Using some old potatoes, rotten tomatoes and collected pumpkin seeds, Babalwa Nkomo started growing her own veg which is now a successful business


Babalwa Nkomo is from Uitenhage and while she was looking for employment over the last 4 years, she started a vegetable garden in her backyard that she has now turned into a thriving business.

As a child, she spent many hours in the garden with her mother. During these formative years, she developed a love and knowledge base for gardening.

“Often my mother would return from work (as a domestic worker) and she would have some tomato seeds and would ask me to help.

“Eventually my love for gardening grew and when I was living on my own and unemployed, I decided to go back to what I loved doing,” 

“I could literally spend the whole day in my garden, it really makes me happy.”

She grows green peppers, carrots, spinach, beetroot, lettuce, onions and cauliflower now. However, it all started with a handful of butternut seeds. She had tossed them into the dirt and forgot about them until they started growing.

From there she started planting all kinds of seeds and her garden blossomed. Seeing what she had, she started selling the veggies to people in her community and soon she had a small-scale farm and thriving business in her backyard.

She faced challenges such as chickens eating her crops and neighbours asking for free vegetables instead of paying but thankfully her local SPAR agreed to take in some samples.

“My garden is not where I’d like it to be so if and when it grows, SPAR will be one of the first doors I’ll be knocking on.”

“Since starting this, I’ve never gone to bed hungry and if my daughters need something, I’m able to buy it for them and that makes me extremely happy,” 

“People must turn to gardening so they can be able to buy themselves food and toiletries.

“Instead of stressing about being unemployed, do something because I’m a living example that you can sustain yourself through gardening.”

She hopes her story will inspire others to start their own small-scale farms. Today it’s her garden but one day, it will be a small-holding. She dreams of her own farm but believes the land should only be given to those who really want to farm.

Sources: HeraldLIVE
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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