Growing a self-sustainable community

Founder of Annie’s Cup vegetable garden Patricia O’Connor.

The Belgravia community will soon be able to benefit from a food garden in 7th Avenue called Annie’s Cup.

Residents, police officers and members of the local community police forum attended the launch of the non-profit organisation there on Sunday.

Annie’s Cup is the brainchild of Belgravia resident Patricia O’Connor, whose mother, Annie, was a keen gardener.

Ms O’Connor said her mother, who died almost 40 years ago, had loved planting vegetables. Ms O’Connor said she hoped the new garden would help that passion catch on in the community.

The provincial department of agriculture had sponsored the garden’s seedlings, netting and two water tanks and was due to provide tools, she said.

She has called on the community to support the garden and donate pots and pans for the Annie’s Cup feeding scheme, which started on Mandela Day. The organisation is also looking for a shipping container that can be used as an office or classroom.

“I hope to use this premises as a gardening workshop and for the community to benefit from it,” Ms O’Connor said. “Our main objective is to teach people how to grow vegetables so that they can become self-sustainable. We need to think about future food security. We look forward to collaborations which will change our community.”

Belgravia pastor Mark Lakay said Annie’s Cup was a very noble initiative that would bring hope to the community.

“This community has gone through many things. It is heart-warming to see such an initiative so that kids can see there is a future for them,” he said.

The team at Annie’s Cup vegetable garden. In front, from left, are Felicia Pick, Patricia O’Connor, Foziah Benjamin, and Mariam Edwards. Back: Haroon Edwards, and Samuel Pick.