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  • Writer's pictureHoedspruit Chamber Sakekamer

Mandela Day: Garden Project

A couple of months ago, HCS initiated a tourism initiative to work with our surrounding communities. The community garden project was born. Gardening for sustainable food production in a micro farming format was the way to go.

Garden Day Class Room
Classroom setup

Training in action
Left: Classroom set up for training. Above: Garden and Life training in action

On 18 July, HCS facilitated a community garden project, presented by the pioneering NGO, Garden and Life. Participants who could benefit from the Hoedspruit and neighboring communities were invited to attend the training which was a very successful contribution to celebrating Mandela Day.
Before you read all about our industrious workshop, we have to start off with the THANK YOUs. We couldn't have done this without the help of our wonderful sponsors and local businesses. A really big thank you to:
- JTI for sponsoring the training - without you, this would not have been possible. Thank you for attending Brian Mvelase & Michelle Matheson.
- Garden and Life team. Steven & team, thank you for coming all the way from Gauteng, assisting with getting sponsors and presenting the workshop with such enthusiasm and motivation. It meant the world to the participants who are amped up to put your methods into practice. We look forward to our continued relationship.
- Sakeliga for putting us in touch with such a wonderful organisation such as Garden and Life. Thank you Christo Bester.
- Lowveld Academy, for allowing us to use your premises and planting our first garden on the school grounds. We hope that it is the start of a sustainable vegetable garden for the school's benefit. Thank you Gert Rautenbach & Charl Auret.
- Kokkariba Guesthouse, for graciously offering accommodation to the Garden and Life team. Thank you Gert & Sunette Rautenbach.
- Spar, for sponsoring braai packs for the Garden and Life team's dinner. Thank you Anton Bredenkamp and Frans Kleynhans.
- Wimpy, for sponsoring breakfast to the Garden and Life team. Thank you Janus Roets.
- Dunlop, for sponsoring the used tyres in which participants can plant their vegetables. Thank you Dawie Botha.
- Hoed & Berg Guesthouse for sponsoring bed & breakfast to the Garden and Life team during the planning trip previously. Thank you Johan & Carien Hartzenberg.
- Sleepers for sponsoring dinner to the Garden and Life team during the planning trip previously. Thank you Maja Prinsloo.
- Marie Helm for setting up the initial discussions and making all the arrangements. Also for believing that what we put in as a community, we will reap as a country. You show the true spirit of Ubuntu!

The Garden Project method

This method of micro farming has proven successful all over the country in rural areas and the like, adopting this new method of food production.
Step 1 is to plant your seeds in used egg trays until the plants grow. This takes a couple of weeks. Step 2 is to line your used tyre with a black plastic back and filling it with fertile soil and compost. In the middle of the tyre, you insert a used plastic 2 litre bottle with holes and fill it with water to irrigate the soil from the inside. Evenly spaced you can plant the seedlings from your egg tray. Step 3 is to water regularly. Step 4 is harvesting and rotating with another type of seedling to control pests and disease.
This method has been captured on a very easy to use garden calendar with tips and step by step instructions. The tyre and plastic bottle ensures maximum "good bacteria" growth and water saving efficiency. Garden and Life has made a copy available for anyone that wants to start their micro farm. Request your copy from us if you are interested.
Micro farming is an excellent and fool proof project for schools, entrepreneurs, community organisations, clinics & churches to boost sustainable food production in your area.

Once again, Hoedspruit, its businesses and people have come together for yet another successful project. It is our hope that LA will be the first of many community gardens in our area. Who knows, our next project may be to crown the best crop or biggest beet.
The Hoedspruit Chamber/Sakekamer is dedicated to launching more projects for the good of our community. We cannot do it without the support from our members. That is why it is important to sign up and join our cause. If we can do this with limited support, imagine what we can do with ALL YOUR SUPPORT? Remember, our memberships are open to businesses and residents. Your membership can make all the difference.

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