Any traveler knows that time spent on the road gives back more than you could ever hope to reciprocate, but we thought we'd a very least make a start. So since 2013 we set ourselves the goal of co-creating 2 community food gardens with local schools, clinics, or NGOs in each country we visit. So far we have achieved this goal in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya & Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, a bout of malaria while lost in the Congolese Rainforest meant that in the DRC we only got 1 garden planted. We made up for this by planting 3 gardens in South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
We provide the seed reels (through crowd-funding & saving), as well as educational material from Reel Gardening to ensure the community is equipped to deal with any issues that arise with the garden, know exactly when to harvest and very importantly how to save seeds for future harvests. The communities provide the land, basic tools, and volunteers to not only plant but maintain the garden long-term.
We connect with communities long before each trip and start building a relationship remotely. We also establish up front the exact size of the land they have available, whether it is shaded or not, how far it is from a water source, whether it is on a slope etc. We pass this information onto Reel Gardening who then designs specific gardens per location based on the geography, water availability, and even cultural relevance.
Reel Gardening equipped us with all sorts of permaculture knowledge before we started this project, but the most exciting aspect has been how much individual communities had to teach us and each other. For example, did you know Gorilla's hate tea? So to protect crops you simply need to plant a wall of tea around the other crops. Likewise, elephants hate chili and bees, so surrounding crops with either of these protects the crops. Connecting communities with similar issues but different approaches may just be the biggest contribution this project has to make.
Next up will be 3 gardens in Botswana in March 2017. Going to be in Botswana at the time and want to get involved? Know of any schools, clinics or NGOS that would be keen on co-creating a food garden with us? Get in touch, the more the merrier!
From herb gardens, mixed salad gardens, soup gardens & even summer and winter gardens, Reel Gardening has the perfect starter kit for you, no matter where you are. More...
A gallery per garden - 22 in total! More...
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