Ever wonder what a LEGO garden would look like? TogetherFarm founders Matt Stormont, Joe Aakre, and Doug Holcomb have set out to recreate what it means to have a backyard garden through the use of LEGO-inspired bio-plastic building blocks. With a retaining wall design that requires few materials to haul and eliminates the need for tools, fasteners, and time, is this the perfect gardening solution for inner-city gardeners, children, and the elderly?

TogetherFarm Garden Blocks

“The blocks don’t require measuring or cutting and you can haul them in the back of your Mini Cooper if you want. It’s almost as easy as ‘just add water’.”
-Doug Holcomb, co-founder

Perhaps it comes with little surprise that company founders Matt, Joe, and Doug all met in an MBA program in backyard garden-paradise Portland, OR. While attending Concordia University together, the trio hatched their idea over their mutual love for gardening. Currently funding on Kickstarter, the team has already raised over $16,000 of their $75,000 goal in only a few days. Manufactured with recycled plastic, the blocks have 3/8-inch vertical holes incorporated into the design to allow anchoring solutions (such as deck screws), a trellis, or a greenhouse cover.

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In what sounds like a sub-plot out of a Portlandia episode, not only are the blocks designed in Portland, Oregon, but they are also manufactured less than 15 minutes away in neighboring Vancouver, Washington. Despite the warm fuzzy feeling of keeping their vendors close for sustainability purposes, the team also stresses that this factor has also allowed them to make more intelligent design decisions, select the right materials, and keep manufacturing costs down and quality high.

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To find out more, head over to their Kickstarter page.

Filed under: DESIGN

  • Rob

    Look at that draft angle! The best part about Lego’s is that they are beautifully manufactured and fit together perfectly. These look all crooked and wobbly when stacked together.

  • Josh M

    If only they were available in cedar.

  • ric

    WHY? — This stuff drives me up the wall.. the girl in video tells us she is turning plastic trash into a cucumber — lie she is turning trash into a block of trash not a cucumber. People have dug holes in the ground and planted stuff why do we now need to use trash blocks to frame up our plants… All looks like a solution finding a problem..

    and trucking around trash to turn it into trash blocks and them using what energy to convert it the trash block then truck it back is great for the earth.. GO GREEN like on the $.

  • Doug Holcomb

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the comment. The images you see here are of prototype blocks that are 3D printed. We have (and continue to make) design improvements as we get closer to manufacturing. We have found a solution to the draft angle and corrected it since these prototype blocks were printed. We are confident that the blocks will fit together well when stacked. Again, thanks for the comment.

    Doug for the TogetherFarm Team

  • Cherie Calletta

    Where do I get these?

  • Cherie Calletta

    Ric, how much gardening, especially on a sloped or runoff-vulnerable bit of land, have you done?

    Raised beds reduce weeds, you can nearly totally control soil quality, they are less vulnerable to flooding, they are MUCH easier to keep weeded, they maximize yield, and all in all are just a much better way to garden.. Mankind has survived because we learned to improve and innovate. And this type of innovation is not unhealthy like a GMO. This is excellent for ORGANIC gardening purposes. I’ve been gardening for years and every year I add another raised bed. I have two now and they are doing MUCH better than my in-ground garden. Please don’t denigrate something you evidently don’t know much about. As soon as I saw these blocks my eyes got wide and I started planning a lot more raised beds….

  • Cherie Calletta

    Now that I’ve watched the video, I literally have tears in my eyes–that’s how badly I want those blocks. I hadn’t thought of doing different shapes, or gardening on the deck. .. I WANT THOSE BLOCKS!!!!! I CAN’T DESCRIBE HOW BADLY I WANT THOSE BLOCKS!!

  • Josh M
  • Cherie Calletta

    Or on a city building’s ROOFTOP?

