food garden

Food Security Boost for Mitchell’s Plain Community

Event to Draw in New Gardeners – 31 August 2013

Going beyond the outdoor classroom, and into the community itself; ecological literacy organisation SEED is bringing hope and resilience to a growing group of Mitchell’s Plain households struggling with poverty and unemployment. The SEED Food Freedom Project teaches people how to grow their own food. SEED is inviting the community and the people of greater Cape Town to put the spotlight on home food gardens with a Food Freedom Activation Day from 9h30-13h30 on 31 August 2013 at the Rocklands Abundance Centre at the Rocklands Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain.

The Food Freedom Activation Day promises live music, live street murals, interactive learning stations that teach about container gardening, propagation and climate change and a chance for community members to sign up to join the project and start their own food gardens. It’s also an opportunity for would-be volunteers to sign up and assist SEED’s food revolution plan and for visitors to tour the centre. The Food Freedom project took root in 2012, when SEED set out to convert a group of homes in the Rocklands, Mitchell’s Plain neighbourhood into sustainable units – which included the implementation of sustainable food systems. Eleven homes are now operating thriving food security systems and two are set up as models of sustainable homes with grey water systems, orchard systems, rain tanks, trellising, solar panels and home food garden systems.

These original food gardeners have now formed the Rockland’s Committee, and will now, with thanks to further funding from Wesbank, work with SEED to bring sustainable food systems to 100 homes in the area. Says SEED Director, Leigh Brown, “SEED takes a long term view on food security. We know that early ecological education is key to unlocking the self-sufficiency of whole communities but we are at a point where food security is so threatened and our communities so despondent that there is an urgent need to escalate food systems into home gardens. We are answering to this need by creating human ecosystems; gardeners who can share with and assist a new group of food garden growers.” The Food Freedom programme also sees the launch of an alternative currency system (aptly named seeds). Rocklands committee members are paid in seed currency to support other homes with food gardens and to build the Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre nursery and compost capacity. Seeds are redeemed for cash as well as garden inputs. The program also mentors the gardeners with start-up workshops and ongoing training.

Follow SEED on and @SEED_Community on Twitter SEEDS Food Freedom Activation Day is open to all. To find out more about the event, please call 021 391 5316 SEED’S Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre was a winner in the Deustche Bank Urban Age Awards and has been shortlisted for inclusion in the World Design Capital 2014 programme.

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