“It began in 2009 with a small raised bed on my tennis court, where very little grew, except for a deep need and knowing, that food security and sustainability is my purpose. From there I opened myself up to learning all I could from those around me that had more experience and teamed up with Jayson Fox and then Calvin Ncube. The tennis court was soon transformed into beds and this is where the experimenting and learning began on a deeper level. Plus, I attended many courses and workshops around the country. By 2011, there was an abundance of produce and food on the urban farm. The next logical step was to share the food, the knowledge and ability to ‘grow your own’ food. And the Foundation was born.”
The Foundation Clinic, a rehabilitation centre, has been reaping the rewards of Let It Grow’s knowledge and skills since 2012, with a well-maintained food garden that forms part of the therapeutic programme for their patients. The food is also enjoyed by the counselling team, all staff members, and patients.
Starting a Project
Each project is unique in that the space, sun positioning, soil and general environment dictate where we begin. Once the soil has been nursed to health and is alive and ready to produce, we use permaculture and agroecology principles to guide us in which seeds to plant together for companion planting. Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist and University of Tasmania Professor, created the permaculture principles in the 1970’s. He spent many years as a wildlife biologist observing how natural systems work.
The benefits to a community are food and the ability to grow your own food, using the permaculture method – which is sustainable. The soil is enriched and forms the foundation of any healthy urban farm or food garden. It addresses food security and social development, even unemployment. By connecting human beings back to their food source, the soil and planet, they reconnect and fulfill a basic need for purpose and acknowledgment. And, it raises awareness of the environment we create for ourselves and others.
We want to establish abundant food gardens that can be utilised in teaching the techniques and knowledge of how to ‘grow your own’, using permaculture methods. At the same time, we are driven to address the food security issues that are evident to too many people today and show (and teach) how even a small piece of land/soil can produce delicious and healthy food.