GRAAFF-REINET NEWS - With the rising cost of vegetables and fresh produce, Graaff-Reinet residents have started to plant their own. This phenomenon is especially gaining momentum among the retirees in Umasizakhe.
One such a resident is Margaret Fick. This self-employed resident of New Location has been providing her family of five with fresh produce, from her garden, for many years now.
She started her garden in the late 90s when she moved into her house in Umasizakhe. "With the devastating drought last year, I simply took out my grass and started planting more food," she explained. Fick's garden boasts onions, spinach, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes.
Fick has joined forces with another community gardener, retired nurse Thandeka Majoka. Majoka is an active community gardener, who hopes that, through gardening, they can teach good values to the youth.
In doing so, they hope to alleviate some of the social ills, like drugs and alcohol, that are plaguing their community. Majoka created the NPO Lilithalethu Food Gardening Project for this very reason.
"Start small and use old tires as planters," said Majoka, adding that it's easy to start growing your vegetables and you don't even need much space to do so.
Since June this year, Majoka has grown this community garden project to more than seven gardens, which in turn is providing fresh produce for over 30 people in five households. Ultimately, she would like this project to grow to such an extent that they can start a soup kitchen.
They would also like to create jobs in the community by selling the vegetables, and also provide a healthy meal for the elderly residents of Umasizakhe.
Anyone who wishes to make donations towards the project through seeds and gardening equipment, or to exchange gardening information, can contact Majoka on 072 442 1222.
The group also expresses their gratitude to the many who have donated until thus far.
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