Poverty Allevation Project
Project Name: Food Garden
Placement: Atteridgeville, City of Tshwane
Project Manager: Sebastian Goettel, Bennitto Motitswe
What is the Food Garden about?
The Food Garden belonged to the program of the organization called Zimisele, as part of the poverty alleviation. Due to a lack of capacity within people who could take care of it and keep it running, Letsema Centre took over and is about to develop a sustainable project out of it. Located on the area of a primary school and part of a donation, the food garden covers an area, big enough to plant vegetables to provide a certain amount of local people in Atterigdeville. Nevertheless, the Food Garden does not only exists to provide depend people with vegetables, it’s also about nutrition and empowering how to fight against poverty on your own as well, helping others by showing how to help yourself.
What tasks have to be done usually in the Food Garden?
Depending in what stage of planting you are, the tasks differ. To water every second day is one of the average tasks, to remove weeds as well. Plants are growing and need their space, so sometimes it’s necessary to transplant them. Depending on the soil and how fertile it is, fertilizer is one of the basics instruments to a successful harvest. But a nice small talk to the responsible caretakers and the principal at the school is also part of it, to keep the working environment and it’s working-climate comfortable.
What is planned for the future, what needs to be done next?
As soon as our plants are doing well, it is planned to extend the first field to a bigger one. More capacity brings more opportunities, more responsibility and more work. If we have more (local) volunteers (dynamics), we can extend the planting fields. We must think about, what we are going to do with our vegetables. Are we giving them to social organizations like Zimisele, which can add them to their food parcel program? Are we starting our own nutrition and poverty alleviation program? In which way we are integrating the school in our garden-project?
Why you are doing the Food Garden?
I'm very passionate about plants and our environment in general. One of the oldest and simplest things in life and our history is provide our own with food. A few hundred years ago, a life without your own small agriculture was unthinkable. Nowadays people are suffering because of poverty and it became and still becomes one of our biggest challenges in the globalized world. It’s about changes people’s mind and making them aware about their contributing they can do to the society and for themselves as independent individuals.
The new prepared planting field. (25.02.2010)
Something small is coming up. Beetroot, Cabbage and Lettuce. (15.03.2010)
When the vegetables are growing, the weeds grow as well.
The field after the weed removal and transplanting process. (08.04.2010)
The plants are strong and growing well. (16.04.2010)
The new generation of snowball seeds. (29.04.2010)
Everything is growing and our snowball needs to be transplanted.
The Second Food Garden
In Spring 2010 Letsema Centre started to support a second food garden project. It is placed in Mmatsela Early Learning Centre in Ga-Rankuwa (City of Tshwane).
All vegetables that are harvested in this garden are being used in the pre-school, as support of their food supply for the children.
The major challenge in this location is the strong sunshine, as there is only very few shadow available for the garden. At the moment the plants include cabbage, spinach, beetroot and green beans. In the future also carrots and onions will be planted in the garden.
The food garden in Ga-Rankuwa at different stages of development. (09 - 12/2010)