Christmas Gift Guide for Gardeners

With Christmas fast approaching and the gift-giving period nearly upon us, we have created the ultimate Seed Pantry gardeners gift guide to help you find the perfect gift for your loved ones!

Everything we make at Seed Pantry is dedicated to our mission of getting more people growing plants, food and flowers and to enjoy the rewards of nature, wherever you live!

For the Indoor Grower

For those who want to grow from the comfort of their own home or desktop, the Seed Pantry Grow Pod 2 is a fantastic gift. Designed to produce ultra-fresh food indoors with an LED grow light, hydroponically, with no soil, no mess and be hassle-free. You don’t need to be a gardener or green-fingered, the Seed Pantry Grow Pod 2 does the work for you! It’s perfect for growing herbs, chillies, tomatoes, salads, flowers and fruiting vegetables, in the kitchen, on a desktop, anywhere really!

Price: £69.99

 The House Plant Enthusiast

For those who prefer to keep their gardens indoors, we have a range of gifts for them. Our Easy Grow Kits come with everything you need to start growing indoor plants like cactus, areca palms, Venus flytraps, Jalapenos and even Coffee bean plants!

Each kit comes with pots, seeds and growing medium, so your gift recipient can start growing in no time!

Price: £10.00

The Family Presents

Our Jumbo Summer Allotment Starter Pack is full of everything you need to start your own home allotment veg patch. With all the kit needed to start propagating seeds the kit includes tomatoes, peppers, beetroot, lettuces, french beans, herbs and more, the pack is perfect for any budding gardeners, green-fingered chefs and all the family to enjoy!

Price: £38.00

Another great family gift would be our Grow Club Gift Subscriptions. Monthly personalised discovery boxes delivered at the right time to grow each month, gift recipients will always be on top of what to do in their garden along with gaining knowledge and expertise as they go. Instead of just one gift for Christmas, you can give one every month of the year, for the whole family to enjoy!

Price from £39 for a 3 month subscription

6 months: £78

12 months: £156

The Thrill Seeker 

For those who live life on the edge and love a challenge, we have our Hottest Chillies in the World Easy Grow Kit! containing not one, not two, but three varieties of the world’s hottest chilli seeds inside! (Guinness book of records).  Each tin includes seeds, growing medium, easy instructions and a tin that doubles up as a pot, so everything needed to embark on a fiery adventure!

Price: £12.00

The Expert

Recently introduced at Seed Pantry is a new range of top-quality garden tools, that are exceptional quality and perfect for growers who know what they are doing. Tools ranging from beautiful Japanese, forged Garden Secateurs to durable and sturdy bulb planters, spades and forks handcrafted in the Netherlands, there is a tool for everyone and every garden situation.

Prices starting from: £20.00

Another great gift for the garden expert in your life is our Grow Club Pro-Box. Monthly personalised boxes delivered at the right time to grow each month for food and flower growing, with a wide range of seasonal plants, flower bulbs and seed to choose from, delivered to your door.

Price: £19.99 a month

The Beginner

For those who are starting out and dipping their toes into the gardening world for the first time, the Herb Seeds Starter Pack would be perfect! Packed with all you’ll need to start growing your own delicious organic herbs like basil and coriander at home as quickly and easily as possible. A great way to start on the journey of connecting with nature!

Price: £26.00

Another great option would be our Grow Club Discovery Box – Gift Subscriptions. Monthly personalised boxes are delivered at the right time to grow each month. Gift recipients will always be on top of what to do in their garden spaces, with expert grow guides, they will gain knowledge and learn as they go. Instead of just one gift for Christmas, you can give one every month of the year, delivered to their door!

The Young Gardener

The Children’s Me Seeds Starter Kit contains a fabulous selection of seeds that Children of all ages can enjoy growing. Selected seeds for plants that children just love to grow like massive pumpkins, the tallest ever sunflowers and super quick growing indoor crops. Some grow quickly, others take their time, but the joy of watching a tiny seed grow into a majestic plant is part of learning about the wonders of nature!

This makes for a perfect with kids who love exploring and being outside in nature.

