Saxon Posey doesn’t consider himself an entrepreneur. Instead, he prefers to go by the title Entre-manure. His younger brother, Bryce, goes by Loyal Minion. His mom, Erika, is a Proud Mama Bear, and his stepdad, K. Peter Polley, is Dad of All Trades.
Saxon, 12, and Bryce, 9, are the brains behind Desert Edibles, a company that sells garden starter kits in recycled plastic egg cartons called V’eggs. Each carton comes with 12 plastic pods full of dirt and seeds. “You add water and then put the caps back on. And then on the second day, you take the caps off, and water every two to three days until the seedling is about two to three inches tall,” says Saxon. “And then you just transplant it into your garden.”
The simple idea has proven popular with fledgling gardeners, young and old. “We expected them to appeal primarily to kids who want to learn to garden, but far more adults are wanting to get gardens started with them,” says Peter.
Bryce and Saxon had originally wanted to sell vegetables after observing a need at farmers’ market for more produce vendors (at the time, Peter was working for Maya Tea Company, managing the farm stand at Heirloom Farmers’ Markets). “We have a big garden, but it’s not that big,” says Peter.
So the boys turned to seeds. When they came to their parents in December of 2014 asking for seed money—literally—to start their business, Peter and Erika were skeptical. “But my thought was, they’re 8 and 11,” says Peter. “When I was their age, I was stealing my dad’s gas can when he was at work, mowing lawns for five bucks a pop, and reloading his gas can. And here they are starting a business. Little did we know it was going to take off.”
Since they sold their first cartons in February of 2015, they’ve expanded to selling at seven farmers’ markets, schedule permitting. They developed a kit for elementary school classrooms called Schoolhouse Crops. Designed to offer a more hands-on learning experience, the boxes come with soil, seeds, egg cartons, and planting and curriculum guides.
The boys, who are in fourth and sixth grade at Liberty Gifted and Talented Magnet School, now have 35 V’eggs varieties available seasonally, ranging from winter lettuce to tomatoes to a “ring of fire” hot pepper kit.
“We made a kids pack with really easy vegetables to grow,” says Saxon. “I wanted to make a BLT kit but I’m still looking for bacon seeds,” he says, giggling. Saxon says he loves eating all kinds of vegetables except for onions and bell peppers. Bryce prefers to eat fruit.
Before they build their seasonal kits, Saxon and Bryce scan seed catalogs looking for unusual or heirloom varieties—one reason their kits are popular with both expert and novice gardeners. Many of the seeds come from Native Seeds/SEARCH, as well as Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. “If you’re looking for an easy way to garden, this is a good way to start,” says Saxon.
Bryce is the quieter of the two brothers, but he’d like you to know that Desert Edibles V’eggs are also a great gift idea.
Desert Edibles V’eggs sell for $10 per carton at farmers’ markets. ✜
Megan Kimble is the managing editor of Edible Baja Arizona.