Bicycles for veggie growers

On 25 October, Qhubeka distributed 70 bicycles to veggie growers in Paarl, in the Western Cape. The recipients are adults who are creating food gardens through the Impilo Household Vegetable Garden Establishment and Grey Water Harvesting Project of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Great Commission Networks (GCN) NPC. The bicycles were funded by Nederburg and it was wonderful to hear from the growers how they will change their lives.

“We picked the first veggies a few weeks ago, and my family and friends are loving it,’ says Katy Rhode (aged 74). “I even had enough from the first crop to give to our Seniors Club. A lot of those people lack the right nourishment, so I’m glad that I am able to help them. Even my son, who lives in Darling, is so excited by this project he has started his own vegetable patch at home.  This thing is catching on, I tell you! Now, having the bike, it’s easier to collect the seeds, to transport the grey water I use and then get my produce to get to market. And I’m getting so fit.”

Frederick Muller (70) spends every day tending his vegetables. He says, “I began with spinach and lettuce, as part of the starter kit I got from the department.  Now I’ve got corn and green beans and more, and I’m making a bit of money from what I sell. This project is going so well, I’m talking to my municipality about using the open plot next to me to plant more.”

Sarah Phaweni, Qhubeka Executive Director, explains that the bicycles will help the gardeners involved in this programme to be more mobile. “The recipients will use them to help tend their gardens and take their veggies to market to sell. The programme is being implemented in targeted communities in the Cape Winelands district (in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek), and in the Cape Metropole district (in Bonteheuwel and Gugulethu).”

The programme participants also receive a starter kit from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture through Casidra (Cape Agency for Sustainable Integrated Development in Rural Areas), which includes a hoe, rake, watering can, grey water harvesting and irrigation system, organic compost, fertiliser, and vegetable seedlings and seeds.