Claire Reid conceptualized Reel Gardening at the age of 16 | Future Agro Challenge

Claire Reid conceptualized Reel Gardening at the age of 16

Reel Gardening is a South African Social Enterprise that manufactures a patented biodegradable, pre-fertilised seed tape that enables people with little knowledge or resources to plant successfully. The Reel Gardening Seed Tape holds seeds at the correct distance apart and anchors seeds at the correct depth for optimum germination. All you need to do is make a furrow in the soil, plant the tape, water and watch it grow!

The concept of Reel Gardening was developed by Claire Reid at the age of 16 in response to the issues she faced when trying to grow her own organic vegetables at home to sell to her parents for additional pocket money. She felt overwhelmed when having to choose the correct seed and fertilizer for her region and month of planting. She was then angered by the volume she was required to purchase even though she only had a few square meters available to plant.  But it was only when she was sitting in the soil with a tape measure between her knees failing to get the seed to remain in the ground at the correct spacing did she ask for help.

Meggie, the family’s housekeeper, came to Claire’s aid and began to share her personal planting story which involved little access to water and the inability to read the instructions on the seed packet.  Meggie said that she had failed at her first attempt at growing her own food which saw her utilising her little resources looking after what turned out to be weeds. This lead to Meggie never wanting to attempt to grow her own food again. Claire decided in that moment that she wanted to create a simple solution that would make growing vegetables simple, fun and successful for everyone, regardless of access to land, time, education or water and Reel Gardening is that solution.

The Reel Gardening team is made up of 7 people, all based in Johannesburg, South Africa, 6 of these people are women, 3 of whom are previously unemployed mothers who we have upskilled to manufacture the product in our in house workshop.

They also have a team of 6 national trainers who we have upskilled through a train the trainer programme and have equip with tablet technology.

Passionate about giving back in South Africa. For every garden in a box sold through the Girl Scouts of America, Reel Gardening will donate seed tape to the community projects they support in of South Africa. Reel gardening equips anybody, with any level of gardening knowledge or education to grow their own food successfully. Reel Gardening makes growing quick, fun and easy. A garden is a gift of growing, health, connecting to the earth and fresh food. It should not only be reserved for those who can afford to pay for it.

Reel Gardening has worked with more than 300 schools over the past 6 years and has consistently seen the numerous benefits of empowering the youth to care for a garden. They learn about patience and slowing down in a past-paced, immediate gratification world. They learn to take responsibility for something and the consequences of letting that responsibility slide.


They learn that nature is not perfect and that sometimes your vegetables will be strange shapes and different colours but that they are still valuable and edible. They appreciate the embodied energy that goes into their food and learn to respect the environment. A vegetable garden is a beautiful life lesson.