Community Food Gardens
- 3 Communities
- 245 Households
- 1060 Residents
- 3 Schools
- 530 learners
Poverty and food insecurity are linked to poor health and also severely affect the healthy development of children. Food insecurity may result in malnutrition which has long term physical and developmental effects.
LFAF runs Community Food Gardens in Suurbraak, Barrydale and Buffeljags River to help residents support themselves by growing their own vegetables and to develop skills to earn a living, thereby improving their quality of life.
The main objective of this project is to establish sustainable food gardens which may act as aids in addressing food insecurity in low income areas.
The food gardens project is monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that the desired outcomes are achieved.
During lockdown in 2020 we committed to assist 60 households and three schools in the Suurbraak, Mullersrus and Barrydale areas to participate in this much needed project. Guidance and support were required to motivate participants to begin to grow their own vegetables in well prepared soil to alleviate hunger. Suitable empty communal spaces have since also been identified and successful food gardens established. The Xairu agricultural group are managing these gardens and making them sustainable in order to sell a certain portion of vegetables at a lower price to the community.
The purpose of the programme:
- To guide and support local people in growing their own vegetables and developing sustainable food gardens in tiny areas.
- To provide education so that the ‘new’ gardeners can eventually harvest their own seeds and make their own compost.
- To provide hampers including seedlings/seed/compost during three growth cycles per year.
- To provide ongoing information on the ideal planting conditions as well as challenges with pests attacking plants.
- A long-term plan to monitor, mentor and assist the beneficiaries is in place.
- A coordinator organises compost and gives guidance
- New seedlings for follow-up cycles are donated only to the ‘gardeners’ who have proved that they are serious and committed.
- The community gardens in public spaces donate vegetables to the local Soup Kitchen– started during Covid by the Suurbraak Women’s Collective. This initiative was started when so many people could not work
- Sponsors of compost and topsoil are Swellendam Municipality/CAP, and private donors who also donate fertilizer and seed.
Outcome after the first two cycles:
Before the winter there were many of the schools’ crops that looked healthy and great. In the absence of the pupils during lock-down, we are grateful to the school caretakers for diligently watching and nurturing the crops. Everything they harvest goes towards the School’s feeding scheme. Any surplus is sold and the money is invested in improving the gardens.
We have since started competitions for the gardeners to win first prize for the best crop.
The project is a huge success and is doing us proud.
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