First harvest in full swing at Chatty food garden

2020-01-15 06:01
The Chatty community garden recently produced its first harvest to aid needy residents. Pictured from left are Councillor Helga van Staaden, Irene August, Gloria Loggenberg and Sharlene Josephs. Photo: KAILIN DANIELS

The Chatty community garden recently produced its first harvest to aid needy residents. Pictured from left are Councillor Helga van Staaden, Irene August, Gloria Loggenberg and Sharlene Josephs. Photo: KAILIN DANIELS

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AS the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is facing a crippling drought and food prices increase, Ward 35 is reaping the benefits of having their own food garden.

The garden, which boasts a variety of vegetables, was established at the Chatty Community Hall in September last year and produced its first harvest to aid needy residents.

Ward 35 Councillor, Helga van Staaden, said the success of the vegetable garden growing at the community hall would benefit residents in her ward.

“I’ve always had ‘green fingers’ and wanted to get my hands dirty and do something in my ward.

“That is when the vegetable garden came to mind with the help of a few volunteers. When we started the gardening project last year, many volunteers, including Sharlene Josephs, offered to help,” Van Staaden said.

Although the garden is small, the volunteers utilise the space effectively, which has become a source of pride for the Chatty community since its inception.

With Nelson Mandela Bay declared as a drought disaster area, the volunteers decided to use the fresh water from water leaks in the ward for the garden. Josephs, who has years of knowledge in gardening, said this meaningful hobby meant food for disadvantaged residents.

Josephs said, “We have identified residents in the ward whom we know are currently struggling to make ends meet.

“The vegetables provided to these residents will help to put food on their tables and also aim at making them aware that there are other methods to provide food for your family. Along with food parcels, residents can look forward to the freshly- picked vegetables.”

Much to the delight of the volunteers, these vegetable gardens have been showing astonishing results.

Onions, spinach, beetroot, tomatoes, green beans, carrots and spinach are taking root.

The gardening enthusiast, Josephs, said the garden is proof that people can work wonders with plants, provided they are fully invested in them.

Van Staaden said that plans were in the pipeline to extend the garden, with a possibility of a greenhouse and for an awareness programme to be rolled out in her ward.

She added, “By providing residents with the vegetables, we also want them to have their own garden, which will always be a food source for them.”

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