Becoming more sustainable is key to the future of our planet. We need to rethink the way we are doing things. One community in Cape Town has taken a step forward, in producing its own organic fruit and vegetables.
Globally, the importance of sustainability in food production is being raised. People are becoming more aware of the need to eat produce which is organic, has fewer chemicals, and does not have a huge carbon footprint in terms of its packaging and transportation (from farm to table).
We should not need to rely on fruit and vegetables which have been grown en masse, and transported from miles away, to our cities. Fresh produce can be sustainably grown and sourced on our doorstep, in order to contribute towards a healthier planet, and our own health.
INVOLVING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Bo-Kaap Community Garden leader Abieda Charles stated that the Bo-Kaap community is actively involved in a sustainable food garden project.
Some members of the community donate seeds, seedlings, soils and compost which are needed for the project. Other members contribute by planting, harvesting and selling the produce.
The Bo-Kaap Community Garden sells its produce within the community but there is a policy of giving free fruit and vegetables to anyone in the community, who is in need.
PROVIDING EDUCATION PROGRAMMES FOR THE COMMUNITY
Growing organic fruit and vegetables is becoming increasingly important, for the health of the soil, the quality of the produce and for our own health. The project leaders aim to raise awareness in the community, of the need for organic food and sustainable farming practices.
One of the primary aims of the project is to educate people in how to grow their own food. The Bo-Kaap project leader said that the community garden runs programmes that educate the youth.
The youth can learn how to plant seeds and they can observe the germination process. There are programmes such as the "See how it grows" and "Art on the Garden Walls" projects, which raise awareness and inform the youth about cultivation.
HOPE IN THE FACE OF TOUGH TIMES
The Western Cape is one of South Africa's prime tourist spots. Several people have lost jobs and their source of income as a result of the economic conditions caused by the national lockdown.
The Bo-Kaap Community Garden does not generate sufficient income to pay people for their labour, or to employ full-time staff. It does, however, aim to educate people on sustainable farming and food production.
The community garden project has been able to help needy members of the community by providing fresh organic fruit and vegetables.