The Whirligro vertical food planter

by Iain Findlay

The smarter way to grow your garden - an innovative and unique product for enthusiastic gardeners short of space.

Enterprise GlasgowCarluke, United Kingdom
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Whirligros are attractive and innovative vertical food growing products for people with limited space to grow their own supply of vegetables. There are three, hopefully four, models in development – all inspired by the DNA double helix - and each product, which is about a metre tall, grows between 30 and 60 individual plants within a square metre. 

I'm trying to raise £4000 to make an initial batch of 200, maybe more. This should bring unit costs down to enable a decent number to be made. I will then set up a minimum of 50 units as an example of a small scale commercial/community operation and begin growing food. This will generate some revenue and also field test the first production run of products. The remaining units will be distributed through the rewards options on the crowdfunding bid or sold to create additional revenue. Should this be successful, the next production run will be commissioned. I have another plan for that happy eventuality. I aim to achieve this by the end of January time for spring planting.

Ultimately, I'd love to set up loads of the various models on a bit of derelict ground in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Inverness. Couple that with a decent composting project that collects food waste and it'll be an attempt at a "closed loop" system that prevents waste accumulating in the environment AND does some good at the same time. I know it sounds a bit mental, but then so does people in modern Britain going hungry. It makes me very cross indeed (you’ll see if you follow me on Twitter @crossgreenman) and I want to do something about it.

My main interest is in making a contribution to urban food growing options. Climate change has always been a major concern for me and it threatens our food security. The Whirligro won't solve the problem but if it can help people to grow some food then that's a good thing. I also know from years working in schools that kids will love these things and might just end up eating some decent food because of it.

I'm working with some students from Edinburgh University to design these products so that they are environmentally friendly and can be made using a minimum of equipment and capital. That way, I can then make the idea available to the groups that have contacted me from poorer countries that want to use the idea. This includes South Africa, Kenya and many others. If we can do this then I hope to act as an example of environmentally friendly, socially useful and ethically funded business. No pressure then!

Whirligros are perfect for small gardens, patios, roofs, balconies and urban food projects of any size. Food is grown in containers held off the ground and filled with compost or soil. Quick growing, nutritious, high value crops such as lettuce, rocket, pak choi, spinach, radish and herbs respond well to The Whirligro products. Flowering plants also enjoy the experience. The Whirligro avoids many barriers that urban dwellers experience with food growing e.g. lack of space, poor soil, pests and lack of time.  Therefore, everyone can get involved and help make a change.

I need your promises and support to achieve my £4000 target and develop my products further; giving more people the opportunity to grow nutritious food.  I will try my hardest to make every penny count.

Thank you so much,


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Promised of our £4,000 target


Days left

This project will close on Saturday Jan 19th, 16:00
Promise £5.00 + Global recognition of your help.

I will publicly thank you on the whirligro Facebook page and talk all about each and every donation on Twitter. I'll also re-tweet anything you say that I like. You will become part of the story of how the Whirligro came to end up feeding people and I will tell that story as time goes on. And I will try hard to make every penny count.

97 rewards, 94 remaining
Promise £10.00 + For the price of 4 bags of mixed leaves at the shop

50 contributions of £10 would make a big difference. I'll thank every one of you by name in every medium that I can. AND I'll send each one a bag of salad through the post when I get the first harvest in. It'll probably have rocket, mizuna and some lettuce in it. After that, should you still be interested, I'll keep you up dated with progress via e mail. Should you decide to buy a product later on I will give you £10 off the sale price. You will get an e-certificate of appreciation that can be redeemed against any whirligro product at your time of choosing.

56 rewards, 48 remaining
Promise £25.00 + The vegetarian

If you choose to throw £25 into the project then you can claim that money back off the price of any whirligro product. I will personally phone and tell the person who is getting the Whirli-unit the story behind it and give them advice on how to get the best out of it. I will also send a packet of seeds with each prize that will ensure a successful harvest of healthy leaves and veg within a month of planting. You will also get an e-certificate of appreciation that acts as your money off voucher. If you are involved in a school or community project then I'll also send loads of links that should help to educate the youngsters about the issues around food security.

35 rewards, 23 remaining
Promise £50.00 + The raw foodie

You will get the full Facebook and Twitter treatment. You will make a majorly big impact on how much chance I have to get this thing done. You will receive a twirligro model through the post when they are manufactured. You will also get access to personal advice via email as you need it and a phone call when you get started to give you the confidence you need to grow loads of food. Or, you can delay gratification and get one of the bigger models when they are ready. Any models that end up in schools will get all the back up I can give. Either way, you'll also get some seedlings through the post that will fit right into your whirli-unit so you can quickly enjoy the flavour and satisfaction of growing your own salad. Your e-certificate will also wing its way to you...all electrons used in this process will be recycled.

37 rewards, 27 remaining
Promise £100.00 + That's some serious money

For £100 you get anything you want out of the above offers but you get 2 twirligros as soon as they are manufactured (P&P free) as well and a copy of permaculture magazine. Just because I like it...they have no commercial interest in this. You'll also get the seedlings for one unit, already growing and all beautiful, plus a packet of seeds for the other unit. Or, if you are the patient type you can get a "twirl" asap and wait a while AND get a Whirligro or Orbigro when they are available. You choose. You can also donate one or both to a school of your choice who will also get all the help I can give.

18 rewards, 10 remaining
Meet the owner
Iain Findlay GlasgowCarluke, United kingdom Ask Iain a question?