  • Cherie Calletta

    or a doghouse roof…. get the idea? They are VERY versatile…

  • Dani Massey

    I see these getting used for other useful applications, too. I see tree rings and flowerbed borders, landscaping at it’s modular best. The next logical development step would seem to be making a line of crown/cap tops that give them a scalloped or straight or picket or other fancy-shaped, finished top row. The holes could still be incorporated in one version of these ‘cap’ pieces so that the options of trellising or cold-framing or even simply netting for pest control would still be possible. That would give it a beautiful finished look. Especially for the retaining wall suggestion in the video. I also see potential for future adaptations like channeling to accomodate mini hose-based drip irrigation systems and mini sprinklers. I see these being able to hold gardening fabrics in place by snapping them in between rows of these….wow. You guys are really on to something. Wish I had the money to give you for this.

  • Pamela Van Blaricum

    You gave me a chuckle Cherie

  • Cherie Calletta

    I took 25 bucks out of my unemployment check and donated. It’s an AMERICAN business. They are saying they will even MANUFACTURE here (I hope they stick to that.) What is also really appealing and interesting to me is that by using Kickstarter, they are neatly circumventing the banks…who charge interest…which is a Very Bad Thing, and if you are Muslim it’s religiuously forbidden, even. This Kickstarter idea is so brilliant and progressive that I love that as much as I love the garden blocks. Hadn’t heard of it before. THIS is the way to GO. I think everyone who loves this idea could throw them five bucks. Forego a Starbucks coffee. There’s the five bucks. I so dearly want this business to get off the ground….

  • Tammy

    It says they use recycled plastic, which is a great concept, but does it then leach BPA’s into your veggie garden? Just curious. I do agree that raised beds are way easier to maintain. We have very poor soil where I’m at and I tried for 3 years to do an in ground garden. It didn’t do real great.

  • dede

    Just because I have an eye for decor…you might want to offer “tops” for the upper level blocks to give them clean block look. :)

  • Pingback: Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News | SolidSmack.com – When LEGOS go green: TogetherFarm Creates Stackable Blocks for Modular ‘Anywhere’ Gardens

  • leoanimallover

    i, for one, live in a 2nd-floor apartment in portland, have a sad farmer’s market up the block, am pining for more veggies and herbs, as i used to have a fabulous garden years ago – and you guys have just solved my problem for next year – can hardly wait to redo my balcony! so, where in portland (i’m somewhat new here) can i find these blocks, please? you guys rock it!

  • KL

    Check out the video. They mention this. :) (No they don’t)
    Good luck with your next garden!

  • sfg4u

    While I understand your point, it not quite that simple. Did you know that tilling the soil can be more harm than good? http://gazettextra.com/news/2011/apr/18/over-tilling-can-cause-more-harm-good/ So we MUST rely on raised bed gardening for the health of our earth. Would you rather we chop down trees, pressure treat them and transport that heavy material or these recycled plastic block?

  • Doug Holcomb

    TogetherFarm has launched a Kickstarter Campaign to crowd-source the funds necessary to get these blocks to market. You can join the project by pledging towards the campaign and be among the first to receive a garden box kit of your own. Here is the link to the Kickstarter Campaign Page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/togetherfarm/turning-plastic-into-produce-togetherfarm-blocks/description

  • Doug Holcomb

    Yes, if the Kickstarter Campaign is successful, TogetherFarm plans add not only top caps but a whole line of add-on accessories to the blocks. Because the system is modular, each accessory will easily connect to existing blocks.

  • Doug Holcomb

    Thanks for the enthusiasm. For all the reasons you mentioned (and many more) we at TogetherFarm are very excited to see these blocks get to market. There are almost endless possibilities with how the blocks (and future add-ons) can be used.

  • KarmaDreams

    Does the plastic leach chemicals into the soil?? That would be MY main concern with using them for my edibles. Other than that, I LOOOOOOVE this idea, and would use it for my flower beds, or just as a fun addition to my gardens :)

  • KarmaDreams

    And yes, they state the blocks are BPA and Phthalate free, but plastic contains other chemicals as well.