Our Heartbeats helped to sow seeds for a sustainable future when they donated their leave days in 2020 towards a COVID-19 relief fund. Those seeds have now taken root and grown into three successful community vegetable gardens.
Bestmed joined Operation Hunger to establish community vegetable gardens in Ngobi Village (North West), Chirella Jane Furse (Limpopo) and Mgwangwa Village (KwaZulu-Natal) as part of a sustainable food security project that will directly benefit 250 people per area. The aim of the project is to generate food and income to improve the living conditions of underprivileged families, especially single-headed households, within the communities.
By April 2021, a wide variety of different crop species had been planted. Permaculture techniques, such as vertical gardens in pallets or bags were used for maximum production. Each project was supplied with seedlings or seeds, basic gardening equipment and fencing. The project also provided skills training and project management to key role players in each community to enhance success and sustainability.
There are 22 participants (5 adults and 17 children) in the Ngobi Village Garden project. A project site of 35m² was cleared and seedlings planted. The project was supplied with materials to elevate their JoJo Tank. The borehole was fixed, and a borehole pump and pressure pump supplied, making water available.
The Mgwangwa Village Garden project has 8 participants (7 elderly women and 1 elderly male). A site of about 40m² was cleared and planted. The project was supplied with a weed eater, besides fencing, seeds and basic gardening equipment.
The 30m² site of the Chirella Community Garden is tended to by 12 elderly women participants. The site was ploughed and planted, and is being watered from a nearby river, while they wait for their windmill to be mended to supply water to their two JoJo Tanks.
The gardens are growing successfully. Each project has been handed over to their respective communities, transferring ownership. Materials have been provided for the projects to continue. Harvesting and selling of the produce should commence shortly. Planting and monitoring of each project is ongoing.