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WORKSHOP ON URBAN MICRO-FARMING AND HIV-AIDS Johannesburg Cape Town, South Africa 15-26 August 2005


By Wendy Crawford and Karen Jordi FALSE BAY HOSPITAL GARDEN PROJECT TEAM Cape Town, South Africa

July 2005

INTRODUCTION False Bay Hospital (FBH) in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, has allocated 2ha of the grounds as a gesture of social capital investment. The allocated ground is being developed as a Community Garden using the organic and sustainable approach of Permaculture methods. The aim is to create a sustainable and productive model of urban agriculture that can support poverty alleviation by addressing the issues of food insecurity, health and empowerment through skills development. A Non-Profit Organization is in the process of being established formally, to administer the project and the Project Team will be formally appointed when the NPO is registered. There are two core components to this project: The development of a Community Garden. A variety of edible flora will be grown including herbs, vegetables and fruit. During the development process, the first yield will support household food security for the gardeners and their families and the second yield will be purchased by the False Bay Hospital for use in the hospital kitchen. Over time the mature garden will become a commercially viable market garden supporting the hospital and local community. Total growing area of 5,400 m2 comprising 30 allotments (30m long x 10m wide) separated by hedges (approx. 1m) for windbreaks. Each allotment will have six beds (1m wide) separated by paths (0.5m wide). A no-dig method is used to build the beds upon the ground without disturbing the soil and compost and mulch are used to raise the beds. Two circular beds have been developed and planted with a selection of vegetables and herbs applying companion planting and succession to encourage bio-diversity and natural pest control. Average lifecycle per allotment is 90 -105 days. Recycled water from the hospital autoclave and rain water collected from the hospital roofs into a retention pond will be used in the garden for gravity fed drip irrigation. The organic matter in the soil is increased to build soil life and increase soil fertility, by production of compost on site using locally available/grown resources, earthworm composting of organic kitchen waste (hospital kitchen & neighbouring residents) and production of organic liquid fertilizer with ingredients grown in the garden. Also mulching is applied to keep the soil covered which prevents water evaporation and to enhance humus content and encourage micro-organisms. Multi-cultural groups will gather in the garden to share in learning, skillsdevelopment, capacity building and research. Trainee-gardeners will work in the garden under the supervision of the garden manager. A total of 20 gardeners (male & female) will participate in the production activities under the guidance of a Garden Manager. It is not possible at this stage to project the number of households/persons that will be indirectly involved (e.g. consumers of products, producers of inputs e.g. compost, etc.). The Dept. of Agriculture in the Western Cape (LandCare division) has supported infrastructure development by installing fencing and gates, and providing water tanks and pipes for recycling water from the hospital autoclave, the gravity fed drip irrigation system, tools and a wooden office/store. The development of a Training Programme, which will have an annual intake of 10 people running over two years. It will be a parallel process to the community garden empowering the gardeners by equipping them with skills and practical experience in urban gardening. When the gardeners leave the garden at the end

of the two year period they will be able to implement these skills in their communities. As they become more self-sufficient, they will be empowered to teach others to become self-reliant too. The training programme will be compliant with the South African Qualifications Association (SAQA). The process to develop the training programme will be managed by the Project Team and training will be offered by registered facilitators. The Garden Manager will supervise and monitor the practical implementation of the theoretical lessons. The 2-year training programme will be offered free of charge to the trainee-gardeners. Traineegardeners will work in the garden to gain practical experience. Second year trainee-gardeners will mentor first year trainee-gardeners

LESSONS LEARNT The success of the False Bay Hospital Community Garden project will depend largely on the ability: To attract additional funding to cover the costs of completion of the garden infrastructure, setting up the training programme and paying the project team To secure effective planning and management by the project team To obtain active community participation in the garden development and training programme and wider social development To develop adequate business models and marketing strategies/plans In order to replicate this model on a wider scale it is important to enhance: Awareness and commitment from government to tackles the issues of poverty and HIV/AIDS in South Africa Commitment and vision from civil society organizations A willingness from the Minister of Health to embrace the role that urban food production can play in HIV/AIDS mitigation programmes The mandatory inclusion of social objectives as per the King Report for businesses according to the new BEE Plan Enhance acceptance of the Urban Agricultural Policy for the Western Cape and its inclusion into the Integrated Development Plan of Cape Town