Planting seeds of love



October 10, 2016
Planting seeds of love

ASSIST: Charles Mathlay celebrating National Garden Day early. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

A Lavender Hill centre for abused women and children get their hands dirty.

Yesterday was national Garden Day, and these care workers were standing first in line to get their hands dirty in their backyards.

The ladies at the Philisa Abafazi Bethu Centre for abused women and children in Lavender Hill celebrated garden day a little early on Friday when they received help from “guerrilla gardeners” to clean up their backyard and turn into a lush veggie garden.

Janine Poggenpoel tells the Daily Voice the garden will help feed the people they help.

“We work with abused women, we run an afterschool programme, have programmes with the elderly and also provide a law clinic for the people of greater Lavender Hill,” she explains.

“We also provide meals to all the people who come to us and funding is always an issue, so having a vegetable garden of our own really helps.

“In February when we moved to Grassy Park, we cleared the backyard which was full of weeds and grass and turned it into a garden.

“We plant mostly cabbage, spinach, beetroot and onions which we later harvest and cook.”

“On any given day we feed about 24 kids and 24 adults.”

Leftovers are handed out to the needy in Lavender Hill.

The “guerrillas” are a group of experienced gardeners who want to help South Africans get back in touch with nature.

Yesterday was the first ever Garden Day and the movement hopes it will become a permanent fixture on the country’s social calender.

“One of the reasons we’re celebrating Garden Day is because gardening is scientifically proven to have positive effects on our health, both mentally and physically,” a statement says.

According to Professor Paul Dolan, a UK economist and behavioural scientist, gardeners and florists are the happiest of all the professions, much happier than people in more prestigious and better paid jobs.

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