Garden grows hope in Cape Town city centre

(Cape Town) – Diners at Cape Town city centre restaurants could be eating fresh organic produce from a new inner-city vegetable garden in the coming months.

GOOD NEWS: Cape Town city centre’s garden of hope.

A 1 000m organic vegetable garden is due to be planted on land donated by Trafalgar High School on Coblestone Road, District Six.

The garden is an initiative of the Streetscapes project, which aims to help homeless Capetonians, and is part of the larger community-development organisation Khulisa Social Solutions.

Streetscapes manager Jesse Laitinen said the garden would provide jobs and income for 10 homeless people.

It would produce over 40 varieties of seasonal, organic vegetables. The produce would be sold to local restaurants and the public.

“A 100 percent of the money from the sale of the produce goes to stipends for the employees.”

It would take a few months for the garden to become productive.

This past Sunday, it was planted by 100 volunteers from The Renewal Institute, as part of its corporate social responsibility programme, as well as members of Streetscape.

The Renewal Institute is providing funds for equipment, pipes, plants and pay for the labourers.

Trafalgar High School principal Nadeem Hendricks said the garden would help build a sense of community solidarity.

“Schools belong to the community. What a pleasure it will be to have a garden here.”

He said pupils at Trafalgar High School would also have an opportunity to learn about the benefits of gardening.

Last week, a dozen members of Streetscapes were hard at work levelling the ground, removing rocks and preparing the soil.

Heinrich Kladie, 44, will be one of the 10 homeless people tending the garden.

During a break from preparing the soil for the planting of seeds, Kladie said the income and work from gardening would help him improve his life.

“Through this garden, I can help myself,” he said.

Ward councillor Brandon Golding said there were roughly 750 homeless people in the city centre.

The garden project was an example of how homeless people could become employed and, in time, get off the streets.

In addition to planting the garden, Trafalgar High School hosted a Dance-A-Thon and a community market.

This story was sourced from IOL