P1030790 One of our very hard working and passionate board members, Marilyn Scott has prepared a series of stories from her several visits to Keiskamma Trust in South Africa. This is our second story, we hope you enjoy! Please leave us comments below if you would like to know more about a certain area of Keiskamma’s work. The Keiskamma pilot garden began in 2007 and since then has provided training for community members in organic gardening techniques. Men and women in the community and surrounding areas are encouraged to start their own vegetable gardens through provision of seeds, seedlings and training. The pilot garden and nursery is located behind the treatment centre and is a precious and much loved area. It is fenced with thick bushes and wire to keep out the roaming cattle. Cattle aren’t the only concern. There is a constant battle with locusts, snails and other destructive creatures. As an organic garden, there is no use of pesticides or chemicals so the gardeners are constantly thinking of innovative ways to protect the growing plants. The last time I visited the pilot garden they were busily placing sections of chicken wire tight against the base of the small greenhouse to keep out rats. Who knew rats were fond of green beans and spinach?

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Through the training provided by Keiskamma Trust, over 80 Go-Gos (grandmothers) in six villages have embraced having a garden and have successfully harvested produce. They in turn are visiting other villages and inspiring and training other groups to grow vegetables. Vegetables are the mainstay of the gardening program and a large variety of them are now being grown. Although vegetable gardening can be done here year round, part of the training is learning which vegetables grow best in which season.   ~Marilyn


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