Gordon Aeschliman started a vegetable garden on his smallholding as a way to feed a local community who face unimaginable poverty.
Hout Bay, Western Cape – The Gracie Garden was started by Gordon and Michelle Reid as a way to give back to those in need. Gordon and Michelle live on a smallholding in Hout Bay, near the Imizamo Yethu community.
Imizamo Yethu was ravaged by fires in 2017; the community lost everything! The poverty scale in Imizamo is large and many do what they can to assist the community. This includes Gordon’s efforts.
“Gracie Garden exists to address extreme poverty in the shack community of Hout Bay where up to 15,000 people from 12 different nations live in one room tin structures too small to house a car. Too many residents have to regularly choose between basics such as bread and toilet paper.
Gracie Garden grows organic vegetables to donate to the very young and vulnerable and the elderly who are sick. We currently provide approximately 180,000 nutritious vegetarian meals per year to our precious neighbours.”
Gracie Garden was started four years ago when it became apparent there was a need for healthy food in the community. Many would ask for food, and after a while, Gordon realised he could do more by providing nutritious ingredients for wholesome meals.
Over time, they have become a substantial presence in the Hout Bay community as a whole, many making helpful donations towards the vegetable garden. Not only the financial kind but also donating soil enhancers and more. They have been blessed to be offered land from various people to use for gardens and now they are completing their fourth garden.
The garden sends its produce to various kitchens where meals are made to feed the community. In total, they support twelve community kitchens throughout the Western Cape.
“Gracie Love In A Bowl is able to thrive because of all the wonderful people who help: volunteers from the community and around the world help us plant and harvest; eight community kitchens prepare the meals; restaurants and breweries provide us with their organic waste and malt so that we can build our own soils; horse owners provide us straw and manure and so many lovely people provide us financial assistance, which of course we always need! We are pleased to say that with all this help each bowl of vegetarian stew is lovingly served at a cost of only R4 each.”
If you are in the area (or further flung) and would like to get involved, you can find out more from the information below.
“If you wish to volunteer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made directly at the link below. Thank you so much for joining us in this little mission of kindness.”