Nelly Bassily | February 18, 2008
Community gardens are a growing trend in all parts of the world. In both urban and rural areas, they can allow people with limited financial resources to take charge of their food security by growing nutritious foods. We were inspired by the commitment of the women from Fezeka community garden in Gugulethu township near Cape Town, South Africa, who ensure that their garden benefits their families, and their community at large.
A short video showing the abundance of Fezeka community garden is available here:
Hundreds of community gardens have been started in South Africa’s townships with the support of two NGOs – Abalimi Bezekhaya (http://www.abalimi.org.za/) and Soil for Life (http://www.soilforlife.co.za/). Abalimi Bezekhaya advocates what it calls “livelihood level” gardens, which provide food for the community and some income for the owners – noting that this kind of garden benefits the community more than regular commercial farming. Soil for Life, meanwhile, is encouraging more people to start home gardens because they eliminate the need for transportation to and from a field.
However, NGO support is not necessarily required to start this kind of project. The following DCFRN scripts provide examples of women who used their creativity and limited resources to make gardens that support their communities:
–Making Something with Nothing: The Rubbish Garden
–Container Gardens Provide Fresh Vegetables for City Dwellers
–A Mother Helps to Start a School Garden
You may wish to host a call-in show where listeners can share their experiences with any of the following:
-Communal gardening/farming to improve nutrition and food security. (What needs do they address? What resources did they use to get started?)
-Community kitchens or communally-owned food processing equipment.
-Community-led initiatives to provide food for people who cannot work, such as the elderly and people with HIV-related illnesses.