I don't typically review things that could be considered novelty products, but when Sprout reached out to me and asked if I would like to review their "plantable pencils," the idea intrigued me. The Sprout pencil is unique because on the end of the pencil, instead of an eraser, sits a capsule containing either vegetable, herb, or flower seeds. The idea is when the unfinished, FSC-certified cedar pencil is too short to use comfortably, you can stick the capsule end of the pencil into the ground and add water. The capsule will dissolve, the seeds will sprout, and the pencil stub works as a garden marker.
Sprout sent me two three-packs of what appear to be standard #2/HB writing pencils, though the graphite isn't graded. One three pack contained organic thyme, organic basil, and organic cherry tomato, while the other contained green pepper, coriander, and marigold. For the record, I sharpened up organic cherry tomato and organic basil, since those are the two I'm most eager to use up and plant, though my goal is to get all of them in the ground by May.
I'd characterize the writing experience as decent. The unfinished pencil is comfortable to hold (think a less splintery version of the "Field Notes pencil"), and Sprout actually etches the name of the plants onto the pencils using what looks to be a woodburning kit. (Remember those? Just sniff the writing, it smells great, like a fire pit.) The graphite, however, is a touch scratchy (again, like the Field Notes pencil) and a tad too light for my taste, but far from unusable.
These make a cool gift for the stationery nerd you know who's also a gardener. You can buy Sprout pencils directly via their website (link here), along with a variety of other garden-themed stationery products. You can also buy via Amazon, including 8-pencil sets of herbs, which is also available in a colored pencil version.
DISCLAIMER: Sprout provided me with these products free of charge for review purposes. This post also contains affiliate links, through which I may be compensated a small amount if you purchase a pen from any of the sites linked to in this article. While I'd greatly appreciate it if you use these links to purchase a pen you are interested in, you are, of course, under no obligation to do so. Many thanks!