Rocket boost for organic plant firm

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A Cornish online and mail-order organic plant business was this week named the UK’s most exceptional business contributing to social and environmental impacts.

Mike Kitchen, who launched Rocket Gardens in 2006, was named as the UK’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, funded by the Citi Foundation. Alongside the recognition, he will take home a £7.5k cash prize for the business.

Helston-based Rocket Gardens sells more than one million organic plants per year and has created a plant growing and mail order packaging system which is 100% plastic free – the first UK mail order edible plant supplier to have done so.

Over the past 13 years, it has developed from a two-acre smallholding into a 125-acre purpose-built growing facility with 22 modern poly tunnels setup with rainwater harvesting systems, automated ventilation and irrigation.

Kitchen said: “I’m over the moon. It’s a privilege to have been recognised in the awards and the timing is absolutely perfect: the prize enables me to invest in a new seed line, helping even more people to enjoy the taste, health and environmental benefits of growing organic vegetables and fruit at home.”