A Kid Operated [sub]Urban Garden

Ohio Peppers is a hobbyist company, specializing in the cultivation and sale of premium pepper seeds.

Our journey extends beyond commerce; we are deeply invested in educating the next generation. By involving our three daughters and local neighborhood children in the entire process—from planting seeds to understanding the nuances of e-commerce—we aim to instill a love for gardening and an entrepreneurial spirit. This hands-on experience not only connects them with the cycle of growth but also introduces them to the fundamentals of business in a tangible and impactful way.

How Ohio Peppers Started

Ohio Peppers started as a residential Cincinnati garden. COVID lockdowns and the nationwide uptick of pandemic gardening created the perfect storm, much the chagrin of neighborhood children seeking a safe social outlet. Planting, composting, weed mitigation, harvesting, composting, and “selling” free vegetables to sidewalk cruising pedestrians. Who can say no to a youngster offering you a free armload of zucchini and half pound of okra as you walk the dog?

Colorful, bountiful, easy to harvest, peppers quickly became a favorite staple for the kids. The adults fell in love with the versatility

Educational Mission

In the wake of spring 2020, our children found themselves in an unprecedented learning environment. Fortunate to have parents as educators, their outdoor play time shifted to education and enjoyment. At Ohio Peppers, we cherish this balance, recognizing the innate digital fluency of today’s youth. While embracing this reality, we also strive to offer a meaningful diversion from the digital world. Constant screen time is not ideal.

Our mission is to provide a nurturing outdoor experience through gardening, allowing both our children and those in the neighborhood to disconnect from their screens and reconnect with the earth. Yet, in this green escape, we don’t overlook the importance of modern skills. Through our e-commerce platform, we engage these young minds in learning vital 21st-century skills, including digital literacy, creativity, and media literacy. Our goal is to cultivate a space where the timeless art of gardening meets the digital age, fostering a well-rounded growth experience.

  • Digital Literacy
  • Creativity
  • Media Literacy

Wait, what in the pedagogy?

Our three daughters operate much of the heavy lifting, with help from their community friends. Website design consultation, logo creation, data entry of products, and fulfilling orders are some early vocational and 21st century skills being developed. Lessons learned during this endeavor have infiltrated my teaching tool box. I teach workforce development for students with disabilities and my wife teaches life science and computer science.

Instruction is more authentic and engaging when one has the ability to use real life examples of percentage (in comparing click-conversion rates of social media ads or calculate coupon %), unit cost/constant of proportionality (merchandising), and that pesky b in slope-intercept form (Yes, the fixed cost of shipping), and designing numerous experiments to solve real problems (at what dehydrator temp. does a seed loose viability?!?

Life and earth science skills are abound in a natural classroom setting. Humidity, evaporation, effect of temperature on germination, and finding the correct balance of indoor light are skills learned in the early indoor seed starting season. Cross pollination and genetics, hello Punnett square, round out the lessons taught as new varieties are peppers are in high demand. Cloning via cuttings are also a part of the weekly routine. The girls take delight in knowing their picky eating habits are putting additional nitrogen rich sources in the compost pile!!

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