IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO SOW AND GROW
Lovedalia Tsewu from Gugulethu, near Cape Town, is a passionate planter who uses her love for the soil to assist others.
“I retired from domestic work in my early sixties, but I didn’t enjoy sitting around at home with nothing much to do and only a state pension to support me,” she says. “I had a hip replacement operation in 2013 and after that I knew I had to do something.”
Her answer was right on her doorstep – the transformation of a few beds of flowers into a vegetable garden. That way she could at least contribute towards feeding herself and her extended family.
“I had no idea about how to grow vegetables but I’d heard about this organisation that trains people to develop their own organic food gardens, Soil for Life. I got together a group of 15 people in my community and we did a three-week training course.”
That was four years ago and now her small patch of land has expanded. She not only feeds her family, she’s also set up a second veggie garden in a nearby educare centre that provides fresh, nutritious food for the kids there.
She’s helped by her eldest son, Raymond, and at certain times of the year they can also earn extra income by selling surplus vegetables to families in the community.
“This has changed my life,” she says. “I learnt to feed myself and my family, the kids in the educare centre, and to sell food to the community. I’ve also trained my son Raymond, so if I’m no longer able to continue developing the garden he’ll carry on.”