Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Farewell, Friends!

We say 'Farewell' to volunteers Robbie, Gareth and Toni, whose 3 months in SA came to an end.  They hail from the UK and came here to share street soccer skills with our community children.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Summer garden

Food garden at the beginning of summer.

This is what happens to lettuce plants in the heat, and if left too long!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Food Garden update: November

It's incredible what happens to the plant-world in Spring.
One minute, the plant has just appeared above the ground, and the next minute they have these stunning flowers on them, with baby marrows literally growing by the minute straight afterwards!

Through freecycle we were able to get some bamboo sticks for tomato trellises.  Our aim is to have a trellis on the western end of each bed, to give some afternoon shade in the hot summer days ahead.  We were taught by Soil for Life to design the beds from east to west, in keeping with the path of the sun.  The smallest plants on the eastern end, and tallest on the west.

Marcus, a student in Cape Town, has volunteered to help us in the garden twice a week!  This is a tremendous blessing to us.  Now that the weather is becoming warmer, everything seems to speed up in the garden, and there's always so much more to do than what we have time for.  Every extra pair of hands helps! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Volunteers arrive from abroad

Gareth is one of 3 volunteers from the UK who will be with us for the next 3 months.  They were sent to us by 'Coaching For Hope' and will be spending afternoons with the children, teaching soccer skills.

Rayner (2nd from right) is a medical student from Canada.  She and Trevor Busby are running a Holiday program for the children this week during the school term holiday.

We are so thankful to these kind-hearted people!

Picture Perfect!

Couldn't resist taking this pic on my way to the celebrations on Saturday.  The colours all around the garden are breath-taking!

Garden Birthday

Just in time, the fence around the Court was finished the day before the Birthday.

Residents, children and a few UK volunteers gathered to listen to the speeches, on an overcast and windy day - Saturday, 1 October.

Mr. Morkel, ex-Councillor for our area and recently retired, still took the time to pay us a visit.

Thanks to the Committee and a few caring residents, there was enough...

... to feed all the hungry little mouths!

The highlight for the children was the games afterwards. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Circle's 3rd Birthday this Saturday!

We'll be celebrating the Garden's birthday this coming Saturday, 1 October from 10am until 1pm with music, games and food!  All welcome, bring a platter to share if you can.

New fence for court

New 3m length poles were cemented into the ground around the centre Court this past week.  The idea is to surround the Court with extra-strong net to stop soccer balls being kicked into the garden and destroying the plants. We thank Mr. Petersen, who patiently housed the poles in his garage at home since December 2010!  Dinesh Isaacs, our new Project Manager in the City Council, who managed to get the job done and Basil, the Foreman who came personally to see that it was done properly!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September Food Garden update

We've been busy preparing trellises for tomatoes and beans.

 Laid a 'firewall' of eggshells to try and stop snails from entering the food garden from the big garden outside.
 During the winter months, there seems to be nothing to harvest, and suddenly everything starts to bloom in spring.  There's lots of spinach, lettuce, onions, leeks, parsley and we're waiting for 'spitzkop' cabbages to form heads.  We're giving them one more month.  If nothing, then out they go to make room for the peppers and chillies.  We need lots of old stockings to stake the tomatoes, so please send us some if you have :-)  Thanks!

Spring is here!!!

 We were so happy this week to see all the flowers blooming around the Circle.  After the Spring rains, it can only get better!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soccer stars

In the centre of our community garden is the tarred court, which is most often used as a soccer pitch.

Most afternoons you will find school-aged kids having a game, but after 5 is the 'big boys' time. These are the young men of the community who come to play after working hours, sometimes until late at night, especially during summer when it stays light until almost 9pm!

Part of the vision for the community garden is that the court could help the young people, possibly by learning new games and skills along with good team spirit and self-discipline.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Winter garden

We've been having amazing weather all through July and August, when it should be raining and cold! It feels more like Spring and the poor plants don't know what to do - some are bolting and putting out seed heads, while others seem to be dormant! We did quite a lot today, but most importantly, sowed some summer crop seeds! The kohlrabi are looking good now, and so are one or two cabbages that somehow survived the snail attacks. Harvested a bunch of carrots and another of spring onions.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Hippo in our Garden!

Ha, that caught your attention! What a shock one morning this week to find what looked like two huge hippo feet lying on top of the veggie beds! My mind squealed silently, remembering all the hard work it took to layer the trench beds, and Sandi's words: 'Don't ever put a foot in the garden bed, as you'll compact the soil!!!'

The Council had made an uplanned delivery the day before and unintentionally dumped the concrete seats together with a load of bark chips in the garden! They were very apologetic about it afterwards though.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brinjals for Africa!

From January until late March, we harvested brinjals, almost daily, and sometimes as many as a garbage sack full!

Many were given away, some were sold, and quite a few were eaten in our house! We had them stuffed, baked, stewed and sauced. The last recipe we tried was served as an appetiser:

Slice brinal into rings, about 1.5cm thick. Rub with a little olive oil and bake at 180C for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle each slice with crushed garlic, fresh chopped herbs and grated cheese. Return to oven and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes and enjoy! Really yummy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rosalind... our faithful helper

Ros comes to the garden every Tuesday afternoon to teach gardening to the young ones of the community. They love her patient, gentle manner and the special time they have together. For many children, it is the highlight of their week. Thank you, Ros!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Food Garden 1 Year Old!

It's hard to believe that this is how the Food Garden looked a year ago!

Who would have thought that all these beautiful veggies would come out of a desert like that?

A meal from the garden! Stuffed brinjal and fresh salads!

Our hard work has been truly blessed.

Friday, March 18, 2011

We made ...

Basil Pesto, tomato jam!

... And enjoyed eating the sweetcorn, just like that!

Calendula Oil... excellent for massage!

We even tried sun-drying our own tomatoes, but in our excessive heat, they got burnt black instead!

... and all the produce came from the Food Garden.

Friday, February 25, 2011

103 year old visits the garden!

Aunty Annie, a legend in her own lifetime, made a special effort to come and see the gardens before she turns 104 later this year!

Monday, February 21, 2011

February flowers

Just a few photos of the stunning flowers seen in the garden during February 2011.
See the blanket of clouds on the mountain? That's a sign that the South-easter is blowing in the Cape.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

School group visits the gardens

A group of about 12 youngsters came to see and learn. They helped with the compost-makings, and transplanted tomato seedlings.