Some of the gardeners receive practical training at the George Municipal Workers’ Collection Point Training facility. Picture: Supplied
Some of the gardeners receive practical training at the George Municipal Workers’ Collection Point Training facility. Picture: Supplied

George goes the garden route for food security

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 10, 2020

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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.

In front are Cydwill Mtuze and Leroy Muller. In the second row are, Angelique Masouw, Christelene Solomons and Mandine Boesak. In the third row are, Anadin Bans, Sandra Joubert, Angelena Pato and Mary-Anne Witbooi. At the back are Cllr Dirk Wessels, Petrus Moller, Pumza Mabuto, Zane Kirchner, Amy Kleynhans, Andrew Fluks, Owen Filies and Des Carolus. Picture: Supplied

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.

Busy with theoretical training at the Rosemoor Civic Centre are in front from left, Marily Seconds, Belinda Matthysen, Cheryl Bantom, Zenobia Appolis and Dominic Hendricks. At the back are Mary van Wyk, Caro Louw, Cllr Dirk Wessels, Linda Prins, Zane Kirchner, Sylvia Mayekiso, Jennifer Taai, Petrus Moller, Ricardo Kleynhans, facilitator of the Department of Agriculture and Des Carolus. Picture: Supplied

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.

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