The main goal of GemüseAckerdemie is to teach children how to grow their own vegetables. They partner with pre-schools and schools
in Germany and provide the teachers and educators material to plant and harvest vegetables through out the year. The children
work on the vegetable beds as part of their curriculum. In this way they experience first-hand how food is grown and harvested.
Although the program in the schools is very sucessfull GemüseAckerdemie wanted to expand the learning to the household. For this reason they
created the Family Program in 2017. I joined GemüseAckerdemie in 2017 to help them develop a product that could allow
parents to continue learning and teaching their children about food production after the program in the school was completed.
Below is screenshot of the Website I designed and re-branded, in order to create a new image for the Family Program.
The biggest challenges
I worked on the Family Program with a group of collegues, each taking over a different role. My role was to develop the first item
that we could distribute to families after having completed the GemüseAckerdemie program in school. I designed post-cards
with a voucher for the Family Program and researched and decided upon a starter product for the next steps. In addition to this,
I prepared a certificate of graduation for the children who completed the GemüseAckerdemie program in school and could begin the Family Program at home.
The main challenge for me was to find a product that was cheap enough to distribute as a starter package for the families but which also fulfilled the purpose of encouraging
parents to continue the learning process with kids at home. I made a deep analysis of all the existing products adequate for
growing vegetables at home, in indoor conditions, and sketched a few ideas of what the GemüseAckerdemie prototype could look like.
I contacted many suppliers and tried to find out what the best solution would be based on the concepts I developed.
Our original plan was to create our own kit, so we had to make sure it was possible to source all the elements we needed
(seeds, pots, soil) in order to develop a prototype. I wanted to create something unique and appealing for city parents and
children to be excited to try the kit at home. After talking to many suppliers and making financial calculations,
we decided that the easiest solution would be to use an already existing model, called Mein Woody, as a test run to see
how parents would react. Mein Woody is an existing planting kit that consists of a coconut pot, seeds, an instruction
booklet and soil for anyone to easily plant something indoors or on a balcony.
I designed the packaging for the custom-made Mein Woody for GemüseAckerdemie along with the instruction booklet
and the packaging for the seeds. On the last day of the agriculture year, half of the parents received the voucher
to obtain a free sample for the Mein Woody product. This was handed to children along with a certificate for
having completed the program at the school. The other half of the parents that participated in the program received a
different voucher and a seed package with instructions to grow the salad in a "do-it-yourself" way. The online shop to
retrieve the voucher was launched at the same time to test which voucher converted better. Based on these numbers,
GemüseAckerdemie will decide how to go forth with the project.
My biggest take-away from this project was learning how to organize and plan ahead to be able to have
the desired product in time. We spent a long time researching and deciding what the best product could be and once
we settled on Mein Woody, the designs had to be delivered fast in order to be in time for the ending ceremony at the schools.
If we had more time to plan ahead, we might have been able to form our own kit instead of having to rely on the existing
Mein Woody sample. Since this is just a test to see how it performs, however, the numbers will be a good indicator of
how accurate or not our choice to go with the Mein Woody product was.