The Durable GreenBed Story.
From Homebuilding to Raised Beds:
Green, Durable and Beautiful is the Goal
It was in 2005, when Paul Wood called his buddy Tom as he was going back to the airport in Portland Oregon and said: “I have a crazy idea, let’s start a business”. Since both Paul and Tom more than ready for a change they both jumped at the suggestion and formed ShelterWorks the following year. Tom Van Denend had always been interested and passionate about better, more durable and sustainable ways to build homes. He was an avid Mother Earth News subscriber and loved any and all alternative home building materials; straw, mud, cordwood, old bottles, even old tires. Paul had been a builder and had lived in Central America helping Habitat for Humanity chapters start, grow and flourish.
By 2006 they secured a license along with an option to buy the Faswall woodchip-cement block technology. This woodchip-cement block was invented in Europe in the 1940’s for building high performance, sustainable homes and commercial buildings. It is rot-free and non toxic due to the unique mineralization process of the wood fiber.
In November of 2006 they moved into an empty, defunct mill. By April, 2007 they were shipping their durable Faswall blocks all over the West and beyond.
The slow down in construction starting in 2009 propelled them to reach into other markets besides construction. Backyard gardening was a fast growing phenomenon sweeping the US and Canada so Tom, himself an avid gardener, tinkered with a raised bed garden kit designed from different mixes of the mineralized wood chips. He recognized that their woodchip-cement block material was ideal for a garden planter for the same reasons it performs well as a natural building material:
It is rot free, extremely durable, and non toxic.
GreenBed™ debuted in 2011. The response was tremendous for this unique, new solution for raised bed gardening. Durable GreenBed is getting recognition as the most innovative material on the market for raised bed gardening. It is the answer the question that backyard gardeners have scratched their head over: “What the heck do I build a raised bed out of?” Wood rots, plastic boards are, well, plastic, railroad ties are treated with poisonous creosote, cement blocks are heavy and ugly, and pressure treated wood has unpronounceable chemicals. On top of that most of the available planter beds are not attractive-simply a wood or plastic box.
Tom had three objectives in designing Durable GreenBed: Had to be non-toxic, durable, and beautiful. The public agrees.