For many people, the Covid-19 lockdown was a time for newfound inspirations -and this proved true for one Marton local who is now growing his own businesses through seeds.
Jack Johnson had just quit his nighttime job in hospitality and was looking to work during daylight hours when alert level 4 lockdown came into play.
He and his girlfriend decided to move back to his home town of Marton from Wellington for isolation and during this time he did a lot of gardening.
From there, their brainchild Little Gem Seeds was born.
It operates as a monthly subscription service for $14.95 that offers customers five seasonal seeds that are delivered to their door ready to plant.
Having previously worked in a kitchen in New York, Johnson became familiar with lots of different varieties of plants and vegetables but found when walking around farmers' markets in Wellington that such variety was lacking.
"I knew we could grow them here and then I would go into the supermarket and they [plants] would all the plastic wraps so we started growing our own and got a huge amount of variety, and we found we didn't need to go to the supermarkets during quarantine and had salads every night," Johnson said.
He said after talking about ways to help the environment and the eco-system they decided to give their latest venture a go.
"It's based around sustainability, that's the mantra and the one thing we are trying to put before profit."
All their packaging is compostable and their seeds are sourced from six stockists from around New Zealand.
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The seeds each customer receives will vary depending on where they live.
He said Auckland can grow a lot more tropical fruits and a large array of tomatoes but when it came to growing tomatoes in the South Island, they had to go for a bush tomato.
"We will send the seeds out maybe a month later then what we will be sending the tomato seeds up north. A lot of veges that like a colder climate such as broad beans we send down south and they can have a longer season for them down there.
"We're about increasing food in gardens and making it convenient."
He said they want to start creating a bit of a community and give people tips on how to grow their seeds with recyclable items such as egg trays.
Johnson also said they want to boost employment in Marton.
They currently have around 120 subscribers in the two months they have been operating.
"We're really trying to grow to 1000 subscribers within a year to get to a nice amount to start employing people to start packing the envelopes and doing the cutting, and hopefully to give family and people who need jobs, a job."
He said the first person they are looking to employ is his mum, who owned Bridgestone Marton for around 21 years and is now looking for a new challenge.
His mum has a large space out the back of her Marton home which is he is looking to renovate into a warehouse to become the logistics hub for their business.
"We don't know how crazy it's going to get over Christmas but hopefully we can get some things moving by then and then we will be running out of Marton and giving people some work."
You can find Little Gem Seeds at https://www.littlegemseeds.co.nz/