The Langbos food garden project aims to enable the people of Langbos crèche to permanently grow their own food in order to provide food for the between 30 and 60 young children attending crèche, many of whom are malnourished and HIV positive from destitute and alcohol and drug abused homes. A further aim of the project is to provide training for the community in how to grow their own food. In line with this the trees and plants that are planted in the existing garden can be used as ‘parent’ stock for cuttings and seed. In this way food production and micro business opportunities can arise in the greater Langbos community. A final intention of the garden is to provide an outdoor classroom for the children and community members for training.
Essentially 3 food production systems are to be implemented in Langbos, systems which can be freely replicated by the greater community. The first system is ‘ridges and ditches’ which produce annual vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower etc. The second system is the ‘chicken straw yard’ for some of the longer term annuals as well as the annuals that are to be planted in the ridges and ditches. In this system chickens are used to turn the earth and dig any waste plant matter into the ground as well as eliminate pests. This system is rotational with the chickens being in a set area for between 1 to 2 months. Once the chickens have finished and are removed from the area, seeds are sown and seedlings planted (beetroot, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage etc). The third system is a food forest in which fruit and nut trees, both deciduous and evergreen, are grown on the boundary. Combined in the food forest will be scented plants to distract pests as well plants that help with accumulating nutrients and improve fertility.
Permaculture South Africa
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