George Executive Mayor Alderman Leon van Wyk visited Oom Jan Kiewiets at his vegetable garden in Conville as part of a mayoral tour of the municipal area’s community services projects. Oom Jan is one of nearly 700 participants in the municipality’s food garden project which was revived at the end of last year to help families put food on the table following the devastating socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.
The project is run by coordinators who identify possible gardeners in communities, oversee the establishment of backyard gardens, provide seeds and guide the process from soil preparation to harvest. The aim is that the gardens will become sustainable throughout the year according to the seasons and that gardeners will ultimately not only put food on the tables of their own families but also have extra to share, sell or barter with. Most gardens are currently yielding crops to feed 5 to 10 people.
Oom Jan told the mayor you needed ‘green fingers’ to make a food garden work and that he made his own compost. His neighbour is allowing him to grow food on his side of the fence in exchange for produce.
The municipality welcomes involvement and support from business, NGOs and individuals who can assist in the long-term sustainability of the project. Ongoing needs include seeds, compost, pesticides, gardening tools and rainwater tanks.
Food garden queries: Sophie Fanelo 044 802 2000