Meet Doug, Violet and Laura Oldham

Doug, Violet and Laura Oldham at the Franklin Park Conservatory together in front of a koi pond

My name is Laura Oldham. I'm a small business owner, mother, wife and a giant ball of climate anxiety. About 10 years ago I started reading every book I could find to learn more about the small changes we can make in our own lives to improve biodiversity for pollinators. We started a War on Grass in our yard and have been slowly digging up grass to convert it into plants for pollinators and people. 

Now we have pocket prairies all around our yard. We built raised garden beds filled with tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins and plenty more produce. Our rain barrels keep our plants watered while diverting water from storm drain systems to cut down on pollution entering local rivers and streams. Our collection of compost tumblers help us convert food waste into valuable nutrients for the soil. We've worked hard to create shelter, food and drink to support pollinators via rocks and ponds and all sorts of other features that have replaced our unproductive grass. 

Now, I'm hoping to share what I've learned over the last decade of sustainable landscaping via plantable seed paper. By converting homework, junk mail and other used paper into plantable seed paper, my goal is make it easy to return nutrients back into the soil while adding flowers to feed pollinators and beautify our landscape.



Why are you doing this?

A healthy mixture of boredom and climate anxiety, which is how all good pandemic projects start, right? I'm passionate about supporting pollinators via biodiversity, and this is an efficient way for me to spread the good word of beevangelism with materials I already have on hand from work, school and endless amounts of junk mail.  

Can I make my own seed paper?

Absolutely! I certainly didn't invent this process, and I'm happy to share what's worked for me. Check out this blog post to learn more about the steps that go into making plantable seed paper

Do you live on a farm?

Kinda? At least, I grew up among cornfields in rural Ohio. Now I've done everything I can to convert the grass in our suburban Columbus yard into more productive plants to support pollinators. 

Is this really all compostable?

Yes! Well, I mean, I think so? I've spent the last year testing the process of turning homework/plain paper with printed ink into plantable seed paper. I've watched the seed paper turn into thriving plants as the paper dissolved around the flowers and fed nutrients back into the soil. 

Why not just recycle the paper?

As I've thought more about where the products I purchase come from and where they go when I'm done with them, I've made more of a conscious effort to reuse whatever materials I can. By converting homework and other paper into compostable, plantable seed paper, I know that the paper is putting nutrients back into the soil while protecting seeds that will turn into food for pollinators. 

Why seed paper instead of just loose seeds?

Loose seeds are great! But seed paper gives you the added bonus of surrounding your seeds with nutrients while keeping them safe from being eaten before they've had the chance to germinate. 

Do you make your living off of landscaping?

Nope. I pay the bills by doing computer stuff. You can check out my business website at https://starburstcolumbus.com. But I've toyed around with starting some sort of Beevangelism business to help spread the good word about sustainable gardening to support pollinators. 

Can I customize my plantable seed paper?

Yup, absolutely. We can include any short message you'd like. Just let me know in your order notes.