No Erasing the Edible, Herbal Pencil

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

Watering the pencilsOnce a day I journal my thoughts in a pale green steno notebook. I use well-sharpened pencils because I like the tactile experience of laying down thin lines of graphite. Pencils move more slowly than ink pens and don’t leave sloppy ink blobs when I pause to think.

At one point an advisor recommended adding color to my journal. So I bought expensive colored pencils … using black for ordinary thoughts, red for heartwarming musings and blue for cloudy entries. Sometimes I change color by paragraph. I believe it nurtures my creativity. My then-15-year-old son liked my colors and now I can’t find those pencils.

I’m pleased that he took them. I needed an excuse for a new set. And, not just any set. HSA Executive Director Katrinka Morgan turned me on to the Sprout pencil. This is one writing implement you don’t want to chew on. At least not right away.  The innovator of the pencil replaced the eraser at the top of the pencil with a special seed capsule. Herb offerings include basil, calendula, cilantro, lavender, mint sage and thyme.

Sprout pencilThese are available standard or colored lead. Color assignments include the following. Additional colors grow vegetables and flowers.

  • Basil – green
  • Calendula- yellow
  • Cilantro – purple
  • Lavender – light blue
  • Mint – brown
  • Sage – periwinkle
  • Thyme – light purple

When the Sprout Pencil becomes too short to write with, stick it – at an angle – into dirt and for reincarnation as an edible. The company has chosen plant varieties that germinate in one to three weeks. Most can be grown both indoors and outdoors. In areas with temperate climates, they should be planted in summer so they get enough light.

Marketed by a company in Denmark, more than 450,000 pencils are sold each month. Among their fans are the Vatican and the French government.  HSA will be selling packs of colored pencils at its Annual Meeting on April 29, 2016, in Asheville, NC. They can also be found on

“Sprout is all about sustainability and is a response to the increasing use-and-chuck-away culture. Our pencils get a new lease of life when they have finished serving their primary function. We are witnessing an increasing desire in companies and organizations throughout the world to signal a greener, more sustainable profile. In that respect, one can safely say that Sprout has perfectly captured the spirit of the age,” says Sprout’s founder Michael Stausholm.

“One of the major strengths of Sprout pencils is their capacity to pull such a complex issue as sustainability down to earth. One of our important tasks is to make sustainability pragmatic and comprehensible – but, most of all, fun. Our plant-able pencils and paper are perfect for spotlighting the reuse of the Earth’s resources. We’re talking micro level, but we’ve all got to start somewhere.”

When I’m done journaling with a Sprout pencil, I’ll feel good on many levels.

How would you use Sprout pencils?


One thought on “No Erasing the Edible, Herbal Pencil

  1. Pingback: Color Inside and Outside the Lines – The Herb Society of America Blog

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