One of the nice things about keeping my gardening journal in the form of a blog is that over the last eight years and three allotment plots is that the readership has steadily increased and that it has become popular and is mentioned in dispatches by the likes of Thompson & Morgan, Marshalls, Waltons and Mr Fothergill and that various manufacturers and suppliers of seeds, plants & gardening equipment ask me to trial and review new varieties of vegetables and new gardening products.
I’ve been attending the Gardening Press Event annually for the last five years and I tend to get gardening press releases sent to me for information purposes, plus the industry now knows that bloggers are a useful resource to assist in marketing new products and companies.
On October the 7th 2019 I received a press release from a gardening marketing company saying:-
Here's a handy (and pretty) way of keeping small greenhouses frost free. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
NEW PRODUCT: The Firefly helps keep small greenhouses frost free
Sub-zero temperatures are the traditional enemy of delicate greenhouse plants – but now there’s a cost-conscious and environmentally friendly way to keep Jack Frost at bay.
The Firefly, from the gardening experts at Bio Green, is a decorative frost guard made from terracotta. Its heat source is an eco-friendly candle – made from biomass not paraffin - which burns for up to 48 hours and produces enough heat to keep a small greenhouse or cold frame above freezing.
The FireFly both saves energy costs and makes an attractive addition to a greenhouse
Bio Green’s Matt Evans said: “Keeping frost at bay is a perennial issue for gardeners. In 2010 the UK experienced an astonishing 90 days below freezing. Whilst we can’t predict what the winter will bring, it makes sense to be prepared and this pretty and affordable frost guard really does the trick.”
The FireFly’s mushroom-shaped lid stores heat from the candle so that scented oils, when poured into its integral glazed bowl, can be heated by the candle below.
The FireFly weighs just 2KG and can also be used in any room in the house to burn essential oils.
I contacted the marketing company as I had never heard of Bio Green and I was interested in the FireFly and wanted more information especially as I was already using candle heated Terracotta pots to keep my small Norfolk Space Saver Greenhouse frost free
I have to say the FireFly looks a whole lot more posh & decorative than my home made heater. The mushroom-shaped lid has two functions; it stores the heat from the candle and then radiates that into the surrounding air, or alternatively the glazed recess in the top can be filled with a wide variety of scented oils.
The sales brochure also suggests that the FireFly can also be used as an attractive eye-catcher on a balcony or terrace.
Early December I received a reply to my request that at long last the FireFly has arrived in the UK – and just in time for the big freeze. If I still would like one to trial to send them my address and they would make the magic happen which it did just before Christmas
Included in my trial pack was the Bio Green Brochure, three candles and a covering letter from Matt Evans the UK Marketing Manager for the company. The FireFly was shipped in another cardboard box and as you can see the terracotta pot and lid were well packed. The candles were inside the pot, now when you purchase the product currently it does not come with a candle
Bio Green FireFly Candles are made from biomass and are a truly sustainable alternative to paraffin. No petroleum is used to make FireFly candles and the rainforest is left untouched, which is a good thing at the rate they are burning it.
No raw materials are used that could otherwise be used as food or animal feed. Conservation of resources and CO2 avoidance are convincing arguments in favour of FireFly biomass candles.
· CO2-neutral and sustainable
· Burning time min. 48 hours per candle
· Conservation of resources and CO2 avoidance
· Biomass candles
As I said the FireFly looks a whole lot more posh & decorative than my home made heater, the mushroom-shaped lid has two functions; it stores the heat from the candle and then radiates that into the surrounding air.
An alternative use is as a table heater/lamp for the summer evenings, is as an attractive eye-catcher on a balcony or terrace, table. Using the glazed bowl in the top filled with a wide variety of scented oils or Citronella to keep the bugs away..
I firmly believe that the Firefly should come with at least one Firefly Candle to get you started, and it appears in talking to Matt Evans that this view is feedback that they have already heard from those that have seen the FireFly in the UK at Glee Birmingham in 2019.
Now would be a good time to tell you a little bit about who Bio Green are, based on conversations and emails I’ve had with Matt Evans their UK Sales Manager.
Bio Green is a family business formed in 1984 manufacturing gas heaters in Bischoffen an area in central Germany, and they are still a family business today run by Alfred and Jan Brusius.
Bio Green were voted the number one gardening brand in Germany in 2018 & 2019 in the 'Winter Protection' category. and the Awards can be seen on their brochure. Obviously Germany is their largest market but, they also supply France, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.
In 2019 they made inroads into America and opened a warehouse there last year, and in 2020 they are looking to make the same inroads into the UK despite Brexit. They currently bring all UK products in from Germany but plan to open a UK warehouse in the near future once the UK business is big enough repeating the success found in America.
Historically Bio Green have only supplied the UK online and mail order companies, such as Two Wests and Elliot, Keengardener, Harrod, LBS Horticulture & Suttons to name a few.
Matt’s aim is to get Bio Green into bricks and mortar retail. Bio Green now have listings with Hillier's, British Garden Centre Group, Home Hardware & Wynnstay plus Amazon.co.uk.
Where will you be able to purchase Firefly and the Firefly Candles?
Amazon will be selling them shortly, the 1 to 3 months is because unlike the candles Amazon don't have the stock in their web site just yet. The other thing to consider is the Recommended Retail Price (RRP).
As with all things gardening it will pay to shop around. The RRP in the News Letter was £29.99 Amazon have them tagged at £34.99
Suttons are already selling the FireFly in a Sale below the RRP of £29.99 at £24.99
I have placed a Link on the image of the 2019-2020 Bio Green Brochure in the left hand side information panel of this Blog so you can see what other interesting products they are bringing to the UK despite Brexit. I'm looking forward to getting to play with some of these products as they start growing the distribution network and more of their products hit the UK
I know that candles and terracotta pots work because I understand the theory and I have been using them for at least the last six to seven years with 8 hour tea lights under, what I don’t know and have never actually bothered to measured is just how warm these devices actually get too.
I know it’s too hot to hold in the hand once alight for some time, which is why I’m guessing the mushroom lid to the firefly has a handle.
For my day time job as a Structural Engineer and Party Wall Surveyor, I happen to own a Digital Infrared Handheld Temperature Non-Contact IR Laser Point not unlike the one in the photo left and I will be testing both my original and the BioGreen Firefly heaters to see just how much radiant heat they put out after an hour of use.
Give it a few weeks and as soon as I have seedlings and potatoes chitting in the Space Saver greenhouse that need frost protection.I will have a play and report my findings on the blog and a comparison between the FireFly and the home built version so keep an eye out for the review or use the BioGreen or FireFly labels on the left panel to find all postings and updates.