Growing sustainably allows students to help others
The Green buddies Water Explorer team from Siphakamile Combined Primary School show us how team work and permaculture principles provide food for all, forever.
“We have been growing it ourselves for 10 years” says teacher Gugu Nzimande, who is passionate about the environment and did a permaculture course a decade ago. She used the school as a food basket and a source of inspiration and training to other schools and people in their community. Permaculture principles ensure nature is respected and natural cycles of regeneration are adhered to. “We produce all our own compost and fertilizers and never need to use insecticides as we have such a diverse food garden, which ensures no insect can become a dominant pest.”
Our Water Explorer team, the Eco-buddies derive so much pleasure from the garden too, and are happy to spend our afternoons mulching, weeding and planting. We always have an abundance of butternut, mealies, spinach, cabbages, pumpkins, kale, bananas and other vegetables, as well as lots of lovely herbs. We use mulching to save water and divert all natural run-off from the school taps to our garden. We also collect grey water during the dry months to keep our garden going. Many of us now have our own gardens at home, we love growing it ourselves – it’s cheaper, healthier and saves lots of water too! We are able to assist our needy learners and give food parcels to those in the community who helped us. Permaculture is the way to go if you want sustainable, healthy and water saving produce and shows that SDG 2 of Zero Hunger, is actually possible.
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