Garden Planting 2

To sup­ple­ment learn­ers’ meals with organ­ic veg­eta­bles, Flow Com­mu­ni­ca­tions in con­junc­tion with Maropeng, the offi­cial vis­i­tor cen­tre of the Cra­dle of Humankind, has plant­ed a food gar­den at Maloney’s Eye Pri­ma­ry School.

For many years Magel van de Ven­ter, Maropeng’s edu­ca­tion and mar­ket­ing exec­u­tive, has worked close­ly with Maloney’s Eye where over 300 chil­dren from pover­ty-strick­en back­grounds come to learn, despite fac­ing almost insur­mount­able social chal­lenges. The work they’ve done at the school up till now has ensured that the school has decent facil­i­ties, a ful­ly func­tion­al kitchen and jun­gle gyms to play on. This has also con­tributed to the growth of the school’s rep­u­ta­tion as a qual­i­ty learn­ing institution.

I’m a firm believ­er that if the kids assist with the plant­i­ng, they will take respon­si­bil­i­ty for the over­all food gar­den,” said Van de Ven­ter as she lined up trays of seedlings in pre-pre­pared beds at Maloney’s Eye School. So we asked the Grade 7s to help plant the 740 seedlings. We’ve got cab­bage, spinach, beet­root, onion and cau­li­flower – all win­ter sprouts,” she added.

Staff from Maropeng had ear­li­er made ready the ground, prepped the gar­den beds and enriched the soil with manure from Maropeng’s Bokashi process recy­cling system.

Recy­cled tyres act as retain­ing walls to the stepped veg­etable gar­den. The tyres will help retain water in the sum­mer and lim­it soil ero­sion in the windy winter.

Our aim is to enhance the nutri­tion­al val­ue of the one warm meal these learn­ers are guar­an­teed dai­ly,” she said. While the Depart­ment of Basic Education’s feed­ing pro­gramme includes maize meal and soya as sta­ples, these veg­eta­bles will boost the school’s menu with nutri­ent-rich meals for learners.”

Flow Com­mu­ni­ca­tions gen­er­ous­ly donat­ed the mon­ey to pur­chase the seeds, Maropeng staff also lent a hand with the plant­i­ng and even prin­ci­pal Ellen Mpho Sechot­lo got her hands dirty.

Flow book­keep­er, Nam Madok­we, says, To see the kids help plant the veg­eta­bles and how appre­cia­tive and keen they were, was amaz­ing to wit­ness. The veg­etable gar­den is such a good idea, and easy to imple­ment and sus­tain. And the kids were just wonderful.”

Flow writer, Kolosa Vuso, agrees. See­ing the ded­i­ca­tion on the eyes of the learn­ers was such an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence because we all walked out of the school know­ing that with the guid­ance of the prin­ci­pal Ellen and Van de Ven­ter, the seedlings will flour­ish to feed these learn­ers. I’m so grate­ful I got a chance to help the learn­ers plant. I can’t wait for the harvest!”