Price: £10.00

7 facts about Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts & BaconLove them or loathe them, Brussels sprouts are a Christmas dinner essential – along with all the other tasty trimmings on the table.

We love them and they are in season right now and are full of important nutrients to keep you healthy over the festive season.

Did you know?

  1. Brussels sprouts belong to the same family as cabbage, kale and broccoli and are packed with nutrients and vitamins.
  2. They are low in fat and calories and are high in fibre, protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and antioxidants – so are great for your health.
  3. Sprouts are cheap way to eat really healthy food.
  4. They are easy to digest thanks to their high enzyme content, so they can help people with digestive or bloating problems. They are also easy to eat so are perfect for younger children and the elderly.
  5. Sprouts are versatile to cook – steamed with bacon bits and butter to go with your Christmas dinner, or try halving them and baking with seasonal vegetables, roasted with pecans work and add a nutty crunch, fruit like apple, raisins and apricots add sweet flavours too or shred them and add to a stir fry with prawns or chicken for a delicious mid-week supper.
  6. Brussels sprouts are thought to be native to what is now Belgium where their cultivation can be traced back to the 13th century.
  7. We traditionally cut a cross in the bottom of sprouts, but we say don’t do this, it can make them soggy! Instead cut them in half for steaming or roasting.

Pick up purple Brussels sprouts seeds in our winter veg kit

To find out more about healthy vegetables each month join the Seed Pantry grow club, visit: Seed Pantry

7 top facts about Tomatoes

Marmande Tomato A

For the sunny month of May we’re celebrating the tomato and all the wonderful health benefits they come with.

7 Tomato facts about our fruity friends:

  1. The first cultivated tomatoes were yellow and cherry-sized, earning them the name golden apples: pommes d’or in French, pomi d’oro in Italian and goldapfel in German. The Italian for tomatoes today is pomodoro.
  2. A lot of people don’t realise that tomatoes are actually a fruit and not a vegetable. Although classified as a fruit, tomatoes have nutrients found in both vegetables and fruit.
  3. If you cook tomatoes in oil you can help to increase your body’s natural absorption of the nutrients in tomatoes.
  4. Tomatoes are an excellent source of potassium, calcium, and vitamin A and C. All of these are important nutrients needed for optimal health. Lycopene is also contained in tomatoes which may reduce the risk of some cancers.
  5. Pretty much all tomato varieties are red although other colours are possible including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, white, and purple.
  6. Tomatoes are best kept unwashed at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. It is not recommended to refrigerate them as this can harm the flavour. Storing stem down can prolong shelf life too.
  7. Tomatoes are very popular in Mediterranean cuisines such as Italian. They are an important ingredient in pizza and pasta sauces so why not make your own tomato sauce for pizza bases or for pasta dishes – fresh, tasty, organic and fun for all the family!

To find out more about healthy vegetables each month join the Seed Pantry grow club, visit: Seed Pantry

Join Seed Pantry at The Big Feastival!

BFlogo-landscape-dates-venuePreparations are underway for our first time at The Big Feastival – a fantastic weekend of music, food and fun for all the family!

Over the August Bank Holiday, TV chef Jaime Oliver and Blur bassist Alex James will welcome families from all over the UK to enjoy food, music and activities including food and drink stands, cookery classes, arts and craft workshops, a vintage fun fair and live music tents.

Taking place in the idyllic Cotswolds, this year is the event’s fifth anniversary but it’s our first time attending!

We’ll have a stand in the Lifestyle Village where you can come and meet the Seed Pantry team on stand LS03 and find out about growing your own food at home. We’ll be launching some exciting new products and will also be demonstrating our grow pod as well as seed starter kits, all available with special Big Feastival discounts.

We’ll be running seed sowing activities for families each day at 11.30, 1.30 and 3.30 and offering you the chance to win exciting grow your own food kits in our prize draw!

With live music from Mark Ronson, Kaiser Chiefs and Tinie Tempah, cookery demos from Jaime Oliver himself, as well as Raymond Blanc and Gizzi Erskine, the three-day event promises to be a feel good festival for the whole family.

