Grow Your Own Food - Rocket Gardens in Helston, Cornwall supplies organic gardens in the post!
PUBLISHED: 12:44 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:40 20 February 2013
In this January issue we visit Rocket Gardens, a company that supplies organic gardens in the post and that is encouraging children, as well as adults, to grow their own
Rocket Gardens supplies ready-made organic vegetable gardens and is encouraging children and schools to grow their own too
Wouldn't it be great to hit on a New Year's resolution that makes you a little bit greener, gets you outside in the fresh air, saves you money, and allows you to eat fresh, tasty and local food? Rocket Gardens (between Camborne and Helston) may have the answer. This company grows and supplies a range of instant organic vegetable gardens to customers throughout the UK.
Mike Kitchen, founder of Rocket Gardens, says: "Basically a Rocket Garden is a box brimming full of baby organic vegetable and herb plants packed in golden straw and delivered direct to your door. All you have to do is pop your baby plants into their new home to grow your own organic kitchen garden."
Rocket Gardens sprang from an idea three years ago to make it really easy for anyone to have a go at growing their own food. Customers can choose from a range of nine different gardens, depending upon the amount of space they have available, and their garden is then delivered ready for planting in early spring. It wasn't long before the company realised that people were giving gardens to each other as presents so it was decided to launch a range of garden vouchers, which can be given at any time of year.
Rob Cox, Operations Manager at Rocket Gardens, says: "A customer growing one of our gardens can save between 250-500 on food costs, depending upon the type of garden that they choose to grow."
Although Rocket Gardens' customers are located throughout the UK, it feels it is important to push the Cornish element of the business and the products. Besides the fact that the employees all live in and love Cornwall, the county's warm early climate makes it the perfect place for raising organic vegetable plants. It means that, unlike other nurseries in the UK, it is able to grow plants without burning thousands of litres of oil to keep greenhouses warm. People also seem to like the fact that they are getting a little bit of Cornwall in their garden, as they associate the county with childhood holidays and a more relaxed way of life.
The Rocket Gardens schools project 'Dig for their Future' was launched a couple of years ago when the company offered free gardens for schools that wanted to have a go at growing some of their own food. One of the national newspapers caught hold of the story and in just a couple of months 4,000 schools across the UK applied for a garden.
Along with the business, this project has developed and now aims to help one million schoolchildren across the UK to have a go at growing some of their own food. It is working with a number of organisations to develop the project, including Innocent drinks, Dorset Cereals, the Soil Association, Science Museum, Christian Aid and Global Action Plan. "With the expansion of the schools' project we really want to help Cornish schools, children and teachers to get involved with growing a Rocket Garden at their school. We provide full growing guides with our gardens and also lesson plans for teachers to link the growing of their garden to the National Curriculum," says Mike.
Things have moved quickly for Rocket Gardens. "In 2008 we put edible gardens into Grand Designs Live, Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Flower Show, The Green Peace Garden at Glastonbury, Gordon Ramsay's Taste of Christmas and Blenheim Palace, and 2009 looks set to be even busier," says Mike. "We are just launching a new range of gardens in association with Jamie Oliver."
Furthermore, a team from BBC Gardeners' World has recently visited to film a feature about Rocket Gardens and the way in which the schools project has been developing.
The Rocket Gardens office is somewhat busier than when it first started three years ago with just two staff. There are now 10 full-time and a further 15 to 20 seasonal workers. "The future for Rocket Gardens is green and exciting, and if we can make it easy for people across the country to enjoy a little bit of the 'good life' then this can only be a positive thing," says Mike.
To find out more about Rocket Gardens and how to get your school involved with the 'Dig for their Future' campaign, contact (01209) 831468, www.rocketgardens.co.uk.