A food garden to feed multitudes

More than 100 volunteers sang and danced while planting trees during an event to start a food garden held in Strandfontein on Sunday 21 July.

The event was organised by Urban Harvest in partnership with Camp Joy.

Camp Joy is a structure within First Community Resource Centre, a non-profit company (NPC) that focuses on areas including rehabilitation and restoration as a guideline to quality of life, healthy living, and re-integration.

Also, present was the Art of Living Foundation which is a foundation that was the organic supplement into the event. They were funded to kickstart the project. Part of their mandate is to cultivate a sense of preserving nature and to also grow food that could feed the community. The event, inspired by Mandela Day saw over 100 volunteers planting more than 50 trees.

Urban Harvest is a social enterprise which has designed, installed and managed over 350 organic food gardens around Cape Town. Its mandate is to ensure that clients can harvest fresh, chemical-free food from beautiful and highly productive gardens at community projects and at their homes.

Ben Getz, founder of Urban Harvest, says the event was to help in starting a garden that would ultimately feed not only Camp Joy members but also people from soup kitchens and those in surrounding communities.

Some attendees were youth from Strandfontein, from Camp Joy, who are battling addiction or are on parole, and are looking to be placed in rehab programmes. “The installation of this organic garden will allow the youth to maintain their own garden, grow their food and learn about the environment and transform themselves,” Getz says.

Besides planting the trees and caring for nature the event sought to send a message that one reaps what they sow, Getz says.

“By working together, beautifying the environment and being of service to society we can transform our own lives,” he says.

He says trees are a good example of giving and love because they give people a lot and never ask for anything in return.

“Planting trees is a simple thing that everyone can do and it is a powerful way of giving back and paying forward into the future,” he says.

According to Getz, more future projects will benefit the community.

He added that the projects aim to instil a sense of responsibility and a real feeling of meaning in their everyday lives.