Growing crops to feed the needy

A group of HanoverPark residents have embarked on a food sustainability project where they grow crops and donate it to underprivileged families in the area.

Founding member of the Hanover Park Agriculture and Greening Forum, Jeremy Martins, said the project was started two years ago as the group realised how many families could not afford food.

Twenty eight courts have been identified as having space to grow crops but so far only seven are being used.

Each court feeds 60 families. They enjoy fruit and vegetables such as apples, beetroot, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, green pepper and cabbage.

“We do this so that the lower income households can use their money for something other than food,” Mr Martins said.

The project is supported by the City of Cape Town’s urban agricultural and social development departments who provide them with seedlings.

Mr Martins said the aim now is to involve schools in the project. He has recently started the soil turning process at Ned Doman, Mountview, and Crystal high schools, as well as at Parkfields, Summit, and Voorspoed primary schools.

He said due to the current water crises he makes use of rain and borehole water for irrigation.

Some of the challenges, however, include the laborious work required to prepare the soil. Mr Martins said they need more young people to help.

“There needs to be an incentive for younger people to join,” he said.

The forum hopes the project becomes self-sustainable so they can purchase their own seedlings.

For more information call Mr Martins on 073 490 5752.