Conscientious urbanites have found a clean way to get their fingers dirty: organic food gardens. For 13 years, Pat Featherstone and her colleagues have channelled their concern for the environment into Cape Town-based NGO Soil for Life, which teaches township families to improve their nutrition through low-cost home gardens, at the same time recycling freely available materials, and generating an income.
‘Our dedicated team is training more and more people to create green, growing spaces in otherwise unfriendly and often dangerous areas. We see the communities where we work becoming greener, one food garden at a time. A recently trained young woman and four colleagues, who assist at a care facility in Mfuleni, set up organic food gardens in spaces around the centre. Our platinum Impumelelo Award for Social Innovation, recognising the work that we perform in terms of social upliftment and environmental care, is something we’re very proud of. With life becoming fast paced, instant and money-based, we rely on supermarkets for the food we need. Once you start to grow your own, you begin to think about food differently. All soil can be made perfect for vegetables and other plants. If you incorporate lots of organic matter by using the trench-bed method, you will have the right nutrients for your produce.’
To sign up for an organic foodgrowing course, visit soilforlife.co.za.
This article was originally featured in the Sustainablity supplement in the October 2013 issue of House and Leisure.