Westridge gardeners doing it for themselves

Volunteers who work at a community garden in Westridge held an open day on Saturday.

Instead of wanting hands-outs, Westridge food gardeners say they want a hand up to bring food security and the spirit of entrepreneurship to their community.

Volunteers who work at the Dagbreek community garden held an open day at the garden, next to Dagbreek community hall, on Saturday July 2.

Shireen Pijoos, an original member of the Kronendal Block Gardening Group, who broke ground to prepare three plant beds in June 2020 (“Gardeners help each other flourish”, Plainsman July 22, 2020), said they had evolved and would continue to change to sustain the community garden.

The 208m² site now includes five long beds, six shorter beds, four small planter boxes and four double-size planters.

“We don’t just need those with green fingers, we need the cooks to prepare ‘by-products’ and make pickles and soup. Things people buy from the shop shelves, we can produce and sell,” she said. “We can generate an income. We can produce organic natural products from seed to table. We can help ourselves and mobilise the government. Show them this is what we can do to help ourselves.”

A pantry team cooks some of the vegetables from the garden to serve meals to the community at least once a month.

Ms Pijoos said the project was about imparting skills and sharing resources with each other.

“We invite neighbours to the garden and those from other areas to share in the tending to this community garden,“ she said.

Resident Sha’-meemah Mohamed-Rooza spoke about recycling and showed participants freshly harvested leeks from the garden.

Kronendal Block Watch chairman Wayne Fisher said: “We want everyone involved. We want to eat from the garden, enjoy the space and give dignity to the community, instead of holding out their hands for help.”

He said for the open day they sourced vegetables from other gardens to share pots of soup and potjiekos.

• A free five-week course on basic plumbing and entrepreneurship will be held at Dagbreek community hall, on Saturday July 9, from 9am to noon. Call Ms Pijoos at 082 624 4032 for more information.

Mark Goliath slices and dices, while Patrick Sables dishes up some soup.
Sha’-meemah Mohamed-Rooza speaks to, from left, Washiela Isaacs, Nuraan Isaacs, Emeraan Isaacs, Marteen Goliath and Patrick Sables.

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