Growing gardens, growing communities
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