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About Us

Grow Successfully, Grow Beautifully, Grow Responsibly.

Grow Successfully:  Everything we sell works and works well, for a long time.  We don't do gimmicks or make promises we can't keep. If you don't love how our products work for you, you can always return them.

Grow Beautifully:  Seedlings poking through soil are magical and beautiful.  We've created pots worthy of that moment so you'll keep them close and watch the story unfold.

Grow Responsibly: From promoting all things botanical, to responsible manufacturing and eco packaging, we are green to the core. Here are a few details:

  • Helping you succeed with seedlings keeps those single-use plastic nursery pots out of the landfill and the oceans.  And you can grow more plants for less money.  More plants = a better world, don't you think?
  • We mix our own glazes to ensure they're non-toxic (commercial formulas are secret, so you never know what's in them).
  • We formulate our glazes specially to work in a single-firing process, saving 1/2 the energy of most ceramic production.
  • We mix our own clay to eliminate the barium that's in pre-mixed ceramic slip.
  • All our packaging, including shipping materials, is 100% paper. You'll never receive any plastic from us, ever.

 

We Are:

Ceramics makers, gardeners, artists, chemists, engineers, cooks, parents, children, friends, humans, earthlings.

 All Orta Seed Pots are handmade in California with our non-toxic and energy efficient processes, by a team of six friendly people.  We make the very best terracotta seed pots in the world. (We’re also the only ones who do it – we invented the product and the process.)

Drop us a line and say hello.  We love to hear from you!

We Believe:

Whether it's a windowsill or an acre, your garden should be a place you love, that gives you peace and joy, and connects you to nature every day.  Our tools make gardening less of a chore, more of a pleasure.

Gardening tools and supplies should be good for the earth, good for the life in your garden, and good for you. Everything we make and sell is guaranteed to be plastic-free and toxin-free, and is made to last a lifetime, or to compost completely.

 

 "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris

Our History

by Anne Fletcher, Founder of Orta

     I invented Orta Seed Pots because I was tired of killing my seedlings.  I turned my prototype seed pots into a company because I was ready for my professional life to align with my personal values.

     Four years in a row I started seeds with all the good intentions in the world, dreaming of homegrown tomatoes and unusual herbs you can't buy as starts. But each year, I skipped one day of watering and all my seedlings died. I wanted something that would be totally idiot proof for seed starting (because I am the original idiot when it comes to killing seedlings), but also be beautiful enough to keep on the kitchen counter, and made responsibly without any plastic.  

     Back then I was working as a corporate design consultant, and was dissatisfied with using my creative muscles to help big companies create more disposable plastic products, sell more soda, or other junk. Often I cried after assignments because the work felt so toxic to me. I realized that to bring my personal values to my professional life, I was going to have to go out on my own.

     After about a year of experimenting in between consulting assignments, I taught myself to slip cast ceramics in my garage, and made my first batch of self-watering seed pot samples. I debuted the Sixie seed pot at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa six years ago, and sold out on the first day.

     Since then I've been refining materials, forms, glaze colors and manufacturing methods to build a team and a viable business while keeping true to my values: Creating tools to help gardeners grow successfully, beautifully and responsibly.

     Today we're a company of 4 people, and we're still the only ones in the world making these pots.

     Orta comes from the Italian word for kitchen garden. A traditional kitchen garden is a source of herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers for your family and friends: The perfect balance of beauty and function.

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