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

Get sowing those seeds during National Gardening Week!

SeedPantryPeaSeeds 2

This year’s National Gardening Week runs from 11th to 17th April and it promises to be the country’s biggest celebration of gardens, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.

This year’s theme is ‘get fit in the garden’, highlighting the ways in which gardens can enhance our mental and physical well-being. The RHS Gardens Wisley will be looking at ways to show how everyday activities such as digging, raking and hoeing can keep you fit, and how the garden can be used for exercise and having fun.

Thousands of people, public gardens, charities, shops and heritage organisations are getting involved and have plenty of events and activities taking place up and down the country. There are beginner’s workshops, walking guides, garden parties, planting groups and grow your own sessions – so there’s something for everyone.

It’s a great opportunity to get out in the garden, embrace the great outdoors and start sowing and planting seeds, flowers, trees, plants, herbs, vegetables and fruits.

With the lovely sunshine predicted to stay for a few weeks, now is a great time to start growing your own so have a look at our product range on the website for planting inspiration. How about planting seeds for peas and sunflowers with the little ones, or tomatoes, beans and peppers for delicious, fresh Spring recipes!

For more information, visit http://www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk and stay up to date with news and activities via Twitter (https://twitter.com/the_rhs) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/rhshome).

How will you be celebrating National Gardening Week!?

Our Food Future

2 billion people

In February, the UK Food Standards Agency brought together over 200 leading industry experts to discuss how best to secure the future of our food.

The summit was broadcast live and thousands of people got involved on Twitter using the hash tag #ourfoodfuture, and we did too!

Topics included how we will grow food in the future, whether we will be eating insects, food waste including wonky veg, food safety and pricing, obesity, and what the nation wants from food in the future.

Comments by Seed Pantry and Neil about the event, the social value of food and childhood obesity were featured in the discussion – see link:

https://storify.com/foodgov/our-food-future

The debate also turned to how we have lost our connection with food with the increase in online grocery shopping and processed foods. And how sharing meals with family or friends is becoming a thing of the past.

Growing your own vegetables, leafy greens, herbs and salads at home is a great way to re-connect with food, understand where it comes from and to get the whole family involved with planting, sowing, nurturing and harvesting. It helps to reduce waste and allows you to eat wholesome, fresh, organic foods.

As Spring is just around the corner, now is a great time to start thinking about setting up a vegetable patch in the garden, or if you don’t have the space, our new smart grow pod lets you grow your own food in the kitchen, with no mess, no fuss, just fresh, organic greens, vegetables, herbs and salads in no time!

So this season, take time to think about the future of our food and how you can make some simple changes to ensure a healthy, sustainable and safe food supply for future generations!

It’s Healthy Eating Week

Ella'sHarvestSpudsLR

The British Nutrition Foundation is running Healthy Eating Week from 1st to 7th June to promote healthy eating and drinking among children.

Over 7,500 schools have signed up to get involved in activities including creative cooking, food provenance, and eating and drinking well.

The organisers have created some great resources, available via the website, (http://www.foodafactoflife.org.uk) including five day challenges with charts for children to fill in themselves. They cover themes such as healthy breakfast, five a day, drinking plenty, getting active and trying something new.

There are live events you can watch online, cook-alongs, meal planners, shopping lists, food cards and games – all designed to get children thinking about where their food comes from, how they can eat more healthily, and to encourage positive behaviour change.

Families are being encouraged to discuss healthy eating in the home and for parents to join in the challenges with their children.

At Seed Pantry, we love championing healthy eating, especially among children, and we have already taken part in many grow your own food activities with schools.

Planting, sowing and growing vegetables, salads and herbs can be a fun and satisfying way to get the kids, and the whole family, to get their five a day and include more healthier choices in their diets.

Growing your own ensures you always have the freshest pick of the crop and it can save you money. It helps you get physically active and can help reduce stress, plus it’s something you can all do together as a family.

Our Me Seeds Children’s Starter Pack contains a selection of seeds to grow cress, sunflowers, sweetcorn and pumpkins (http://www.seedpantry.co.uk/the-me-seeds.html but tomatoes, peas, courgettes and herbs are also quick and easy to grow – and you don’t need lots of space.

We offer packs for schools to grow vegetables, herbs and salads in the classroom so why not find out more in our seeds section of the website.

Happy Healthy Eating Week and Happy Growing!

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.

Show Mum you care with gifts that keep on growing

MOTHERS DAYIf you’re looking for the perfect present for Mum this Mother’s Day (15th March), Seed Pantry offers two delightful seed growing kits, ideal for budding growers and green-fingered Mums.

Wild Flower Seeds Starter Pack

If Mum wants to add a splash of colour to the outdoor area, Seed Pantry’s Wild Flower Seeds Starter Pack is perfect for growing wild flowers, including field poppies, yarrow, musk mallow, chamomile and wallflowers.

The seeds grow into some of Britain’s wonderful native flora and are especially attractive to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, beetles and other wildlife, thanks to their vibrant colours.

Wild flowers make great companion plants too for vegetables and fruit trees and can be grown in even the smallest of spaces, giving real joy over the spring and summer seasons.

These vibrant flowers are easy to grow and nurture and attract a range of pollinating wildlife to the garden. Priced at £26, the starter pack contains everything Mum needs to get started, including detailed keepsake instructions compost, and a handy notes pencil.

Herb Seeds Starter Pack

If Mum has been talking about growing her own herbs, the Herb Seeds Starter Pack is a great way to sow and grow delicious organic herbs for cooking with at home indoors or outdoors.

