PERMACULTURE PROJECTS – WESSA Eden networking
WESSA Eden has long looked for projects where we can assist in the various communities of George, without success… but suddenly we are overwhelmed!
Our “Veggie heads” Chris Godfrey, Monica Vaccaro & Aneri Vlok (whoops, now Aneri Roos !!!) are heavily involved in a number of projects. Through networking with those individuals and organisations mentioned below as well as individuals, eg. Michelle Schubert, Andrew Mugford (Permaculture South Africa) and Dayne de Wet (Gardenroute Botanical Garden), big things are happening.
Our local Press in particular the George Herald is reporting weekly on these projects – thanks for your support
Here is Chris’ latest report (primarily for our Committee) which we want to share with you:-
“Outcomes and targets; These are WAAAAAY beyond expectation!!! Gobsmacking in fact. During my visit to the George Show (ostensibly to hand out anti-GMO pamphlets!) I met Mr Anthonie du Toit who was promoting NMMU’s Sustainable Agriculture course. We got talking, then emailing, then I solicited an invitation for the Kos & Fynbos group to visit campus to see THEIR permaculture garden and garner some tips from the experts. Wow……!!!! Aneri can fill you in on the 2nd meeting on campus, when the brainstorming about the competition led to the Prof slapping his hand down on the table with an offer of R5000 for prizes. And now Carli Bunding Venter, the George/Eden Municipality’s Local Economic Development officer, has asked if we will incorporate her Touwsranten project; and Willem Burger the leader of the FSD (Farmer Support Division) division of the Proefplaas (Research Farm) has also asked to come aboard with his team; and the Pacaltsdorp Community have asked if they can become Phase 2 of the competition!”
PACALTSDORP HIGH SCHOOL
This garden has become a sore point due to “politics” as well as resultant wanton neglect. Despite the lack of watering, the plants HAVE survived – due to the appropriate use of on-site topographical features and the building of well constructed swales, (see photo taken May 2013), which retained and slowly dispersed the little rain that fell during November and December. Monica is engaged in the upcoming joint-venture and planned events.
Their January Board Meeting was postponed and will only happen this coming Thursday (30th), so nothing has happened on site yet. The layout was designed many months ago, but I understand the cost structures have had to be updated. I think Finance may be an issue despite the fact that the garden is designed to be implemented in different phases. Maybe we could get a group together and “be the labour” that sets it out and thus each benefit somewhat by getting initial concept and basic skills? There is a movement afoot to offer NGO’s a special rate for short-course-training, and I think this could possibly be started at Phambili. The requirement for the NGO course is that the DIRECTOR as well as a staff member will participate….the logic being that the Directors will ensure the effective continuation of any gardens built should the trained staff member leave the organisation.
CANSA / RfR (Reach for Recovery)
This garden was finally done last Wednesday…..the hottest day of the year!!! Many thanks to Michelle for her design and organisation, to the Botanical gardens for compost and grass clippings for mulch.
Thanks also to Genesis Seedlings for their kind donation of a full tray of a variety of 200 seedlings. Minette, (the Regional Manager of Cansa – as per above NGO planning) has taken responsibility for daily early morning watering. Minette had invited about 20 Cansa Volunteer Visitors/Carers to come to the event, and it is hoped they will spread the outreach and encourage their patients and friends to adopt the “no-dig” method and get going with some DIY, and thus improve their own health and also that of their families.
Both Alida from George Herald, (who donated 2 end-rolls of newsprint for use in the garden), and Rowena from Eden Express, spent time with the group and will write it up soon.
(The Irma Bruschi Interim House was recently proclaimed the best CANSA facility of its kind in RSA. Tragically – or perhaps happily – but certainly co-incidentally, the garden was planted within hours of Irma passing away. She will be gratefully remembered leaving such a legacy to others in need. Our sincerest condolences to the family. CRS)
KOS EN FYNBOS
OH MY WORD and WOWOWOW……..!!!! This has surely grabbed the community imaginations and is just going SO well! We visited 14 homes of locals who had entered the competition (amongst the 56 entrants whom Eve Stoffels has enthused), and as well as being the official photographer and interviewer we learned a LOT about ‘tricks-of-the-trade’ and persistence, persistence, persistence.
Some of the families have very little space for gardening, the soil is pretty bad and water is limited, unless there is a deluge!, and generally has to be carried around. Many of the participants have alternative but informal occupations, such as seamstressing, carpentry, building, etc. Work is hard to come by, but most feed themselves and their extended families AND neighbours from their gardens.
Entries close on 31 January, judging is 22 and 23 February, and prize-giving is scheduled for 8 March.