Swellendam, 16 September 2023 — In a spirited celebration of the onset of spring, Enviro Solutions Centre, in collaboration with Unity Food Garden, recently organized a vibrant seed distribution event. This event marked a significant step towards bolstering local food security efforts across Swellendam, for the Swellendam Food Security Initiative reaching food growers across Swellendam from Barrydale to Montague with Railton food growing community at the centre of this event
Despite the windy weather, gardeners turned out, seizing the opportunity to socialize, exchange surplus vegetable harvests, and share invaluable planting wisdom. The event saw an impressive cross-section of the gardening community, from first-time enthusiasts to revered elder community members.
Leading up to the event, gardeners were encouraged to register their gardens and share stories about their gardens in preparation for the collection of their seeds. Project Coordinator, Steph, expressed her delight, saying, “The turnout exceeded my expectations. I had initially anticipated around 30 gardeners, which would have been a commendable success in itself. However, to witness nearly 100 keen gardeners in attendance is nothing short of extraordinary. It underscores the paramount importance of seeds in our ecosystem, and the critical need for low-income rural households to access them, a priority for both the young and the elderly.”
The day commenced with a meeting of the Unity Food Gardeners inviting keen gardeners to take a plot, setting the stage for the heart of the event: the distribution of 10 essential vegetable seeds. This pivotal phase was seamlessly followed by two enlightening planting demonstrations in Afrikaans, Shona, and English, led by local gardening champions, Francios and Douglas.
Mikal, Project Manager said, “Without the support of our funders, partners, and community, this event would not have been possible. We have received seed donations of seed from Starke Ayers, Kirstenhoff, and Lavender Haven. The Swellendam Environmental Forum also assisted by procuring biodegradable packaging for the seed distribution and a donation towards vegetable seeds.”
The event not only showcased the community’s dedication to sustainable agriculture but also highlighted the collective effort required to fortify food security in Swellendam. With a shared commitment to fostering self-sufficiency and environmental stewardship, the collaboration between Enviro Solutions Centre and Unity Food Garden stands as a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives.
About Enviro Solutions Centre: ESC is committed to empowering communities through a strengths-based approach, using the ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) framework to identify and build on existing community assets. This has allowed us to successfully implement sustainable solutions that are tailored to the unique needs and strengths of each community we work with.
About Unity Food Garden: Unity Food Garden is a community-based organization that promotes sustainable agriculture and food security through providing 100m² allotment plots to members of the public. As a member of the managing committee, Steph works collaboratively with volunteers, community members, and organizations to create a welcoming space for people to learn and connect with nature, while also growing fresh and nutritious produce.
Press Contact: Steph, Project Coordinator, Enviro Solutions Centre, Steph@envirosolutionscentre.com
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