Organic Food Gardens
We have been developing an organic food garden prototype in our backyard. We also call urban farming. What we have learned through doing it on an experimental basis allowed us to duplicate the knowledge elsewhere. The gardens that are therefore established are designed to meet the optimal requirements to be able to sustain a healthy crop. Our aim is to make it as cost-effective as possible. It must be possible for anyone wanting to start a garden to do so and to maintain it virtually cost-free. Organic material for composting are sourced from the local communities where gardens are established. Herbicide, pesticide, and commercial fertilizers are avoided. The prototype so far has yielded very good results prompting us to believe there is really a sustainable way of growing your own crops organically. It is how mother nature intended it to be grown!
Organic farming is based on holistic, ecologically balanced agricultural principles involving soil fertility, crop rotation, and natural pest control. The basis for organic farming is actually very simple: Allow nature to do what nature does best. Through our organic food garden projects, we help individuals and families to produce food in a sustainable way making use of land and resources that are available to them.
Scenes from our experimental garden: Summer 2016/2017 (Before the Drought)
For any crop to grow it needs the following:
- And of course an enthusiastic gardener
In turn, the gardener needs the following:
- A regular supply of unpolluted, ground, rain or tap water.
- A piece of land that can be cultivated and safeguarded against animals and at times severe weather conditions. The size of the garden is usually determined by the needs of the consumer or consumers as well as the availability of land and resources.
- Raw organic material that can be composted.
- A location that can provide adequates sunlight.
- Basic gardening tools.
- Seeds and/or seedlings.
- A seasonal crop planting guide.
A successful gardener needs to have:
- A basic knowledge of plant nutrition, plant diseases, local weather conditions and a willingness to learn and experiment.
- A good work ethic and a love for cultivating crops. A spade a day keeps the weeds away!
- A willingness to share its knowledge and the fruit of its labor with others.
The aim of a food garden is to produce food in a sustainable way that is giving consumers (individuals, families or communities) access to fresh foods on a consistent basis. It can also have a commercial purpose. We help others to establish their own or personal food gardens that meet these requirements while making use of land and resources that are available to them at no cost. In this case, the individual or the family very much determine the outcome of their efforts. Communal gardens do have a different dynamic as one often needs to involve other role-players, for instance, a school, church, local government or property owner. The outcome is in this case determined by both the “gardener” as well as the other role-players.
How can we help?
- We do a simple assessment of the needs of the person or persons that want's to establish a garden. This differs from just a need to have a self-sustainable garden on the one end of the continuum, to establishing prototypes that can serve us training centers on the other side of the continuum.
- We set out a plan of action that includes safeguarding the land, preparation of the land, crop selection, planting, weeding and watering, pest and disease management and lastly harvesting.
- If needed funds are raised to meet the budget. In most cases the budget is minimal.
- The garden is the classroom. People are trained and assisted by working alongside them.
- Evaluation and follow-up. Progress are monitored continuously.
- Work ethic and standards. We incorporate the work ethic of Farming God's way into our projects.
Our other resource pages
African Leafy Vegetables
Farming Without Soil
Farming with Fish and Crops