Eight beds, two beautiful hoophouses and one trellis system were installed on the Deloitte Action Day held at Eden Park High.
A team of learners were exposed to the principles of bio dynamic fod growing, and are receiving ongoing support from Positive Cycle. The positive results here are visible and tangible. Visible in the faces of the learners and all those who have been touched by the project, and tangible in that the beds prepared out of the somewhat stony ground are now productive and real quality crops can be seen coming up.
People unrelated to such projects often underestimate the value of a vegetable patch. It is important to realise that the value added at a project like the one supervised by Positive Cycle at Eden Park High is not as simple as the value produced by fresh healthy produce.
The real value here is in terms of the object lesson provided to all concerned about how to grow food plants. The value of the hoophouse for example is twofold. It will accelerate the development of plants grown in the humid and stable temperature it provides and seeing that this is so is a real eye opener for people who need to learn about what exactly constitutes the best possible environment for the growing of food plants. Its about giving the people who need the information the chance to gain hands on experience with high quality techniques and then spread that information. The news that tomatoes and mielies can be caused to grow faster with a simple construction of PVC pipe and plastic or shade cloth can open up opportunities for people who do not yet have that knowledge. Similarly, the planting of predator attracting insects and pathogen resistant companion plants shows learners (and anyone else who cares to watch the garden develop) that it is possible to avoid destroying the natural environment and wasting money on chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
Tools like the hoophouses are, in effect classrooms, where people tending the plants realise new skills in terms of production lines and efficient agricultural practices. It would be naïve to believe that a few people managing to grow a crop successfully is changing the world, but if those few can be brought to a level of success and skill that allows them to start spreading the skills they have acquired, by starting businesses in the fresh produce industry, by encouraging others to do the same, then significant changes can be brought about. Positive Cycle is determined to give South Africans this chance. The chance to build a firm footing under the emerging South African economy.