Sowing seeds to #doDifferent

Harvesting fresh produce from your own garden is a hugely rewarding and satisfying experience. For many, however, the ability to produce their own food has a large barrier to entry. Plants or seeds can be expensive and growing requires a knowledge base to get started.

A Joburg based entrepreneur sought to solve this problem for herself, and in the process created a business aiming to spread food gardening far and wide.

Reel Gardening can best be described as a social enterprise supplying products to establish vegetable gardens. Their core products are biodegradable paper strips which house organic plant seed as well as all the nutrients the plant requires to grow. The seeds are encased in the paper, spaced the correct distance apart from each other, and the paper strip has marking showing the correct depth to plant the seed. The reel of seeds is packaged as garden sets containing complementary plant seeds. All the knowledge (or guesswork) required to start a garden is reduced to an incredibly simple set of visual cues which can follow. They have options from small windowsill garden to larger outdoor plantations – so anyone can do it.

Another benefit to the product is water saving. Since the tape is visible above ground it is easy to know exactly where to water. Experiments have shown a possible 80% reduction in water required to establish the garden. Water scarcity is another barrier to entry for home gardening, so this is hugely beneficial.

This highly innovative product has great potential for social upliftment, and that is a core focus of the business. Sponsored impact projects allow Reel Gardening to connect with a sponsor partner to deliver larger scale gardens to beneficiaries. These projects focus on sustainability, so training the beneficiaries to be self-sufficient in caring for the gardens is a priority.

Reel Gardening also employs the ‘buy one, give one’ business model where they donate a length of seed tape for every product sold. The focus is to maximize the social impact of the donations, so Reel Gardening work with selected beneficiaries to ensure the long terms sustainability of the gardens is ensured.

Initially started as a high school project, the reach of this company has been tremendous. With one million meters of tape donated, 2700 schools and communities reached, 13 million litres of water saved, and 111 000 people impacted, this simple product has had an outsized social impact.

We love ideas that empower people to be self-sufficient, and Reel Gardening are truly choosing to #doDifferent in their business journey.

Get in on the home gardening revolution and #doDifferent. Your support helps to empower communities to feed themselves. Check out Reel Gardening here

Images by: Reel Gardening