Thirteen students from the Stellenbosch Agroecology Academy visited the Sustainable Living Centre to learn various aspects of the options available to emerging farmers and communities on how to develop food gardens in small areas.
The course is run by the Sustainability Institute as part of a pilot training program supporting the unemployed in careers in sustainable food systems. This is achieved primarily through the provision of a national accredited skills development program in organic food enterprise. The initiative is supported by research and policy mainstreaming from Stellenbosch University. The training model developed by the partners over 3 years offers a low cost course which includes full board and onsite lodging at the Sustainability Institute.
How to propagate indigenous trees
During the visit the students were introduced to:
- Mushroom production – grown in alien timber and waste coffee
- Vertical and hanging gardens and how they cater for food production on very small plots.
- Aquaponics –which supplies both vegetables and fish
- Various forms of hot and cold compost making
- Worm farming and its value in agriculture
- Upcycling and recycling and the opportunities for entrepreneurs.
- Growing of medicinal and culinary herbs
The group expressed interest in further involvement at the Sustainable Living Centre and will be involved in the planting of the 12,000 indigenous trees presently being grown to restore river riparian zones. This is part of a larger project looking at water purification and remedial action to address pollution at source, rather than after it has contaminated the rivers.