The Mission of the Food Freedom Project is to support and grow a resilient Community Home Gardeners Network that is supported and mentored by local community activists in the neighborhood.
This project started with SEED’s work at Rocklands Primary School, through the Outdoor Classroom Program. The request for food gardens at homes in the neighborhood was supported with Wesbank funding and we began to facilitate workshops and to support the implementation of gardens in local homes.
We have found that while we need to focus on the number of gardens we are supporting and reaching targets – we need to grow people first as it takes time to generate the groundswell and start a movement. By investing in people we are beginning to see the good results and are now well on our way to this.
We have also discovered though our work that it is important for gardeners to understand the bigger picture of why food gardening is important. By linking people up to the global conversations about climate change and the energy crises, we are cultivating an understanding of the greater importance of food growing beyond immediate nutritional needs in under-resourced communities. Our goal is to empower people with the knowledge and skills to design and implement gardens that build individual and community resilience.
One of the principles of permaculture is to start small. Some back yards are small and here we focus on container gardens. We have also been busy growing neighborhood demonstrations in 5 homes. These homes show what is possible in a context like the Cape Flats- they demonstrate models of resilience – with medicinal gardens, compost systems, rain harvesting, greywater and nurseries to support more homes in the area.
“I was a very worried person until I received the phone call to say that I was accepted into the Mitchells Plain Food Freedom Program. After two days I had learned so much that my fingers started itching to grow my own food. Now that I have learned so much, I know what I won’t go to bed hungry anymore, without food for my child and me. I am very grateful to the people that make this possible for us.”
- The Effectiveness of Retrofitting Interventions in South Africa’s Low-Cost Housing Sector – Rehana Odendaal and Jeeten Morar (April 2013).Download PDF (395KB).
Mitchells Plain Food Freedom