Gardening skills take root at school

2020-01-28 06:00
Learners from Constantia Primary School receive training from Ben Getz, director of Urban Harvest – Checkers Constantia’s garden partner at the school.

Learners from Constantia Primary School receive training from Ben Getz, director of Urban Harvest – Checkers Constantia’s garden partner at the school.

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The 150 learners from Constantia Primary School will, from this year on, have their school meals supplemented by vegetables from their own organic food garden, thanks to a fruitful partnership with a local retailer.

The garden at the school forms part of the Shoprite Group’s food garden programme which was first rolled out in 2015. To date, the programme supports more than 100 community gardens across South Africa.

Workers’ children growing up on the wine farms in the area make up the majority of learners at Constantia primary. The school is located a stone’s throw from the Constantia Emporium – home to the flagship Checkers which opened last year November.

The school’s new garden not only provides fresh vegetables but it is also the place where learners can practice the gardening skills they are taught at the Eco Club (formed after the establishment of the garden).

Alastair Adams, principal of Constantia Primary, says the garden is a wonderful addition to the school as an educational tool as well as a source of fresh produce for the learners and, eventually, the greater community.

“We’re very grateful for Checkers’ investment in our community. This illustrates that it is really a business that cares about the communities in which it trades,” Adams says.

Support provided at the school included the installation of a 10 000F water tank and an irrigation system, as well as garden training for 20 of the school’s parents.

It also entails training workshops over the course of a year and donations of plant material as well as gardening tools.

“As a food retailer, we believe we are best placed to bring sustainable hunger relief to the communities we serve,” says Lunga Schoeman, the Shoprite Group’s corporate social investment (CSI) manager.

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