Growing bags of good food

2018-02-21 06:02

WHAT does one do when there are hungry mouths to feed, income and space are limited, and water is to be collected some distance away? Grow a food garden in a bag!

The unique concept of growing enough vegetables in a bag to feed a family was demonstrated by Mary James of Letcee, at Greytown Garden Club’s first meeting of 2018, which was held at Insingisi Indigenous Nursery last Tuesday morning.

Garden club president Jen Cowie told the Greytown Gazette that this simple yet highly efficient method of growing nutritious vegetables in a bag was developed by Mary’s elder son, Bruce, a horticulturalist, who researched the idea after a discussion focused on the needs of communities where many children attending the Letcee pre-school centres frequently went to bed hungry.

Bag “food gardens” have become an increasingly popular practice in many communities such as eMatimatolo, eShane, Ngome and Nzuze — wherever Letcee has an early education centre.

Mary shared some heartrending yet inspiring anecdotes of how this concept has turned people’s lives from hopeless, helpless apathy to empowered dignity and actively contributing to their communities.

The success of families growing a variety of produce such as spinach, beetroot, onions, peppers or chillies, cabbages, beans and herbs in and round soil-filled bag has had a hugely positive impact on many communities throughout the Umvoti district.

Children now arrive at school able to learn, having eaten a nourishing meal supplemented by home-grown vegetables.

After the meeting, while everyone enjoyed tea, tasty eats and a stroll around Keith and Jen Cowie’s large indigenous garden, enthusiastic guests bombarded Mary with many questions.

To meet the numerous requests from garden club members to extend this concept to a wider group, Letcee is offering a “Food Garden in a Bag” workshop on Thursday, March 8, at the Letcee premises in Voortrekker Street.

Further details will be made available. Mary can be contacted at 082 858 0819.

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