Video rental store offers urban gardening supplies | Business
Living in the city, even in a limited space, doesn’t have to mean giving up a garden. Just ask Lisa Brennan and Sean Gere.
In April, the duo launched Sprout, a store placing emphasis on gardening in urban settings by using creative growing methods such as living walls and terrariums.
“The big thing that makes it different is that we’re really focusing on small space gardening,” said Brennan.
The store is located inside of Four Star Video Haven at 449 State Street, which Brennan has owned for 11 years. She began thinking about the business after reading on natural history, ecology, alternative economics, and urban gardening. The many unused balconies on State Street suitable for growing plants inspired her to act.
“I would just love to see everything blooming and growing food,” she said.
Brennan, who has personal experience gardening in an urban setting, says there are many benefits -- social, and environmental.
“I think one of the important things about urban agriculture […] is more local sources of food,” said Brennan. “People are growing their own things [and] there’s less demand for industrial food and we can start putting some of that land to better use.”
Sprout customers can visit the store to purchase both edible and ornamental plants, as well as the supplies needed to grow them. Many of the products are regionally sourced; the herb and vegetable starters, soil, and compost are from West Star Farm in Monona. Heirloom seeds, from Seed Savors Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, are also for sale and provide customers with the opportunity to grow less conventional plants.
Eventually, Gere hopes to make planters and raised bed kits out of the wood he harvests through his company, Gere Tree Care.
Brennan said that so far, the response to Sprout has been very positive and she is excited for the business to continue building. Sprout already hosted one seed starting workshop and also offers mini-courses, books, and an in-store reference system for growers. Brennan also noted people new to the gardening scene should have no trouble catching on and finding something to grow, no matter their location.
“For the most part it’s pretty simple stuff and I think once people get over that initial trepidation it’s pretty easy to start learning this,” she said.
Sprout is open every day from 10 a.m. to midnight. For more information on Sprout call 608-255-1994.