A greener Mitchell’s Plain

Pictured, clockwise from left, are Schools Environmental Education and Development (SEED) course facilitator Lauren Dreyer, from New Woodlands; volunteer Fatima Kenny-Thomas, from New Lentegeur; director Leigh Brown, from Kenilworth; volunteer Marley Quinn, and facilitator Abona Magaba, from Samora Machel.

Mitchell’s Plain residents can learn to grow their own food in a free community permaculture bootcamp.

SEED (Schools Environmental Education and Development), based at Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre, at Rocklands Primary School, will be teaching participants about ecosystems, soils, water, energy, plant systems, the principles and practices of good design in their homes starting on Monday February 28.

The programme looks at how to grow food in a self-sufficient and sustainable way. It draws inspiration from nature to develop harmonious farming systems based on crop diversity, resilience, natural productivity, and sustainability.

Facilitator Lauren Dreyer, from New Woodlands, an alumni of Seed said the programme had changed her mindset. “We learnt about food security and experienced new ways of doing things.”

She said at first it was difficult to convince her family but once they had seen the difference it made to their pockets, health and well-being they supported her in saving kitchen waste, reducing the wasting of water and energy.

Ms Dreyer said they were able to plant and grow enough food, which could sustain them for a period of time.

“We learnt to grow everything locally and not be at the mercy of industrial food systems. It reduces the cost of getting food considerably. This includes packaging, transporting and spraying crops with insecticide,” she said.

SEED facilitator Stephanie Lambert tosses her home-grown salad ingredients.

Seed director, Leigh Brown, said they wanted to grow organic communities. “We want to plant one resilient suburb in Cape Town at a time, and we are starting in Mitchell’s Plain,” she said.

Ms Brown said the bootcamp was an essential starting point to co-exist with nature and live off the land.

It is a bridging course to another free resilience training course, which includes personal resilience, household resilience and job shadowing in April.

Applicants can register online www.seed.org.za and pay a commitment fee of R50 on attending the workshop at the Rocklands centre. It takes place Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4pm, and free vegetarian breakfasts and lunches will be served.

For more information, call Ms Brown on 082 335 4110 or email hello@seed.org.za or leigh@seed.org.za