Urban garden

2015-05-05 06:00

Connecting with nature is the main objective of a group of Pinelands residents who want to create an urban food garden.

This was revealed at the Pineland Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association meeting last week.

Prior to the meeting, interested residents along with ward councillor Brian Watkyns discussed creating an urban garden in Pinelands.

Watkyns says the meeting was attended by a City of Cape Town official and Pinelands residents who had expressed an interest in such a project.

They have earmarked the Howard Bowling Club as a suitable place to start their project.

However, Watkyns says Trevor Wright from the City’s Sports and Recreation Department outlined the needs of the City regarding the old Howard Centre Bowling Club, which is to provide staff training for 155 members.

Watkyns explained the department plans for the bowling club to include a plenary room, break-away rooms, a kitchen, showers, a braai area and a pool. “The centre will be built on the existing footprint and it should be ready by mid-2016,” he says, adding that two former bowling greens will be used for training.

However, the third bowling green would be available for an urban garden.

“It was agreed that the area required to grow vegetables is minimum – one bowling green and the small adjacent area can be used for family relaxation,” Watkyns says.

An area in the clubhouse will also be set aside to store garden equipment.

In the meantime, a steering committee was formed to take the project forward with their initial task being to formally become an organisation to negotiate and enter into a lease with the City, and draw up a business plan indicating the viability and sustainability of the project.

To encourage residents and to support the idea of the urban food garden, Sheryl Ozinsky from the Oranjezicht City Farm (OCF) delivered a presentation on how the OCF garden was established.

The OCF farm has been grown on the site of an old bowling club.

The Farmers Market is a neighbourhood non-profit farm project celebrating local food, culture and community through urban agriculture.

Ozinsky said the farm is not only about the fresh fruit and vegetables, but creates the opportunity to educate people about the food system, recycling, as well as a better understanding about living a healthy life.

“Through social media we are able to create awareness about the benefits and importance of increasing access to nutritious fresh vegetables for the community,” she said.

Ozinsky says they have created over 120 jobs in the last three years since the establishment of the garden.

“The garden has also helped to reduce crime in our community and united people,” she said. She encouraged Pinelands residents to come together and take on this project as a community as she believes “if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”.

“In order to be successful one needs to have passion, conviction, try things you would not try, don’t do it alone and remember you cannot please everyone when achieving your goals,” she added

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