Valley Food Gardens
Ons Kweek Kos Saam
Beyond Food Parcels:
Unlocking the Genadendal Valley’s Food-growing Resourcefulness
The Red Cross and supporting organisations are providing food parcels to vulnerable families in the Genadendal Valley in the Overberg Region of South Africa in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown. But this is an unsustainable solution to food insecurity. Once the pandemic grips the cities, resources and attention may largely go there, and as the economy takes many years to recover and food insecurity persists, we may have to fall back more and more on our own resources and resourcefulness in the four towns in our valley.
As part of the Red Cross Covid-19 Response, the Greyton Transition Town (GTT) has launched a food security initiative for Genadendal, Bereaville, Voorstekraal and Greyton, called the Valley Food Gardens, to boost vegetable production in our valley. It is led by Marshall Rinquest, the GTT Director, who has years of experience in supporting permaculture and community-based food gardens in schools and households.
Key aspects of the Initiative:
- Four community-based Hubs are being developed, one in each town in the Valley, based with existing successful growers;
- The Hubs will supply seedlings, compost/manure and support “packs” to members (households), including those receiving food parcels;
- The Ecolodge is the core Hub. It is already producing seedlings to kickstart the process. A local farmer is providing kraal manure;
- The Hubs will be developed over time, with training and coaching into sustainable businesses, based on permaculture principles;
- We are preparing a nutrition education campaign to promote leafy greens and other immune system boosting vegetables;
- Extra seedlings and compost/manure are being produced at the Ecolodge for sale to wealthier residents, to provide income to support the whole initiative;
- In the next phase we will also support local small farmers to boost their production, set up more local marketplaces and a veggie-box subscription service.
In this video, Marshall Rinquest shares about how Valley Food Gardens got started and how you can support it.
In this video, we can see Johan from the Bereaville Valley Food Garden preparing the land for the first batch of seedlings.
To download the Valley Food Gardens brochure click here
Home vegetable gardens increase people’s economic access to food, reduce family food bills, allow more spending on proteins, enable more diverse diets, boost their immune systems and potentially provide growers with a new source of income from the sale of surplus.
To see how you can get involved to help make this initiative a success, please visit the Greyton Transition Website, here: https://www.greytontransitiontown.org.za/valley-food-gardens.html
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