Grow­ing gar­dens, grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By LINDANI DONYELI

Thirty five Riebeeck East house­holds will be se­lected to re­ceive gov­ern­ment sup­port to grow sus­tain­able food gar­dens. Umthathi’s Xolani Moun­tain an­nounced this at a cer­tifi­cate awards cer­e­mony there last Fri­day for a group who had com­pleted a gar­den­ing course.

The aim of the course is to help the com­mu­nity grow food in ev­ery avail­able space – even in the small­est of back yards. The Umthathi Train­ing Project in Gra­ham­stown teaches the im­por­tance of or­ganic pro­duce and helps com­mu­ni­ties to grow their own.

The awards cer­e­mony took place at the Al­fred Dike Kota Hall in Riebeeck East and ward coun­cil­lor Ntombekaya Peters wel­comed the group.

“As black peo­ple, we want to make our own gar­dens,” Peters said. “We want to plant trees. We must work to­gether with Umthathi as the com­mu­nity so we can be able to pro­duce some­thing valu­able to the com­mu­nity.”

Moun­tain said, “It is very easy for us to as­sist when peo­ple are united.”

Umthathi works with a range of stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing health and ed­u­ca­tion.

“We part­ner the com­mu­nity with stake­hold­ers,” Moun­tain said. Their con­cern is healthy liv­ing, and it’s for this that they en­cour­age peo­ple to make food gar­dens in their yards, in­stead of plant­ing flow­ers and grass.

Thirty five house­holds would be se­lected for train­ing, Moun­tain ex­plained. “We are here to build food se­cu­rity,” he said. “Some­one sleeps with­out food – yet there is space in his yard.”

Moun­tain ex­plained the six pil­lars of healthy liv­ing: • Per­ma­cul­ture gar­den­ing • Nu­tri­tion • Hy­giene • Home based health care • In­come gen­er­a­tion • Cop­ing with cli­mate change

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