For some of the city dwellers among us, the thought of growing our own vegetables can be daunting to say the least. One wilting leaf is enough to send us dashing to the supermarket… which is why Alice and Becks have decided to step in and help out. As a couple of keen gardeners and cooks, they reckon that growing your own veges should be simple, no matter where you live – and they’ve set about building a business that helps us townie folk do just that.
Introducing SowFreshNZ – vegetable garden kits specifically designed for small urban homes. The aim is to provide gardeners of any level with everything they need to get growing; and from there, keep them updated with heaps of helpful online support. A pretty snazzy idea from these two Auckland mates – who bonded over coffee while carting around their eldest kids of the same age.
Neither Alice nor Becks had any experience running their own business – but they were both passionate about food, and their previous experience as primary school teachers had taught them that attitude goes a long way when it comes to getting things done! “It did take a few wines and quite a few coffee mornings before we were brave enough to jump into the cyber market world”, Becks admits – but in 2015, the pair took the plunge, and since then SowFresh has been up and running with a variety of different kits for budding gardeners.
Both Alice and Becks grew up rurally, and have a strong appreciation for home grown produce. “It’s important to be able to slow down, and actually take notice of where your vegetables are coming from,” says Alice. “And it doesn’t always have to be the freezer, contrary to what our kids believe!” Both women bring different skills to the table – Alice veers more towards the creative side of the business, while Becks keeps everything organised – but they’ve both been loving the way they can fit the work into their already busy lives.
For this green-fingered duo, one of their challenges has been pushing away from personal favourites, and trying thinking outside the box in terms of what they can offer their customers. But whether it’s summer salads, herbs, or perhaps the Bruschetta Box (basil and cherry tomatoes complete with olive oil and recipes) the aim has always been to get people inspired about what they can make from home, regardless of how much space they have. All it takes is a quick visit to their website, and you’ll find yourself country living in no time…but so as not to alarm our metropolitan readers; rest assured that the gumboots, of course, are optional.
Words by Chessie Henry & Images by Supplied