City gardens flourish as seed sales rocket

More Ripon residents have “grown their own” this year, according to a city shop.

Sales staff the Ripon’s Original Factory Shop have been astonished to see sales of gardening products grow for two years in a row.

In the last year alone, sales of “grow your own” ranges at the shop on Fishergate - including packets of seeds, mini greenhouses, salad blends and summer flowering bulb - have rocketed by 165 percent, the store’s tills show.

Store Manager Sarah Peaker said: “We began to see an increase in sales of our Grow Your Own ranges back in 2009.

Sarah and the rest of the staff put the trend down to a fashion for “getting back to nature.”

She added: “At the time, people were becoming more savvy about where food had come from and what was in it. Growing your own food seemed to be a low cost way of gaining that knowledge and eating organic food.

“Now it seems to be the greater need to get back nature that is driving people to start developing their own fruit and vegetable patches.

“We’ve been delighted to see this trend continue to grow and we’re already planning bigger ranges and more stock for summer 2012.”

Shop managers are planning to expand their gardening ranges with 80 percent more stock coming in ready for the 2012 season.

The retail chain also carried out nationwide survey after seeing their “grow your own” ranges surge in popularity across the country.

Almost 40 percent of people they spoke to had started a fruit or vegetable patch.