Seed Pantry teams up with Waitrose to launch “Grow and Sell” scheme for schools

Seed Pantry is working with Waitrose supermarkets on a fantastic scheme to encourage schools to produce and sell home-grown food.

Aimed at 7 – 11 year olds in primary schools across the UK, the initiative aims to inspire over 100,000 children to grow their own produce over the summer months. Children will learn about where food comes from, the impact and importance of the seasons and develop entrepreneurial skills by selling their produce directly to Waitrose shoppers.

Seed Pantry has provided the “Grow and Sell Seed Kits” for schools to set up and maintain their own vegetable patches. They contain seeds for the children to plant and grow vegetables such as lettuces, beetroots, peppers, peas and courgettes, all the pots, dibbers and equipment they need as well as step-by-step instructions.

Alan Titchmarsh is also involved with the campaign and is helping to raise the profile of British agriculture and horticulture.

Neil Whitehead, founder of Seed Pantry says: “This is a fantastic project for us to be involved with and we are delighted to have been selected as the supplier for the school kits. Growing your own is something I am passionate about and this project is one that I am extremely proud of. I look forward to seeing the results over summer!

“It’s important to teach children from an early age where their food comes from, so they can appreciate the time and effort that goes into growing, maintaining and harvesting fresh produce. It also encourages children to eat well and to try a wider variety of foods, as well as giving them a huge sense of achievement when they watch their seeds grow lovely fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs.”

The scheme is set to be rolled out across all 290 Waitrose stores and schools will be able to receive additional ‘Grow and Sell Seed Kits’ through the in-store Waitrose Community Matters scheme, where customers can support their local school by dropping a green token into the relevant perspex box.

More details are available on the Waitrose website: http://www.waitrose.com. For more information on Seed Pantry grow your own kits, visit www.seedpantry.co.uk.

Seed Pantry sponsors Chelsea Fringe event – Edible Askew Road

With Seed Pantry’s headquarters based on Askew Road, Shepherds Bush, it made perfect sense for us to get involved with this year’s Edible Askew Road festival.

Organised by the Hammersmith Community Gardens Association (HCGA), the event is part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival and aims to create a river of fruit trees along the Askew Road. The trees will be under-planted with flowers and herbs to attract bees and butterflies to the area during the late Spring months – and also to make Askew Road a delightful, vibrant green area.

The festival also encourages locals to appreciate the value of locally produced food and the organisers have invited local shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and other businesses to sponsor a fruit tree and plant it outside their premises from 18th May to 9th June.

Naturally, we have rolled up our sleeves and got involved! We are one of the main sponsors of the festival and have also donated prizes for the treasure trail for local schools on both Edible Askew Road and sister project Edible High Road Chiswick.

Neil Whitehead, founder of Seed Pantry says: “Edible Askew Road is a great community event, bringing people together to enjoy growing, planting and transforming the road. The aim is to plant blossoming apple, peach, pear and plum trees, under-planted with herbs to attract all kinds of pollinating insects. Everyone can get involved so why not come down to Askew Road to see the trees and plants growing for yourself.”

Activity runs until Friday 7th June and culminates in a music and wine tasting event at the Ravenscourt Glasshouses at 6.30pm.

More details are available on the HCGA website: http://hcga.org.uk

Seed Pantry goes to Chelsea In Bloom

As part of the Chelsea Flower Show and Chelsea In Bloom Week, Seed Pantry will have a stall right in the middle of The Duke of York Square selling a wide range of food plants and herbs.

Pop down to see us from 20th – 25th May where we will be selling a great selection of seeds and plants to grow your own herbs, salads and vegetables at home.

We’ve got a fantastic selection of easy-to-grow seed kits and baby plants ready to be potted and planted at home. Have a look at our website to find out more: www.seedpantry.co.uk/plants

For more information on activities in Due of York Square, visit http://www.dukeofyorksquare.com/featured/chelsea-in-bloom-2013/

We look forward to seeing you there!

Get growing your own during National Gardening Week

National Gardening Week takes place on 15th – 21st April 2013, just as Spring is finally upon us, so now is a great time to get sowing and planting with the whole family!

Gardening Week is organised by the Royal Horicultural Society and there are lots of activities and events happening across the UK – such as Wildflower planting, nature trails, local community events, children’s workshops, open days, plant swaps and gardening shows. Thousands of people will be coming together to help keep Britain beautiful by sharing and celebrating everything about gardens and gardening.

