Dispatches from South Africa – Gardens

Peach Ratshana, our South Africa Liaison, gives us the latest update on the on-going work at the schools and how the gardens are progressing.

In the past few weeks Mama Leanette and I have been going from school to school to identify the challenges each school faces in starting a permaculture garden. We are seeing a lot of enthusiasm from many members on the school staff, as they understand the importance of having a garden to provide nutritious lunches for the students (for many of these children, school lunch is the heartiest meal they will eat all day). So we have great expectations that their efforts will yield bountiful gardens!

We also wanted to follow up on our Permaculture Workshop, held in early March, where we handed out seedlings to the school staff who had attended. These seedlings were then planted and many are now ready for harvesting.

These endeavors are not without challenges. Gardens require fencing, to prevent wandering goats and chickens from helping themselves to all the veggies. Schools also need gardening tools such as watering cans, spades, and hoes. In the first week of May we will be hosting a practical workshop as many of the schools struggled with pesticides and mulching.

I think the most crucial part in this program is communicating the importance of planting gardens to the staff at the schools. This helps in guiding the vision of the project.

We will all work in the spirit of uBuntu in order to see this happen as a team!