Weekend tickets are already sold out but day passes are still available so book soon to secure your places! Children under 12 go free and there are discounted rates for teens.

The Big Feastival takes place from 26th to 28th August on Alex James’ farm in The Cotswolds. To find out more about and to book tickets, visit http://thebigfeastival.com

Make sure you come to Lifestyle Village and visit the Seed Pantry stand (number LS03) for our seed sowing sessions and to enjoy some home grown veggies and greens!

Spring food and gardening festivals

SummerBeginsAs we enter into Spring, there are food and gardening festivals a-plenty, showcasing some of the best foods and gardens Britain has to offer.

Historic Chester hosts its Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival on 4th to 6th April, with many TV chefs heading to the Racecourse to present demos, take part in challenges and judge the many awards and contests at the event. The Taste Cheshire Food and Drink Awards will be announced and Cheshire’s Finest Sausage will be revealed. There will be free cookery classes for the kids and even camping facilities for those looking to enjoy the spring sunshine.

http://chesterfoodanddrink.co.uk

The first installment of the Great British Food Festival takes place at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire on 10th to 12th April. With chef demos, man v food contests, artisan talks, a kids’ corner, live music and gift stalls, this is certain to be a fun, foodie, family weekend.

http://www.greatbritishfoodfestival.com

National Gardening Week (13th – 19th April) was launched four years ago by the RHS and since then has grown into the country’s biggest celebration of gardening. Thousands of people, gardens, charities, retailers, culture and heritage organisations and groups get involved and there are events and activities taking place up and down the country.

From beginners’ workshops and guided walks, to garden parties and open days, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Visit the website for more details:  http://www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk

Let us know of any other foodie or gardening events you are attending this spring on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or email us on info@seedpantry.co.uk with your suggestions.

Add colour to your cocktails this Spring

Spring herbs and yogurt smoothie, diet vitamin drinkIt’s really starting to feel like Spring, so now is a great time for sowing and growing but also harvesting lots of flavoursome and healthy herbs!

Now we all know herbs are great for cooking with, but what about adding them to your drinks too – cocktails, mocktails, or even to liven up a glass of water!

Mint is the obvious choice for a refreshing drink. Perfect in mojitos, martinis, juleps and Pimm’s for the grown ups, or in homemade mint lemonade for all the family, mint is also a digestive and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

Savoury-sweet and with a peppery edge, basil is a novel addition to a garden-inspired cocktail. It goes great with vodka and gin-based drinks, or can act as a pretty garnish in a fruit juice or soda water.

Try adding fresh rosemary to a lemontini or a sprig of thyme to a glass of prosecco or cava.

Or why not add your freshly chopped herbs to your ice cube tray. Just add a few leaves to each cube, add fresh water and freeze. Once they have frozen, remove from the tray as and when you need them to give your springtime drinks a spritz of colour.

Our favourite afternoon drink is a soda water with fresh, homegrown lime wedges and a mint leaf ice cube – so refreshing!

Let us know of any herb-inspired drinks you enjoy and send us your photos on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or email us on info@seedpantry.co.uk with your suggestions.

Spotlight on Parsnips

Roast Lamb and sweet roast parsnips.

Baked, boiled, pureed, roasted, fried, mashed, steamed or even raw, parsnips are a sweetly flavoured a highly versatile root vegetable, native to Britain. Perfect with a roast dinner, they are a good source of essential vitamins and November is a great month for harvesting your parsnips.

Parsnips
Great British parsnips, fresh out the ground.

Did you know?

  • In Roman times, parsnips were considered to be an aphrodisiac
  • Parsnips can be made into a wine that has a similar taste to Madeira
  • In some parts of Scotland, parsnips are called white carrots
  • The word parsnip is from the Latin ‘pastus’ meaning food and ‘sativa’ meaning cultivated
  • In Europe, parsnips were used to sweeten jams and cakes before sugar became widely available
  • Parsnips are packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fibre including Vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre

 

Pick up parsnip seeds in our winter veg kit