A new, large food garden has been installed at the Knysna Methodist Outreach soup kitchen, which provides 1500 meals a month to people in need.
Knysna, South Africa (21 July 2021) – Growing Upwards was created by a group of Knysna women who were moved to action through empathy for those who are struggling to eat nutritious meals on a daily basis. They worked to identify suitable leaders in the community who could be assisted and trained to establish and sustain a garden as a food source.
Working with donations from the local community, they hoped to establish these gardens in areas that had seen a decline in nutritional meals come breakfast and dinner time.
Since launching the project late last year, the organisation has played a role in providing community gardens in Knysna and the surrounds. They have worked on partnerships with businesses as well as the public to reach each great milestone.
The Rotary Club of Knysna and Knysna Methodist Outreach NPO have recently partnered to collaborate on a sustainable food security initiative based in Hornlee. NPO Growing Upwards has been appointed as a service provider, and on the 14th July 2021, the Growing Upwards Food Security team planted up a very large food garden at the Hornlee Methodist Church. This garden has been named “The Seed of Hope Garden”.
A soup kitchen located at the site serves over 1500 meals each month to vulnerable community members, and the garden will be of great help to provide nutritional vegetables to supplement these meals.
Knysna Rotary, Knysna Methodist Outreach and Growing Upwards share a common vision to:
- Facilitate the development of a sustainable food garden that provides good nutrition for the vulnerable.
- Promote community ownership and involvement in the garden.
- Identify and mentor project leaders from the community.
- Offer a training programme that includes entrepreneurship development to equip people with the necessary skills to start and sustain their own gardens, as well as to generate an income.
Key to the sustainability of the project is that Growing Upwards will provide a year of seasonal garden planting and aftercare, which will incorporate a training programme for fifteen members of the local Hornlee community. In order to promote self-sufficiency, Growing Upwards has developed a curriculum that focuses on both food gardening skills and entrepreneurial development.
Other Growing Upwards Projects
Growing Upwards has overhauled or established eight other local food gardens since September 2020. These are located at educare centres, soup kitchens and an orphanage.
Zandile Meneses, from Growing Upwards, explained that the organisation focuses on working directly with the Knysna community to raise funds and to ultimately get healthy food on the table.
“We believe in passing on the skill of gardening and entrepreneurial training to the community, so that projects can be sustainable. Our head gardener, Sue Torrance is a professional gardener and author of the well-loved gardening book, Take Root and Grow”.
Growing Upwards has a waiting list of potential food garden sites that require funding.