Seed Pantry was set up in 2009 with a view to helping everyone enjoy the rewards of nature and to learn about growing food to eat wherever they happen to live. They provide everything you need to grow your own food at home and/or in your workplace, from inner city spaces to back garden veg patches - the expertise, seeds, plants and equipment.
Neil Whitehead is the founder of this fledgling online business and I caught up with him on cyberspace to see what the future holds.
What motivated you to establish Seed Pantry?
Living in London I was craving to get my hands dirty and have more green space around me. Having grown up in Cheshire I was so used to seeing green fields all around. I’ve always liked plants and believe green fingers run in the family. I find it fascinating to watch seeds of all shapes and sizes, germinate into tiny seedlings and grow into large plants that not only look good but offer a real purpose for my efforts by producing some top fruit & veg.
I was working in the corporate world, the recession was hitting hard and I took the opportunity to volunteer for redundancy which gave me some funds to survive for a while as I conducted my research. I was keen to do something for myself and control my own destiny.
I set up Seed Pantry specialising in food growing in urban environments. The idea was to offer people who are more likely to be novice growers a way to grow some food in the city without to much fuss.
What do you love most about your job?
The explosion of innovation in food growing for urban environments and meeting like minded people. what I dislike the most is sitting behind a computer all day without getting the chance to go outside….sometimes I’ll go outside and stick my hands in the soil – its amazingly satisfying!
What are your plans for the future?
I want to turn Seed Pantry into a business that innovates new ways to easily and conveniently grow food and create green spaces for a healthier more friendly urban environment.
I’m keen to explore design, technology and biodiversity to make our cities more natural and self sustaining. This will mean new products and collaborations with like minded organisations and people to make ideas happen.