George goes the garden route for food security
Covid-19 put paid to many awesome garden projects, but it has given new life to the city of George’s urban food gardens project undertaken as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)
Budget shortages put the project on the backburner, but councillor Dirk Wessels, portfolio councillor for finances and strategic services, said it was back on track due to the impact the pandemic had had on the community.
“These gardens can benefit the community greatly and we ask the community to take part and support the initiative,” he said.
With the help of local rugby hero, Zane Kirchner’s NGO, Bookz and Bootz, and other stakeholders, the project has been restarted to create sustainable food security for locals.
Wessels said the project would not be possible without the involvement of the Western Cape department of Agriculture and the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA), the Expanded Public Works Project and NGO’s like Bookz and Bootz.
Kirchner, a retired Springbok, who is back in George, started the NGO to provide opportunities for students. His wife, Tasneem, who is also involved in the NGO, said since the Covid-19 outbreak, they have decided to extend the span of the NGO and get involved in food security.
The EPWP department has made money available for the salaries of eight food garden coordinators, who will work in different Wards in the George Municipal area.
This will involve starting 10 new gardens in the different wards, according to Des Carolus from the Worker Collection Point, who will oversee the project.
He said gardeners will receive different seeds or seedlings during each planting season.
Practical and theoretical training has been done in partnership with the Skills Development Section of the Department of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
If you want to find out more, contact Carolus or Amy Kearns on 044 801 9173.