Perfect for novices or seasoned gardeners, the kit shows you how to sow and grow basil, coriander, chives and parsley – great for adding to spring salads and family recipes.

The Herb Seeds Starter Pack is priced at £25.

Both kits contain all the equipment you need to get started, including bio-degradable rice husk pots, coir seed trays, compost, labels and FSC oak dibblets.

The packs arrive in stylish Seed Pantry gift boxes, made using recycled packaging and printed with vegetable inks, including easy-to-follow illustrated instructions and a handy notes pencil for Mum.

All kits are available now . Order up to the 13th March for delivery before Mother’s Day.

Eat more plants!

Neil's Mini Allotment sWorld Vegan Day is celebrated on 1st November and marks the start of Vegan Month.

This year, the organisers, The Vegan Society, are hoping that a record number of people will pledge to try plant-based eating for at least one day, a week or – for a real challenge – the full month.

The seven-day and 30-day pledges are featured on the website and give simple and practical steps on how to begin your vegan journey. It can make you feel healthier, lighter and more energetic, it reduces your effect on the environment and on animals and can have a positive effect on you and on many other people.

At Seed Pantry we like to encouraging our green-fingered fans to sow, grow and eat more plants, their own vegetables, salads and herbs. This month is a great time to start thinking about setting up your own food plant space either in the garden, or if you don’t have the space, our popular kits let you grow your own in even the smallest of outdoor and indoor spaces such as balconies, window-sills and yards.

As well as being cost-effective and environmentally friendly, growing your own veg, salads and herbs means you can eat completely organic, highly nutritious, produce, grown and picked by you.

So during Vegan Month, why not start growing your own vegetables, salads and herbs at home and eat more plants.

There are events taking place around the UK on Saturday 1st November and during the whole month so visit the website to find out more: http://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/events

Let us know if you take a pledge, experiment with a vegan lifestyle and do share any tasty recipes you find for plant based dishes.

Take action against hunger this World Food Day

World Food Day takes place on 16th October and is a day for people around the world to come together to take action against hunger.

This year, the theme is Family Farming: Feeding the world, Caring for the earth. The UN estimates that there are 805 million hungry people in the world[i] with over 70 percent of these living in rural areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Near East. Many of them are farmers, especially smallholders.

The organisers on the UN committee are asking people all over the world to toast a farmer to thank them for their hard work everyday to ensure our food is grown with care and is safe and healthy for us to eat. Just post a photo of yourself with a raised glass on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtags #ToastAFarmer and #WFD2014. Or share one of the photos of farmers from around the globe from the World Food Day website  – http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/take-action

In addition, there are activities and commemoration ceremonies taking place around the world, including sponsored Hunger Walks, World Food Day Dinners, Hunger Banquets as well as food drives, rallies and more.

Here at Seed Pantry we strongly encourage growing your own as much as possible, reducing waste, and eating wholesome, fresh, organic foods. Now is a great time to start growing, sowing and planting your own vegetable, herbs and salads and our seed kits and plants let you grow your own in even the smallest of outdoor spaces – from balconies, window sills and yards.

As well as being cost-effective and environmentally friendly, growing your own veg, salads and herbs means you can eat completely organic produce, grown and picked by you.

World Food Day was set up by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and 16th October is the day the organisation was founded in 1945.

Follow World Food Day on Twitter @WorldFoodDayUSA and use the hashtags  #WFD2014 and #ToastAFarmer to raise awareness of the day, or visit the website: http://www.worldfooddayusa.org

[i] Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 2014

grow your own to cut Food Waste

Industry experts predict that food prices are set to rise by 5% during 2013, putting even more pressure on families struggling to make ends meet. Yet reports out in the media say that as a nation, we are throwing away unprecedented amounts of food, with the average British family wasting £680 worth of food every year.

On top of that, farmers are also wasting around 25% of their produce because of the strict requirements the supermarkets impose.

Overall, the nation is wasting a huge amount of food and although some of the factors are understandable, with a little effort, planning, savvy shopping and by making some small lifestyle changes, we can all do our bit to reduce the amount of food we waste.

Growing your own salad, vegetables and herbs at home can not only help cut your grocery bill, you tend to only pick what you need for a meal, so there is no wastage as the rest is left on the plant to continue growing. If growers have an abundance of larger vegetables and fruit, they can be harvested and frozen, pickled, made into jam or given to family and friends to enjoy. Plus it’s a great way to get all the family involved in an activity together, outside and learning a new skill.

Growing food at home, indoors, in the garden, or in an allotment is an education. It’s so fulfilling to watch how a tiny seed grows into an amazing, tasty vegetable. Growing your own food really helps to value the process and effort it takes to produce great-tasting vegetables, herbs, fruits and salads and it certainly makes me think twice about throwing it away after all the hard work, infact it just doesn’t happen!

Given the economic climate, finding ways to cut costs and eat more cost-effectively, yet healthily, has never been more important. You don’t need an allotment or a garden, a small yard, patio or even a windowsill is enough. For me and my family, it’s really satisfying to cook some great dishes with what we have grown at home – we have made our own tomato and basil sauces for pasta dishes, stir-fried vegetables to eat with noodles and have plenty of fresh salad leaves and lettuce varieties to make our own healthy salads. Money-wise, we worked out that by not buying supermarket lettuces and salad bags, we save around £25 per month and have very little wastage…and it tastes better too!

It is all too easy to throw away a mouldy lettuce you bought from the supermarket, but when you have patiently watched it grow you will be less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it before it goes to waste.

#foodwaste is trending on Twitter and it’s great to see that is has come to the fore as it will go some way to help people become more aware of what they throw away.

To find out more about ways you can help more visit: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/