Food garden to help the elderly

2015-10-27 06:00
The food garden that was created to help senior citizens in the area supplement meals.

The food garden that was created to help senior citizens in the area supplement meals.

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A ward councillor has jumped to the idea of starting a food garden in her ward as she believes it’s full of opportunity for the community.

Bernadette le Roux, ward 55 councillor, says she was frustrated that a large piece of City-owned land became a dumping ground.

To use some of the land a children’s play park was established last year as the land was close to an early childhood development centre. The area still had more space and she envisaged a food garden.

When she was offered funding to establish the food garden in her ward she couldn’t resist it, that’s why she started the garden.

She created the garden specifically for the high number of senior citizens in her ward. Most of them depend on social grants, so it will help them supplement their meals.

People from different areas helped start the permaculture garden using a technique of ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

“There is a strong emphasis on care for the environment, care for people and fair sharing. It advocates for the examination of and following nature’s patterns, which includes biodiversity,” she says.

In the first phase trees were planted, including a nut, lemon, brown fig and pomegranate tree.

An assortment of vegetables was added, using companion planting – where vegetables planted compliment each other.

Le Roux’s wish is to establish more such gardens in other areas in her ward.

In her support of permaculture gardening she has done a presentation at a social development portfolio meeting with the intent that all councillors adopt this method of planting in their own communities.

The community will be assisted for three months to look after the garden.

To make sure it doesn’t wilt thereafter the community has formed a committee and they will have to maintain the plants and make the garden sustainable.

Some members of the community have completed two modules of a permaculture course.

The course covered soil, the nutrient cycle, compost worm farming, compost, raised beds, germination of seeds, healthy soil and companion planting.

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