Reel Gardening is one of those incredible businesses that ticks so many boxes. It employs over 150 people. It gives impoverished families the tools to feed themselves.
It educates children around the issues of food scarcity and growing your own food. It helps people who (like me) don’t have a green thumb and wouldn’t know where to begin in terms of starting a small veggie patch at home. And it’s the business that brought you the Checkers Little Garden campaign.
If you’re wondering how the founder of Reel Gardening, Claire Reid, has managed to build such a versatile business that is aiming to help one million families in need grow their own food over the next ten years, this week’s episode of the Small Business Showcase is truly inspiring.
Solving food scarcity
The seeds for Reel Gardening began 16 years ago, when Claire was a teenager. Like many entrepreneurs who learnt a good work ethic in the home, Claire was expected to work for her allowance. By the time she was 16, her parents had an idea – she could use a two-square-meter patch of garden to grow veggies, and they would purchase anything she grew.
There was only one problem – Claire knew nothing about gardening. Her journey to discovering which vegetables should be planted at different times of the year would eventually grow into Reel Gardening, a business built around a pre-fertilized seed tape and set of instructions that anyone can follow. The seed tapes use 80% less water than regular gardening, and Claire has used this technology to help various groups of people, including impoverished families who desperately need food security.
With an investment of R250, a family of four can have one serving of vegetables per day for an entire year. But as we know, when entrepreneurs start looking for problems to solve, they generally don’t stop there.
The families who received seed boxes during Covid soon reached out to ask how they could start growing to sell, and so Reel Gardening invested in an app that helps them do just that.
Claire is an extraordinary example of someone whose passion is resulting in real, measurable on-the-ground changes. But she’s also not doing it alone. Through collaborations with corporates and non-profit organisations, Reel Gardening is reaching far more people in need than Claire and her team could reach alone, which once again highlights how important partnerships are, and how we can change the world when we work together.
You can support Reel Gardening by:
Watch the full video below: