Bold Women
Photo Credit: Supplied

Claire Blackenberg’s ‘Garden in a Box’ has helped millions of people take charge of their own food security. So, it’s no wonder that she won this Bold Woman of the Year Award!


Johannesburg, South Africa (04 August, 2023) — Claire Blackenberg has won the 2023 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman of the Year Award, and with the impact she’s had on food security in South Africa, we’re far from surprised!

The 2023 Bold Woman Awards honoured many leaders across industries recently, including women like Zama Ngcobo (the Bold Future Award Winner) who are paying it forward for young, black female lawyers through grassroots action.

So, what makes Claire so bold?

Why Claire Blackenberg is a Force to Be Reckoned with in Food Security

Food security is largely about access and giving people the tools to meet their needs as well as that of their communities. Where one reality in South Africa sees groceries as incredibly costly for the majority, another reality ponders a SA where people could grow their own food easily. Claire’s idea is on the side of the latter.

Claire is the founder and CEO of Reel Gardening; the social enterprise that’s solution to food security is as simple as it is brilliant.

Claire’s business journey began when she was 16 and tried to grow vegetables to sell to her parents. She found the entire exercise expensive, confusing, overwhelming, and she was ultimately unsuccessful. Through this experience, she realised the need for an easy solution to grow vegetables correctly.

During her Architecture degree, she designed housing that needed a simple food security solution. It was then that she created the ‘Garden in a Box’, a concept designed to feed a family of four. It encased seeds and nutrients in colour-coded paper tape at the correct distance below the soil, making planting and growing food simple and affordable to maintain.

However, this idea didn’t stay in the archives of her studies; instead becoming the beginning of Reel Gardening.

Her idea has come so far since 2009 that it’s even a patented concept. More than that, it’s a sure force to be reckoned with when it comes to food security solutions and social upliftment.

Designed to be handmade by previously unemployed mothers, Reel Gardening has a hugely positive impact from creation to use.

Beyond this, Reel Gardening’s sister non-profit Reel Life focuses on donating Reel Gardening products to its workforce and communities so that everyone can start their own veggie garden.

To date, they have positively impacted over 2 million people, reached 3400 schools and reached over 48000 households.

Sources: Supplied; Reel Gardening 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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