We met Alshaun at his place in Steenberg, a community in the Southern Suburbs where very often gang crime flares up, putting its residents at high risk. He welcomed us with a bright smile, thrilled to take Louise from Soil for Life around, showing her (and us) the new developments and additions to his home vegetable garden. He tells us, “I wasn’t really interested in gardening before, I started by chance. Then, the first seeds started growing and I noticed little things coming alive. Now when I eat, I think that my food comes from something that was once little; I am in love with vegetables and I always tell my kids to eat them.”
“Gardening helps me with being patient, I never stop trying to get the results I want. My garden is my joy and my safe place. I sometimes hear gun shots but I know I am safe here. It has become a meditative, spiritual and liberating experience”.
Alshaun took part in the Home Food Garden Program run by the Cape Town-based NGO Soil For Life (SFL). The organisation educates and trains people in organic food gardening, running hands-on practical training courses in impoverished communities so that families can grow their own healthy food all year around. SFL provides ongoing support and advice to the home food gardeners. Alshaun won the Home Gardener of the Year in 2014; he now makes his own compost, some of which is sold at SFL’s Resource Centre in Constantia, grows organic vegetables and he is planning to open a nursery too. He makes beautiful up-cycled pots and planter boxes, that can be purchased directly from him (email us if you would like to make contact).
SFL is running the fourth edition of the annual Eat for the Earth Campaign. During the month of June, anyone can register for a meal, receive tips for growing and preparing wholesome food, and host a meal where you and your friends can share delicious food, and donate resources to SFL. and trains people in
Host a fundraising meal, or get in touch with Soil For Life via their website.