We have shared over the years the better garden performance of an Eco Garden relative to other gardens. We started with some studies from the University of Minnesota (check out this link to our Research Page) and shared actual results that we achieved – both from an experienced gardener perspective and from a beginner perspective. For more on our Beginning Gardening approach, check out our “Thursdays’ with Mother” video series here.
We have been working, however, to prove our own performance information scientifically. We were able to do this during the Winter/Spring of 2019 through a partnership with Concordia University of St. Paul, MN and their science department led by Dr. Ben Harrison and some of his students. Dr. Harrison’s team did a wonderful job of assessing a variety of things:
- Water use
- Speed to sprout
- Speed to maturity
- Some production information
- The impact of light, heat and moisture on growth rates
- Overall impact of the garden
The team at Concordia was so impressed with the better garden performance, we were also offered a spot in their Capstone project where folks in their marketing group take a deep dive into a company’s competitive space, potential customer space and go to market approach. We received some wonderful feedback from their team and implemented a variety of ideas they came up with. In return, we are working even more closely with Concordia as they seek to expand the concept of “community Gardening” by placing our Original Gardens across campus to help students, residents and others who either want to garden or need fresh produce get more of what they need.
Better Garden Performance
So, why is it so important to validate performance claims? For starters, it provides and outside expert’s view of what our product can do. We have consistently seen a 50% improvement in production – and a scientifically tracked process can help validate this (we are planning on having Dr. Harrison’s team go further down this pathway this year – initial work was promising but the focus was on starting and plant maturity in 2019). Also, having an outside agency validate results helps others understand that performance is not just wishful or desired outcomes – but results can be replicated time after time.
As an example, while Mother’s garden has been prolific, we found out in 2019 that her garden produce about 10x the tomatoes of a competitive garden – with very similar conditions. We see this as a result of our Big Three (Soil Platform, Water Reservoir and Air Gap) doing what they were designed to do – provide the absolute best environment to grow vegetables (in 2019, we compared an Eco Garden Backyard Garden prototype to one of our competitors – a partially raised garden bed with a make-shift soil platform and some water retention capability that did more to harm the environment than help). The Big Three are what creates our amazing Ecosystem (check out our white paper on this here) and made the work that Concordia did so meaningful.
We are so very appreciative of everything that we have accomplished with Concordia University and we look forward to working with them again this year!
Also, in 2020 we will be venturing the impact of oxygenation of the water in the Water Reservoir based on some work that Oxygen Research Group LLC has done (they were involved in one of the University of Minnesota studies) to see if hyper-oxygenating the water can support the oxygenation that occurs in the Air Gap.
To check out the entire study Concordia University did for us, use this link.
We will keep researching ways to achieve better garden performance in an Eco Garden. How will you continue to #GardenDifferent?