of the sea”—appropriate since it is indigenous to the Mediterranean. Rosemary is one of the most aromatic and pungent of all the herbs.
Its needlelike leaves have pronounced lemon-pine flavor that pairs well with roasted lamb, garlic, and olive oil.
Rosemary is also a nice addition to focaccia, tomato sauce, pizza, and pork, but because its flavor is strong, use a light hand.
Sage is native to the northern Mediterranean coast, where it’s used frequently in cooking. Sage’s long, narrow leaves have a distinctively fuzzy texture and musty flavor redolent of eucalyptus, cedar, lemon, and mint.
Italians love it with veal, while the French add it to stuffings, cured meats, sausages, and pork dishes.
Americans, of course, associate it with turkey and dressing. Use it with discretion; it can overwhelm a dish.
Thyme comes in dozens of varieties; however, most cooks use French thyme. Undoubtedly thyme is one of the most important herbs of the European kitchen. What would a bouquet garni be without it?
This congenial herb pairs well with many other herbs—especially rosemary, parsley, sage, savory, and oregano. Its earthiness is welcome with pork, lamb, duck, or goose, and it’s much beloved in Cajun and Creole cooking.
It’s also the primary component of Caribbean jerk seasonings.
Extremely easy to plant, the cherry tomato grows steadily in direct sun. All you have to do is remember to water regularly – and wait.
Cherry tomatoes are handy in salads, but try this recipe recommended by chef, Lea Dam Jensen from Oe Eatery, Greece: Cut the tomatoes in four. On a hot saucerpan put oliveoil, chilies and garlic. When fairly toasted add tomatoes and fry some more.
Add a small amount of water, sugar and salt. Take off heat and stir al dente cooked pasta in it. Top with parmesan – and your week-day guests will smile all the way home.
The crisp c-vitamin filled fruit is highly nutritious.
It comes in red, yellow and green according to ripeness.
With this recipe suggested by chef, Lea Dam Jensen from Oe Eatery, Greece, you will never go wrong:
Cut the pepper in half, cleanse it and turn it in sugar, salt and oil. Bake till soft.
Use them for salads or as a side dish topped with chopped pine nuts and mustardoil. Bon appetite!
Historically use for medicinal purposes, the Calendula stands low in the flower beds, but don’t mistake it for weakling. Firm in stem with lots of leafs and strong colour it grows steadily and loyally.
The flowers are beautiful in buequets or in salads or as topping on cut out fruit.
Also you could try to glace the leafs – just like violets. Whip egg whites, dip the leafs thoroughly and then dip them in sugar.
Leave to dry in a warm spot and store in a cake tin. Use on cakes or desserts. Yummi!
Forget-me-not is a distinctive plant with a beautiful ice
blue flower. Blue is the color of fidelity, and perhaps the reason why it has been used as a gift to one’s beloved for ages.
Forget-me-not has been used as a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages, but is also used as garnish for cooking.
Forget-me-not can be planted both in beds and in pots. They bloom in the spring, wither after flowering and seeding, but sprouts again in the late summer. Forget-me-not prefer moist habitats. They can tolerate partial sun and shadow.
Sunflower (helianthus annuus)
Sunflower is both grown for decorative purposes and for its delicious kernels. It origins in South America but is grown almost worldwide, for instance in the southern part of Europe where you can watch fields of yellow sunflowers turning their heads against the sun.
The plant thrives in a hot and sunny environment and does not tolerate frost. It can be sown indoor in the spring, but will grow best outside. At 15-25 degrees, it takes 7-14 days for the seed to germinate.
In the Sprout Pencil you will find a blend of sunflower seeds called Autumn Beauty. The seeds can grow into 1,5 m tall plants with flowers in beautiful autumn colors. Sunflower is annual, meaning that it will grow from seed to flower in one summer – app. 3-4 months for a full life cycle.
The sunflower is an adorable ornamental plant. Cut it early in the morning for long lasting bouquets or enjoy it in the garden. When it has finished to bloom carefully remove the flower head and leave it to dry. Then you can either harvest your own seeds for growing more sunflowers next year or you can feed the seeds to the wild birds.
Sunflower seeds are lovely to eat, but they can also be used for oil. The cold pressed oil is used for cooking and the warm pressed oil can be part of soaps and lacquers.
Marigold is named after the Virgin Mary. This beautiful flower loves to add color to your flower bed, even if it is small.
The Marigold is part of the great Calendula family, with its mix of yellow and red colors.
The leaves golden-red color can also be used to dye materials such as wool or silk – and finally the fragrance can be used in creams and perfumes.