Thandi Radebe from the Pellsrus community, is one of the local community members in the Jeffreys Bay area to have received a vegetable planter box, together with spinach seedlings, compost and training to become proficient in natural sustainable vegetable farming.
“I found the training to be a real eye-opener and I am working to become confident in the special techniques demonstrated to us, which means that I’ll soon have the means to grow organic veggies for my family,” said Thandi Radebe, one the beneficiaries.
This Veggies- in-a-Box programme provides valuable skills, training and expertise to the parents of families and to community members, to equip and inspire them with the knowledge, skills and experience to grow healthy vegetables on any portion of land with minimal input materials and only utilising available local materials.
Earlier this month, the first beneficiaries of this programme gathered at the Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic (HMBC) in Jeffreys Bay, to meet with a trainer and start the process of learning how to grow their own sustainable veggie gardens.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is providing funding for 200 veggie planter boxes and training is provided in four locations around Jeffreys Bay, namely The Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic; Noah’s Ark Crèche, in Pellsrus; Kings College, in Oceanview; and Wave Point Church, in Jeffreys Bay.
The planter boxes will stay at the individual training venues for a duration of six months where the planter box ‘owner’ is be required to look after their box. Each training site has a trainer who is there to assist the owners, give advice and help if they have questions or need help with their veggies. After this initial period, the owners take their boxes home.
“We hope to extend this programme to incorporate a second phase, which will allow for the people who have looked after their vegetables well to get their box moved to their house and then receive a second box with beetroot and spring onion seedlings,” explained Hlengiwe Radebe, Director of Economic Development for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who funds this as part of their socio-economic development programme.
Another direct participant of this programme is the Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic (HMBC), who received six boxes for training purposes and also to provide fresh veggies to Mothers visiting the clinic. Forty staff members and clinic clients have already received training. “It is absolutely awesome that people are taught the principles of farming, being good stewards of what you receive and learning to produce for your own house,” said Lynette van Onselen, Director of HMBC.