Farmers fight the green fight

2015-08-11 06:01
Apprentice farmer Bornwel Mwella shows off some of the organic micro greens grown by the Green Guerillas. 
PHOTO: 
nicole mccain

Apprentice farmer Bornwel Mwella shows off some of the organic micro greens grown by the Green Guerillas. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Growing food is everyone’s responsibility.

This is the message of Green Guerrillas, a group developing urban and guerrilla farming techniques on their Imhoff’s Gift plot.

They will be holding an open day on Saturday 15 August to teach the community about closed-loop farming and creative ways to grow food, even in small spaces.

“Our farm is an outdoor lab for urban agriculture. We practise growing food on a shoestring budget,” says Green Guerrillas founder Akim Riemer.

Green Guerrillas has run educational programmes at local schools, believing that education needs to change to bring children closer to nature.

“The best way to get kids to eat their broccoli is to have them grow it themselves,” says Riemer.

A large focus of the work on the plot is to produce nutrient-rich soil. As the bulk of the soil in the region is sandy, this is done by creating rich compost from organic waste and the help of pigs kept on the farm.

“We’re seeing a second green revolution where we’re going back to putting nutrients into the soil instead of using nitrate-based composts,” he says.

Green Guerrillas are looking to run courses on urban farming in the future and ultimately open a learning centre, Riemer says.

The open day will be used to invite the community to share ideas and knowledge on urban farming, while illustrating easy ideas for gardening in small premises.

“The luxury of doing nothing has passed. We need to inspire people to grow more and change perceptions,” he says.

The plot can be found at 44 Lochiel Road. Entry is R15, which includes a green smoothie.

For more information email Anki on anki@etadv.co.za

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