The website is full of great ideas and listings for events in your area and has a whole section dedicated to growing your own: http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Grow-Your-Own

Here at Seed Pantry, we’re always encouraging our green-fingered fans to plant and grow their own vegetables, salads and herbs at home even in the smallest of spaces – from from balconies, window-sills and yards.

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

So why not make the most of the late Spring and start growing your own vegetables, salads and herbs at home during Gardening Week or visit a local event to be inspired to start planting.

We’ve got a fantastic selection of easy-to-grow seed kits and baby plants ready to be potted and planted at home. Have a look at our website to find our more: http://www.seedpantry.co.uk/plants/summer-tomatoes-chillies-peppers.html

Happy Gardening Week!

grow your greens during Go Green Week

Go Green Week (11th – 17th February) is People & Planet’s annual national week of action on climate change in schools, colleges and universities. Students across the country will be holding activities all week to raise awareness and launch projects showcasing practical solutions for a low-carbon future.

Go Green Week encourages students to make climate pledges, apply for sustainability funds for green projects and raise funds for climate action through charity events. Plus, each day of the week is themed around different green issues:

Meat-free Monday

Travel light Tuesday

Waste not Wednesday

Switch off Thursday

Funding Friday

Go Green Week will help raise awarensss of the issues surrounding climate change and if we all make some small changes to our lifestyles, we can help towards building a more sustainable future.

Students – why not ask your University if you can set up a vegetable patch or an allotment to grow your own fresh, organic vegetables, herbs and salads? It’s also really easy to grow your own from the comfort of your own home in even the smallest of outdoor spaces, such as window-sills and back 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.

Growing your own can also lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Tending to the seeds, watering, monitoring and harvesting is great exercise and can be therapeutic too.
The fresh air and gentle workout will leave you feeling refreshed and energised. You’ll also feel a great sense of achievement when you cook up your hand-picked veggies and serve them to friends for dinner!

So during Go Green Week, why not start growing your own vegetables, salads and herbs with your housemates or speak to your student union representative about setting up growing areas? It’s a fun, easy and cost-effective way to eat fresh, organic produce, and to contribute towards a more sustainable, eco-friendly future. 

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/

WIN a case of wine – the foodies perfect Christmas

Seed Pantry have asked our friends at Cono Sur if they would help us to add a little Christmas cheer to some lucky winners!

Leading up to Christmas and during Christmas week we’ll be giving away a total of four cases of wonderful organically produced wine from Cono Sur.  We’ll be doing this via our newsletter and social media sites below. So sign up and get liking and following to keep upto date.

We work with Cono Sur for three reasons:

  1. Firstly they are advocates of growing your own seasonal food and matching their wines to great seasonal dishes – take a look at www.conosurseasons.com for inspiration and more prizes!

  2. They are commited to nature and sustainable wine production, being at the forefront of sustainable agriculture and organically produced wine, supported by ISO 9001 and 14001 certificates, regarding quality and environmental realted processes, respectively.

  3. Finally, we think these methods produce some excellent wine that tastes great!

More about the wines the lucky winners will receive:

Organic Pinot Noir £8.99 -  A deep vibrant red with complex flavours of blackberry and cherry, enhanced by slightly toasty hints, this wine matches well with meat dishes. Stockists: Alfred the Grape, The Co-operative, Matthew Clark Wholesale , Mumbles Fine Wines, Yourfavouritewines.com

Organic Sauvignon Blanc £8.99 – Herbal hints and notes of white flowers and melon make this expressive and refreshing wine a great match with fish and poultry dishes, as well as cheese. Balanced and juicy, this wine has a long mineral finish. Stockists:  The Co-operative, Dylans Wine Merchants, Matthew Clark Wholesale, Mumbles Fine Wines, Yourfavouritewines.com

We’ll doing more with Cono Sur in the New Year with tips on fruit and vegetable growing and matching seasonal food to wines, with a few random musings about the seasons to boot! 

Seed Pantry scoops The Good Web Guide Award!

Seed Pantry reaps rewards as it is voted Home and Garden website of the year. 

