Garden feeds kids and community

2019-06-04 06:01
Mersedy Arendse tastes a beetroot straight from the ground. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Mersedy Arendse tastes a beetroot straight from the ground. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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Levana Primary School’s vegetable garden and outdoor classroom has successfully facilitated outdoor learning for the children and has been harvested, making delicious meals for many.

The school’s Eco Warriors, guided by Urban Harvest Edible Gardens, planted their school’s vegetable garden just seven weeks ago.

Last week Wednesday, Urban Harvest’s Ben Getz and his team returned to assist the young environmental warriors to harvest the many vegetables that they had grown.

Turnips, beetroots, spinach and more were excavated from the ground; with broccoli, cauliflower and a few other vegetables soon to be ready for picking. The vegetables as explained in People’s Post, (“The seeds of change”, 09 April) were used to make a meal for the learners.

“The feeding scheme at the school currently feeds 600 kids a day. So this will go directly to them; the first meal was made on Friday. It was pasta and spinach and then we had the big soup kitchen for the community on Monday,” said Etienne Basson, the environmental programme coordinator and facilitator for Earthchild Project in Lavender Hill.

The soup kitchen was another initiative, which saw parents of the learners and the residents in need of this kind of help, from the surrounding communities, visit the school and get a taste of the soup that was made from the school’s very own harvest.

Sybil Classen, or Aunty Sybil as she’s affectionately known, is responsible for preparing the meals for the children every day and also for the preparation of the soup kitchen. She has been with the school for many years and loves what she does for the children.

“I’ve been working here for 13 years. I love to work in the kitchen and I love to make food,” she said.

She makes breakfast and lunches for the learners. She explained: “It is hard work. At 06:30 we’re here and we start making a pot of porridge for them. The children get their porridge before they go into classes.”

Getz, who was only able to make the garden possible with the help of funding from The Real Thing supplement’s David Allen, offered some advice for preparing these fresh vegetables. His advice was to make use of the beetroot as well as its leaves in cooking, as both are packed with nutrients. “Prepare a meal with the beets and use the leaves to add body to a soup,” he recommended.

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