Compost grows unity

2017-07-11 06:01
Jenny Wyeth and Douglas Metcalfe working on some of their compost beds.

Jenny Wyeth and Douglas Metcalfe working on some of their compost beds.

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The Friends of the Rosebank and Mowbray Greenbelt (Frog) are no longer just interested in cleaning the banks of the Liesbeek River. The group is uniting communities and growing into a ploughing project.

Members of this group started a compost project in 2015 and say it has been growing and attracting more members. They collect the excess leaf fall waste from the in the suburb, be it from their own gardens or from the trees lining the streets. They add used coffee grounds from local coffee shops to make fertile compost. They use pallets collected by members to build compost beds.

A senior member of the group, Jenny Wyeth, says: “We have put many loads of compost from our bins on these beds and they are flourishing with indigenous flowering plants and vegetables.

“It’s amazing how the community comes forward so willingly when we ask for things to be done.”

Group secretary Isabella Hayden adds: “The compost bins are just one of the ways the Frog use to get the community out there in the public open space. We are fortunate to have this green lung available, and it is visited not only by local residents but Capetonians from further afield. We have a plan to start a community vegetable garden on the bowling green.”

They run this gardening project along the tow path, next to Liesbeek River from the N2 to Belmont Bridge.

These members say for them it was important to take care of the banks as they realised that more regular use of the area would make it safer for everyone and people to get to know each other, leading to a tight-knit community. It will also likely prevent government from selling the land for economic reasons.

“If the space is used and appreciated, the City of Cape Town would find it more difficult to sell it off to developers for yet another shopping complex,” says Hayden.

Frog works with other organisations, such as the Friends of the Liesbeek, and the City’s parks department to keep the greenbelt in a good state.

“We are looking forward to having some good compost to use for the beds along the river in late spring,” she says.

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