Random Harvest is growing, but community involvement is crucial
Heads together over future of Greening Initiative
The Mthimkhulu Initiative has been re-visited with a discussion between herself, KBRC chairperson Michael du Toit, Mthimkhulu Village manager Heleen Sliep and two trustees from the Grail Trust, said KBRC director Fiona Smit, whose portfolio is projects.
"They are re-strategizing for the utilization of the Mthimkhulu Village Centre", she said. “We requested closer collaboration and better defined partnership towards realising similar objectives. The representatives of the Grail Trust were enthusiastic and would take our ideas back to the Board.”
She added that there was mutual concern regarding the actual positioning of the new envisaged shopping complex that will occupy a large section of the Mthimkhulu Village premises.
Random Harvest is harvesting!
The Random Harvest Project is operational. There are two co-op members actively involved.
According to Fiona, the first harvest of broccoli, spinach and beetroot has been harvested and sold. "The spinach is re-growing and we are awaiting seedlings to re-populate the Mandala garden.
The first 10 seed trays have been sown and have germinated. Recycled concrete pipes are being prepared for planting of carrots and potatoes are being sprouted to be planted in recycled tyres."
She said the facilities were slowly but surely being developed, with the roof over the potting and storage areas already completed. “The potting and sol mixing areas have suitable flooring and the work counter has been covered.
"Two giant leaps have been the water connection and the tunnel. Two taps have been strategically positioned relative to the water tanks and the watering no longer needs to be done by watering can. The 12x4m growing tunnel is standing. The floor covering is being done and soon we will have seed trays being misted automatically."
The next phase would be the implementation of the nursery for local plants, she said.
Urgent need for community involvement and support!
"However, any development is in dire need of buy-in from the surrounding communities. Strategies for skill transfer and job creation, as well as education towards food security and appreciation of the MAB principles are some matters which need input from potential stakeholders and benefactors."
Captions from left to right, top to bottom:
- Early days.
- Early days.
- Early days.
- Hayley Collie (volunteer).
- Beetroot harvest for sale.
- Preparations for future compost.
- Tunnel standing and ready.
- KBRC chairperson Michael du Toit and Project director Fiona Smit with Overstrand representatives.
- Representatives from the Department of Agriculture with Fiona and cllr Fanie Krige.
Siphelele needs helping hands – open invitation to gardening enthusiasts!
Random Harvest Co-op member Siphelele (MD) Ntlekisa was appointed some months ago as a full-time employee to oversee the gardening project and perform the necessary administrative tasks related to it. Office space was awarded to him by the management of Mthimkhulu Village.
Although he is assisted on a fairly regular, but sporadic basis, by volunteer Hayley Collie and one or two fellow co-operative members, the project urgently needs more helping hands to ensure its success and sustainability.
Its aim is to benefit the surrounding communities in various ways. However for this to become a reality, and for the project to go from strength to strength, there is a dire need for assistance and involvement from the broader Kleinmond community in a variety of ways.
KBRC chairperson Michael du Toit has pledged his support for the project, as it substantiates in various ways the broad aim of a biosphere reserve to encourage and nurture sustainable development. He has thus far gone the extra mile to ensure that every possible effort is made to lay the table for a flourishing community food garden in all its facets.
However, there is a snag:
The handful of individuals who are currently involved, cannot pull it off on their own.
The Random Harvest Co-op therefore extends a friendly yet urgent invitation to as many local gardening enthusiasts and people with a heart for community interests as possible, to take hands with them and ensure that the project has a future.
Siphelele ('MD') 063 238 6979
Fiona 082 923 2376
Captions from left to right:
- Siphelele (MD) Ntlekisa.
- Siphelele Ntlekisa tending the Mandala garden.