Bo-Kaap food garden a shining beacon
Cape Town - Residents in Bo-Kaap are ensuring that nature is being prioritised amid urbanisation and have started food gardens.
The Bo-Kaap Community Garden is a project in progress in Leeuwen Street. The initiative started with the aim of residents producing their own organic vegetables and fruit.
The garden is also to educate the youth about the importance of sustainability, which is a behaviour that often starts at home.
Bo-Kaap Community Garden project manager Abieda Charles said: “Bo-Kaap has inherited a rich history of soil cultivation. It’s a well developed area. More and more people are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of self-sustainability in the food market industry.”
Charles said they are actively involved in getting the community together to plant by donating or selling the ingredients which make up the produce, such as the seedlings, soil and compost.
“Eating organic is an awareness that is globally encouraged, and the community is encouraging family, friends and neighbours to plant food. Getting the youth interested in planting food at grassroots level is also of great importance,” she said.
Charles said the garden has programmes where they teach the youth how to plant the seeds into seedling trays and to witness the germination process daily.
There are gardening programmes including the “See How it Grows” project and the “Art on the Garden Walls” project.
“We have a policy that anyone in need of veggies in the community may come and get some,” she said.
Charles said their mission is to also show their consideration for the earth and its natural resources, and particularly to care for each other.
There is currently a shortage of funds to employ a permanent gardener/labourer at the garden but the main aim is to continue with the programmes of educating the youth on self-sustainability and planting food.
There are few more new garden initiatives including Sustainable Bo-Kaap Garden, Aunty Zaakia’s Garden, Yusuf Samaai’s Garden and Yusuf Adams’ Garden.
The Bo-Kaap Community Garden is the first community food garden in Bo-Kaap.
The Department of Agriculture is assisting many home start-up gardens.