Project Overview: Calumet Region Seed Bombs

Pairwith Contents Web

Read about the place and process that led to our
LIMITED EDITION: Calumet Region Seed Bombs


Tryon Farm is a truly special place. If you are inspired by the beauty of nature, the details of architecture, or the warmth of community – Tryon Farm offers all that and more. No wonder it captured our hearts and creative energies while residing there during October 2015.

When at Tryon Farm, we stayed at a quaint little copper-shingle cottage known throughout the property as “Tree House”. It was one of the first homes built on the development. Let us just say that it lived up to its name! For a month we’re perched in the woodland forest with breathtaking views of a sunny meadow. We listened to the crickets every evening and the songbirds every morning – evidence that the landscape was alive and well.


During our time there, we learned about the various ecosystems on the 120 acres and watched the seasons change. What a treat! We learned that this cluster development epitomizes the ecological health of the Calumet Region and that it is possible to balance a contemporary housing development and a healthy ecological system. We also discovered this symbiotic balance is possible because of a non-profit organization called Tryon Farm Institute (TFI). We fell in love! In love with the idea of TFI and the idea of using seed bombs to invite all personal properties in the Calumet Region to contribute to ecosystem health.



tryon farm seed bomb diagram-01

The Calumet Region is located along the southern rim of Lake Michigan, including the greater Chicago area. While it is dominated by urban and industrial development it also has pockets of rich natural habitat including  the National Lakeshore and Dunes State Park in Indiana. The Calumet Region is considered an ecotone, which is a unique condition where different ecosystems merge together. The broadleaf deciduous forests to the north, the lakefront dune landscape, and the midwest prairie all come together to define the very special Calumet Region. The existing protected ecosystems found throughout the Calumet Region, including Tryon Farm, are robust and diverse and include short grass prairies, wetlands, woodlands, and sedge meadows.



We not only studied the Calumet Region, but also the individual ecosystems, focusing  on the ecosystems present at Tryon Farm. There, we found short grass prairies, wetlands, woodlands, and sedge meadows. These four ecosystems ultimately established the four custom seed bomb varieties available through this partnership. We painstakingly studied the ecosystems and curated the best combinations of plant species for each ecosystem. We thought about everything! What species will be hardy and reliable? What species is available from local distributors? What species will look good together? What combination will offer the longest bloom time? What types of birds, bees, butterflies, and other critters will be attracted to each species? Then, we had the species combinations validated by a landscape designer and a horticulturalist.

Tryon Booklet 6_23-3_Page_07

Our process did not end there. We worked with TFI to understand the ideal number to produce, price point, and distribution strategy. Needless to say, we had a lot to coordinate for this product launch. But, we honestly can’t wait to do it all again for another TFI project or new fundraising project.



We defined three goals for this project – (1) provide easy-to-grow native mix seed bombs to folks around the Calumet Region in order to stitch together fragmented ecosystems, (2) provide a digital venue for people to connect about their progress, and (3) fundraise for Tryon Farm Institute to support all their projects and programs.


We anticipate that our limited edition seed bombs will result over an acre of critical habitat in the areas that need it the most. We hope that participants will use the social media platform to connect to each other as well as to Tryon Farm Institute for exciting projects and programs. And, we estimate the sale of these limited-edition seed bombs will also contribute significant and much-need fundraising dollars to their resources.



Like we mentioned, we derived so much experience and satisfaction working with TFI on this custom product launch that we cannot wait to do it again. Do you have a favorite nonprofit needing a fundraising jolt of energy? Do you live in a region completely different and want to develop custom seed bombs for your area? We would love to hear your ideas and work with you to make your projects great!


National Plant a Flower Day

There is no shortage of national days. It seems that instead of hallmark holidays we now have social media holidays. Anything for a new hashtag. There are a handful of these we can get behind. None more than National Plant a Flower Day, #PlantaFlowerDay

It is kind of what we do after all. The big day isn’t until Saturday so you have some time to plan. Get to the store, buy a plant or seed and get them in the ground. Intention certainly counts so even just buying some seed bombs for planting in a few weeks is a good way to spend National Plant a Flower Day.

Those of you that already have seed bombs we would love to see where you plant them. Just tag us on social media and use the hashtag, #throwandgrow.

working with Bee Public

In the March issue of the Indianapolis Monthly magazine Visualingual is featured as the month’s maker. We are excited to be sharing our company and the steps that go into our biggest selling product. It is on newsstands now so be sure to pick up a copy. Brandon is very excited about his first shot as a hand model.

One of rising stars are the Bee Seed bombs. Which is a fun fact because the author of our maker feature was Kate Franzman. In addition, to writing for Indianapolis Monthly, she is a beekeeper, farmer and the founder of Bee Public. Continue reading

hour of reminiscing: Glen Aulin


yosemite valley.png

Our National Parks are a great example of how place connects us. They connect us to our collective past and to the majesty of the natural environment, but also to each other.

The first National Park that I ever visited was Yosemite. It came pretty late in the father-son trips that made up my childhood, but certainly took things to a whole new level. Neither of us had done any significant backpacking before this trip or spent much time in the mountain wilderness resembling anything close to the Sierra Nevadas.

It’s a good thing my dad is a planner by nature. Him being unprepared is a rarity. The planning phase of our Yosemite trip probably started a year from when we arrived. It included enough research to write a doctoral thesis and involved a strategy that felt more like preparing for battle than going on vacation. Continue reading

Find your park

Coming up this August the National Parks will turn 100 years old. Parks like Yosemite were protected years ahead of the formation of the National Park Service. Yosemite was actually protected during the Civil War, but it wasn’t until 1916 that Stephen Mather was successful in getting the National Parks Service (NPS) created.

So this year we celebrate 100 years of service from the NPS. Of the 58 National Parks, we have been to a few parks as a family and Michael has knocked out even more on his own, his current count is around 15. Social media doesn’t quickly come to mind when you think of the parks, but NPS and the National Parks Foundation have found a way to merge the two with the #FindYourPark campaign. Continue reading

Engagement season

If you are recently engaged it is likely the big question got asked on Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, or Valentine’s Day. With those being the most popular days for proposals, it is no wonder jewelry stores call this engagement season.

So if you were lucky enough to be asked and said yes you are now on the hunt for ideas to create the perfect wedding. We have some ideas for you. We have more than a few Pinterest pages for you no matter what kind of wedding you want to have. Continue reading