Kids love dirt. It’s great for digging, making mud pies and some of the best things come from dirt like flowers, berries and even (gasp) vegetables! Orange Pippins Seed Society, a Portland-based company, is giving budding farmers, scientists and florists a reason to dig in the dirt this summer with their new Seed Kits. Get ready to watch your garden explode and smiles bloom. Read on to find out more!

photo: Christa Fowles via Orange Pippins

The Scoop

Orange Pippins is a Portland-based company that offers a new line of seeds and gardening club for kids interested in gardening. And this company is really dedicated to astonishing both kids and adults by showing them how easy it is to grow plants. Their themed seed kits come beautifully printed and packaged by local company Egg Press, each with six special seed varieties.  

Owner Bria Phillips, a longtime Portland resident and avid home gardener, likes to think of it as a sort of online 4H club. By sharing growing stories and ideas online (#orangepippins), families can watch everyone’s garden grow, get advice and show off their veggie or floral successes. Phillips picked each seed personally, many from her own favorites like the Mouse Melon, tiny grape-sized fruit that taste like cucumbers. Each non-GMO seed has been chosen to be easy to grow. Phillips, who has a three year old son, wanted to encourage success in new growers (no matter how old we are!).

photo: Christa Fowles via Orange Pippins

Who It’s For

The kits are geared for kids ages 3-103, beginners to seasoned gardeners. All of the seeds can be sown directly into the soil (no fussy seed-starts indoors), and all are fast and easy growers. That means the fun of watching those science-experiment-beans sprout extends to watching them get tall, twist around the pole, grow huge, and turn into more beans!  All the kits have a wow factor that will grab the attention of young farmers. The Explorer’s Garden kit offers an around-the-world tour of unique vegetables to grow (like the Jamaican Burr Gherkin, a tiny cucumber covered in soft spines) and the Young Florist, which shows off bright and gorgeous blooms for flower-lovers.

photo: Christa Fowles via Orange Pippins

Choosing the Right Kit

With six kits holding at least 35 varieties, it’s a tough choice with no wrong answers. If you have space, choose a Colossal Garden kit promised to wow with “nature’s giant vegetables.” Varieties include a mammoth radish and the tromboncino squash, a summer squash that can grow up to three feet long! Or grow your own teepee with the Flower Houses kit, containing sunflowers that and grow to 12 feet high and the scarlet runner bean, a fast-growing vine (hint: lean poles into a teepee shape and plant seeds at the bottom–before long, you’ll have a natural hiding spot!). Container gardeners might do well with the Tiny Garden kit (miniatures!) or the easy to manage Edible Flowers Kit. In a mild climate like Portland, it’s easy to grow, and these seeds practically beg to show off.

photo: Christa Fowles via Orange Pippins

What’s next?

Growing! This company isn’t done with its offerings. Future releases will include kits for indoor gardening and cool-season growing, projects for each seed, local parties, and even a subscription seed service for year-round fun.

Where to Find Them

Seed kits are $23 each, and can be found and ordered online at Orangepippins.com, or purchased locally at Made You Look, Hello Good Morning, and Woonwinkel.

Get your kits and plant now—in September, Orange Pippins will be hosting a harvest festival to measure those sunflowers for the chance to win prizes!

Tell us about your best growing success in the comments below!

—Katrina Emery