This season we have eased into a very postive cycle. Finally, 6 years later, we have volunteers who are happy to spend most of the day together in the garden. They are an all-woman team, they get on so well together and the garden is a hive of children and grandchildren who come assist. In addition, Food And Trees For Africa, who assist all sorts of food gardens throughout South Africa, have been sponsored to come and do the final leg of training and mentorship. Our garden is headed towards being a sustainable profitable business venture, with lots of vegetables being taken to the school kitchen to be cooked for the feeding scheme.
What challenges did or does your project face?
Its mid winter and black frost is the biggest fear now. We have had our fair share of leaking sewerage pipes, as well as water pipes. No one standing up in the position of leadership was a huge issue until a few months ago, but at last mentorship has arrived. Our gardeners have never been exposed to hawking, sales of the vegetalbes could have improved if they priced the veggies more realistically and actively went into the area to sell produce.
How are you working to overcome them?
Food and Trees for Africa are assisting, they are no stranger to rural mindsets. Our gardeners have come a long way and now accept vegetalbes and fruit that look differnt, this was very difficult for them a few years ago. Lots of encouragement and credit, relying on someone who speaks their langauge to communicate issues and resolve disagreements.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
Having people who get on with one another and who all work at the same pace enhances existing gardens. For the first time we have very hardworking people who dont hand over tasks, they each are eager to put in their share, this leads to many accomplishments and few harsh words exchanged.
We learned too that one mustnt give up, this garden is more than a garden to most; It is a place of refuge and peace.