A Strandfontein man has found in his food garden both solace and a way to provide for his family during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Lindsay Court, from San Remo, is a civil engineer, but he found himself unemployed when his contract ended about two months before lockdown started.
Frustrated, he found peace planting herbs in his garden.
“I could come here and just shove my hands in the earth,” he said.
He had found it therapeutic doing something constructive and seeing the fruits of his labour, he said.
Then a friend advised him to attend a three month Soil For Life food-gardening programme in September.
Since then, he has gone on to win a local home-gardening competition and has harvested beetroot, potatoes, herbs, radishes, spinach, lettuce and onions from his garden, where he has prepared several plant beds, each the size of a door.
His garlic, beans, peas and broccoli are also coming along nicely, and Mr Court wants to start a flower garden too.
He said without support from Soil For Life, including soil, compost, manure, seeds, seedlings and weekly workshops, he would not have had a flourishing garden.
The Soil For Life programme gets participants to complete tasks at home after learning about fertilisers, crop rotation, seasonal planting, natural pesticides composting, sheet mulching, harvesting, seed saving and more.
“I would not have gotten so far, so fast without Soil For Life. The course was very insightful. I had a lot to learn,” he said.
Mr Court said had it not been for lockdown, he would not have been able to complete the course and discover a passion for gardening.
His wife, Jaide, said the garden had kept him sane while he had been without work.
Today, Wednesday November 18, Mr Court returns to work, but he hopes to start a community garden on the field across from his home within the next few weeks.