Mpophomeni Garden Inspiration
A group of aspiring gardeners living in Pietermaritzburg visited Mpophomeni Conservation Group (MCG) recently to see how they go about food gardening in the township. Ntombenhle Mtambo and Tutu Zuma showed them around the Sifisesihle School garden and discussed their work in the outdoor classroom under the tree. The group were interested in who benefits from the gardens and whether there is support from the community for what MCG are trying to teach. Samke said afterwards “You inspired me with the way you teach kids about gardening. I am going to teach others your song “keep the garden gate closed.” Then they visited three home gardens – starting with Mamsy Khumalo – they liked the idea that one should just plant veggies between the flowers as she has done because she has so little space. Nelisiwe Khumalo told them her story about losing her job because she had TB, realising she needed good food to get strong and started a new life of growing food. They were amazed at how much food one can produce in such a small area in Ntombenhle’s garden.
Ntombenhle said afterwards “I think Nelisiwe’s story gave them hope for new beginnings. Now we need to show them now how to cook their food so that it is healthy and how they can be vegetarians eating very tasty food.” N3TC are funding a series of food processing workshops for members of the MCG this year – particularly putting their SunStoves and Wonderbags to work.
“We had a great visit with a combination of women who haven’t done much gardening and some who know how to garden, but in central African conditions. This was good encouragement for the cassava garden they are starting in Bisley.” concluded Kendelle Fawcett, facilitator for Mennonite Ministries who work with refugees, micro-finance groups, and bring women from different communities together to promote peace.
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To book a garden tour or hire MCG to give advice in your garden call Tutu 083 730 8193 or Ntombenhle 071 916 2550