Seed Pantry has been awarded best Home and Garden website in the annual Good Web Guide (GWG) Awards 2012. The prestigious event, held in central London on 20th November, announced winners from thirteen categories and seedpantry.co.uk came top in its class and walked away with the coveted accolade.

Showcasing the UK’s best websites and online businesses, The Good Web Guide Awards recognise innovation, and excellence in online retailing. The awards were presented by Bec Astley Clarke, founder of online designer jewelley company Astley Clarke. The judging panel included representatives from Soleberry Advisory, Zoopla and Lovefilm, Trendwatching and Ariadne Capital. Entrants were assessed on innovation, originality and the quality of website design, usability, content and end products or services, sites that you’d want to bookmark and tell your friends about.

Seed Pantry founder, Neil Whitehead says: “It’s a fantastic honour to receive this award and we are delighted to receive such recognition from well-respected industry experts. This is the first time we have entered the GWG awards, or any awards for that matter, so to win our category is a great achievement. It shows that all our efforts and hard work have paid off and it motivates us to drive the business forward.”

“It was a superb evening with some of the country’s most influential and innovative web business owners in attendance. We met some fantastic people who we’re hoping will soon all be growing their own quality urban food!”

Gabrielle Hase, judge and director of Soleberry Advisory says: “Seed Pantry is an exciting and innovative business and the website fulfills all the criteria for the category. It is easy to use, has relevant and interesting content and offers a great product to consumers and communicates a strong brand voice. Competition was tough this year as all entrants were of a very high standard, but Seed Pantry’s website stood out and is certainly one to watch in 2013. I wish Neil and his team all the best for the future and look forward to their success with the business.”

Full details of the awards and other category winners can be found here: http://www.thegoodwebguide.co.uk/website-of-the-year/awards-2012/winners-announced/15052

Grow your own Seed Pantry vegetables during Vegan Month

November is Vegan Month and here at Seed Pantry, we are always encouraging our green-fingered fans to plant and grow their own vegetables, salads and herbs. So what better time to experiment with a vegan diet than 1st November – World Vegan Day. This year, the organisers are hoping that a record number of people will pledge to try plant-based eating for at least one day or – for a real challenge – the full month.

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 popular kits 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.

Growing your own can also lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Tending to the seeds, watering, monitoring and harvesting is great exercise and can be therapeutic too.
The fresh air and gentle workout will do wonders for your health. You’ll feel a great sense of achievement when you cook up your hand-picked veggies and serve them to family and friends for dinner!

So during Vegan Month, why not start growing your own vegetables, salads and herbs at home and maybe even spend a day experimenting with the vegan diet.

1st November, Vegan Day, marks the start of Vegan Month celebrating the coining of the term, ‘vegan’ and the founding of The Vegan Society in November 1944.

Seed Pantry creates city food garden..

Seed Pantry joins forces with Delphis Eco to create office food garden

Delphis Eco is developing an inspired community food garden in the disused spaces around the Delphis Eco offices with the help of Seed Pantry and Transition Town Wandsworth.  With many acres of office garden space around the country they hope to raise awareness and lead the way for other companies to make their garden spaces more accessible, healthy and sustainable for those who work there.

To encourage people to grow more of their own food Delphis Eco have collaborated with Seed Pantry, Transition Town Wandsworth and Capital Growth (a London initiative by Mayor Boris Johnson) to get the local community involved in developing an otherwise fruitless garden space into a vibrant healthy community growing space where passers by can help themselves to produce.

Seed Pantry founder Neil Whitehead comments, “I’m very excited to be working with Delphis Eco and the London food growing initiatives, it’s great to see businesses encouraging people to grow food wherever possible. Our aim is to get everyone to have a go at growing your own food and as people spend a great deal of time at work this is a perfect place to encourage this. With this collaboration we’re demonstrating the simple steps for businesses to provide healthy working environments that involve local communities and support sustainable living”. 

Delphis Eco Managing Director Mark Jankovich said, “I read in a local newspaper that there was a huge waiting list for an allotment in the area.  I knew I wanted fruit and vegetables grown in our little garden but this was certainly beyond my ability.  I am delighted to have Transition Town Wandsworth (a community based organisation) on board as the green fingers of the project and Seed Pantry offers the perfect approach to growing food in urban environments and we’re really pleased to be working with them on this.”

To keep up to date with the progress of the garden you can follow the blog:

www.delphiseco.blogspot.com