Secret Seed society review

Filed in Blog, Product reviews by on August 5, 2009 2 Comments
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Chrissie Cress - star of 'No hens in the pen' by the Secret Seed Society

Chrissie Cress - star of 'No hens in the pen' by the Secret Seed Society

I’m a member of the Secret Seed Society!

Well ok then, Little Miss Green is a member of the secret seed society, but in the name of research I’m allowed to play too.

The idea behind the Secret Seed society is to encourage children to grow and eat their own food so that they can enjoy fresh, local and organic fayre. It’s a great way to reconnect food with the earth as more and more children become convinced that their meals arrive shrink wrapped in plastic from a supermarket.

Secret Seed society

The Secret Seed society was created by a group of people who are passionate about encouraging children to have a go at growing their own food, whether it’s on an urban balcony or a rural allotment.

The Secret Seed Society consists of Adventure packs and the Seed Agent club.

Adventure packs

Each Adventure pack costs pack costs £5.99 + 60p postage and is aimed at 3-7 year olds.
The adventure pack contains an illustrated storybook, seeds, growing instructions and a recipe so children can follow their food on a journey from plant to plate.

The book tells the story of the inhabitants of Seed City; an urban environment populated by vegetable beings.  The characters get involved in all sorts of ‘every day’ situations; some challenging, some funny and some idyllic.

The book illustrations are created from collages made from recycled materials; which give great texture and interest to the pictures.

The first pack, staring Chrissie Cress, comes with a membership card for children to sign up online to become Seed Agents.

What’s in the pack

In our pack we received:

  • Story book ‘No Hens in the Pen’
  • Organic cress seeds
  • Growing guide
  • Recipe for Marvellously Mad Muffins
  • Seed Agent card

Seed agents

Once you’re signed up as a fully fledged Seed Agent; you get emailed missions to support and encourage you to grow your own seeds.

The first email mission contained information about making Chrissie some Cress friends from recycled materials at home, along with some cress recipes, information on the team behind the Secret Seed society and information about the company behind the Secret Agent compostable cards; Eco-Card.

What we liked

Packaging We were very impressed with the zero waste factor of these packs. The packaging consists of recycled cardboard and the only ‘waste’ is the seed packet, which is composite material (as all seed packets seem to be these days).

Story The story was great; it was fun, moved at a good pace and was something we could relate to. The pictures are bright, cheerful and pretty.

Recipe The muffins recipe is good and the suggestions for toppings all provide good nutritional content. Nothing annoys me more than food aimed at kids which is junk!

Growing guide The growing guide and recipe are contained within the book, which makes good use of resources. It also keeps everything together for future use and prevents things getting lost.

Mission The Secret Agent mission was good; the idea of creating something from items already in your home is excellent and would be a fun project for all ages.

What we didn’t like

I felt the card, even though it is a ‘compostable’ plant card was a gimmick. It doesn’t actually serve a purpose, and Little Miss Green wasn’t interested in it either.

What could be improved

I feel there needs to be a bit more information available about the future of these packs. I would like to know what packs will be available when and how many Secret Agent missions I can expect to receive for each pack.

A subscription would be a great idea and would provide the solution to a gift for a child.

I think the Secret Agent cards could be ditched. It’s great to see a company making compostable cards, but as we have explored on the site before, these items rarely compost well at home, so they can be a disappointment. I felt they added little to the value of the pack.

Verdict

4

The Secret Seed society adventure packs would make a great ‘green’ gift for a child and they are not too expensive to treat your own child to on a regular basis.

As far as the book, story and illustrations go we thought they were wonderful and were very impressed with the presentation and packaging. Despite being outside of the ‘target audience’ age, Little Miss Green had a lot of enjoyment from the book and we can incorporate all the information into her home education. She is looking forward to the next pack already, and as parents, we would definitely be prepared to buy her something like this. It makes a great change to the magazines you see in newsagents covered in plastic tat and offering little of value in the text.

We’ve awarded 4 out of 5. The point is lost as we feel there is a little more needed in the planning department so that people really understand what they are getting for their money and what they can expect in the future. In addition, we would urge a rethink on the value of the Secret Agent cards.

We’ll be buying the next pack and think the ethics and values behind the Secret Seed club is very exciting. A club that encourages children to have a grow at growing their own, encourages a reduction in waste and helps learn respect for the environment gets a big green thumbs up from us!

Secret Seed Society from Rosa van Wyk on Vimeo.

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (2)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Promoting growing from seed in the young is certainly a winner. Having just started a serious personal effort this year for a Zero Waste Alternative for Sweet Basil, I can only greater effort as each year comes round.

  2. Sarah says:

    What a good idea, although my kids have been growing things from seed for years, and eating it too, there are plenty of kids out there who would love the idea of being in a “Secret Club”.

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