Urban gardening organisation Urban Pantry plans to surprise residents and workers in Auckland`s CBD on Wednesday 18 August by distributing hundreds of tiny herb seedlings around the area.

Urban Pantry aims to promote growing produce in the city as a way to bring people together and make the city a better place to live and work. Apartment buildings, bus stops and other prominent public spaces will be targeted.

Founder Emily Harris says, “If we present people with a seedling and the information they need to look after it, they`ll come to realise that growing food in the city is actually pretty easy, and enjoyable.

“We hope it will get people talking to their neighbours about the plants and thinking about what more they can grow.”

Information attached to the seedlings will invite recipients to go to Urban Pantry`s new website to find out how to care for them and interact with others who have found the seedlings.

Urban Pantry was formed in March this year with the aim of building urban communities around gardening by transforming under-utilised areas like rooftops, balconies and terraces into spaces where groups of urbanites can grow food together.

The organisation recently set up a demonstration vegetable garden on the roof of a building on High Street, in Auckland`s CBD, with funding from sponsor Steinlager Pure, through its “Pure Futures” campaign. A group of volunteers planted organic beetroot, lettuce and silver beet seedlings in large custom-built macrocarpa planter boxes. The produce will be donated to a good cause when it is harvested in a few weeks.

Harris says they`ve already had a lot of interest in rooftop gardens from other businesses and urban residents.

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