Sow good: The gardening entrepreneur on a mission to get Britain growing

A veg-growing entrepreneur is turning a generation of social media zombies into green-fingered Brits.

Sam Smith, a 25-year-old from Battersea, founded Pot Gang in 2020 during the first lockdown after recognising a widespread interest in gardening on social media. 

From there, former advertising man Sam decided to help aspiring plant-parents unearth their talent.

Pot Gang encourages young adults to grow their own food, despite lacking the basic know-how, which often causes people to fall at the first hurdle and give up the joys of home-grown produce.

With the existing gardening industry aimed at Boomers, Sam believes Gen Z are missing out on the mental health benefits of growing fresh veg. 

So his gardening subscription service is tailored for a younger demographic, with creative illustrations that bring seeds to life in a cartoon-style, and instructions that cut the complicated jargon.

For £20.99 a month, subscribers are sent seeds, pots, compost and a planting guide.

When asked about growing food from scratch, Sam said: “It’s such a joyful thing to see a seed pop up from underneath the soil to grow into something you eat – you almost feel like they’re your children, you get very invested in it.”

woman holding pot gang products
The seed kits change depending on the month, and February’s kit includes padron peppers, basil, and giant red mustard

And what started out as a small operation based in south west London soon escalated.

Co-founder Bryony Brightman, 25, said: “I never imagined I’d be quitting my nine to five office job to go all in on Pot Gang with Sam.” 

Incredibly, Pot Gang has managed to distribute almost 30,000 not-for-profit seed kits to disadvantaged children nationwide less than two years later. 

Keen for kids to sow a seed of interest in gardening, Sam said: “Children could really do with education that’s more practical and could help them later in life.”

With the pandemic turning more people’s attention to mental health and wellbeing issues, the entrepreneur believes young people could benefit greatly by spending five minutes every day putting their phone down and picking up a watering can.

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