Capacity Building: Urban Farming and Gardening

by Abalimi Bezekhaya - Planters of the Home
Vetted

Dear Global Giving Friends

I attach hereto an article I have posted before, now updated and published recently in the Odyssey magazine here in SA..

Everything written there is true and spreading like a good virus.

You may be reading about all the problems in SA.

Well, the media just love bad news, as do its consumers, it seems. 

From my perspective as a movement leader, on the ground,  among the common People, inside the very areas where all the poverty and unemployment exist, I can only affirm from my direct experience with tens of thousands of ordinary South Africams, that we have absolute confidence in the future of South Africa as a young democracy- a democracy with possibly even more liberties and freedoms and rights in law than anywhere else in the world.

We only need to focus more, to eliminate poverty and unemployment  in SA , once and for all.

And a large part of that focus will be on what former president Thabo Mbeki called the Second Economy.

This is where Family Farming comes in-  locally grown poison-free food feeding the nation and generating a modest abundance of  hard cash and huge health for all People ,their Cultures and for Nature.   End of poverty and unemployment among the marginalised masses.  End of environmental degradation.  Voila!  Just like that. Simple. Cost effective. Straighforward.

Its a no-brainer .  And its just a matter of time

And if you look around you in your own countries, you will see this marvellous freedom-driven family farming movement blossoming and thriving wherever you gaze, in all directions ! In back yards, in commonages, in allotments, in cities on rooftops, in odd corners, on balconies!   Just look for it and tell me if I am wrong. And it threatens and competes with nothing and no-one.

Enjoy :)

Thank you for your ongoing support and blessings from far and near,

Very best regards, wherever you are.

Rob


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Dear GlobalGiving Friends one and all

I apologise for a late report.. Our work is thriving!  Please read the latest News via the link below-full of Farmer stories

The theme is Passing the Flame .

The older generation who have developed the Family Micro-Farming Movement among the unemployed and who have created the Harvest of Hope market are now training and supporting the Youth to come on board.

And they are coming!  No young farmers=no farming in the future.

I hope you enjoy and are inspired by the stories and the People in them, who are pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and making it all happen.

One of our greatest Mentors and the original Founding Father of Abalimi, Peter Templeton, has this to say about this newsletter: "its full of great pics, short little stories, lots of variety, lots of facts” 

All the verey best to all of you , wherever you are

Rob

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Dear Global Giving Friends

our work is now gaining increasing recognition from Government. You can read about it in the article via the  link below.

Christina Tenjiwe Kaba (featured in the article) and her community garden called Moya we Khaya (Spirit of Home) are among our very best producers and are proving that family micro-farming business can succeed even under the toughest conditions.

 Christina is also a co-founder of Abalimi Bezekhaya and she is the one who has always found a way for Abalimi's work  to advance under very complex social and political conditions, during Aparteid and post Apartheid,  in the poorest communities around Cape Town. 

Unemployment in South Africa and in Cape Town is growing and food costs are spiralling ever upwards.

Christina's example is inspiring many others to grow their own fresh food and earn extra income by selling surplus.

And there are other micro-farmers like Christina,  who are also setting an excellent example and inspiring those around them.

Your assistance helps make all of this possible.

All the very best to you for Christmas and the New Year.

Rob

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Greetings once again dear Global Giving Friends

These are Interesting Times indeed.   On the one hand a Curse and on the other a Blessing.

Everywhere the Good is under attack by Efficiency,  at the cost of Personal Ethics.

Personal Ethics in Big Business are seemingly almost entirely Dead and Buried, and the Stone in front of the Tomb is Very Large. The survival of Humanity and Nature, far too often, come a shocking second to short term Profit.

Yet even in Big Business, which these days (more and more) drives and even controls Big Academia,  Big Science, Big Finance, Big Politics and also Big Media,  there are often warm hearted Human Beings  at work -  Good People at every level,  striving to help and serve others and the Planet. Because of these good people , many of us are priveleged to recieve generous support for our causes and social businesses.  

So, Goodness (personal, freely chosen ethical behaviour,often against serious odds) thrives on, even and especially, in the Belly of the Dragon.

It is out of this Goodness that the attached French TV episode  was filed and out of Goodness that the article in a mainstream African Business magazine was written. The French TV episode is entirely comprehensibe (watch it and see foryourself !!) even though it is in French- amazing. The African Business magazine article is written as objectively as possible by a young striving Amercian -James Wan - in an attempt to find the Good in all points of view.   And its out of Goodness that a leading international Farming Matters magazine writes about how our work spreads -farmer to farmer- way beyond our immediate target area,

I wholeheartedly and without reserve oppose the agressive commercial application of GMO's (not the science!) but I respect James's attempt to present both sides "fairly". But I ask you, how fair is it that GMO's are being thrust down the throats of whole poplulations by very powerful super-corporations,  who strenuously resist any form of labelling laws in the countries in which they operate? South Africa is one of those countries and millions of cash poor South Africans are right now forced to eat unlabelled GMO rich Maize Meal (maizemeal being their staple food) because there is now simply nothing else on the shelves.

Thats one reason why we are glad to recieve your continued help, dear Friends- our Family Micro-farming movement is spreading virally -farmer to farmer- and in the forseeable future people will again have a choice,  since they will  be growing low cost GMO free maize once again in abundance on their own micro-farms.

Our mission remians simple and clear:  the unemployed and poor deserve to choose to eat top quality un-poisoned and unmodified food in abundance just like the rich can. Why must the poor be forced to eat low quality food because its all they can afford? Or no food at all?

Thank you for your good help once again. Keep it coming if you can. And thank you for all that you do in service to others , everywhere , by choosing to invest in causes of all kinds.

Global Giving Friends- you Rock!

With sincere and best regards

Rob

Links:

Harvest of Hope Pack shed in action
Harvest of Hope Pack shed in action

Greetings from blustery Autumn Cape Town, Dear Global Giving Friends

As you all must know, besides water and soil conservation, and of course plentiful compost, seed saving is the foundation of sustainability in any farming and gardeneing system.

These days not many farmers or gardeners (compared to the past) save their seeds, but have become increasingly reliant on big seed corporations, who are doing their best to buy out or own all smaller seed companies. They try to become owners of all varieties and adaptions and thus the farmers/gardeners become more and more at the mercy of the corporations, who do all sorts of funny things which are not always good for nature or for health.

So we in ABALIMI have for many years been encouraging informal seed saving among our micro-farmers. 

The little report, in the link below, shows how we are also helped by other organisations and networks to further this aim. You will see some young faces, which is increasingly the case now that we have managed to provide a market for the surplus produced by our micro-farmers through Harvest of Hope - www.harvestofhope.co.za.   This means that livelihoods can be made and even careers in micro-farming can be envisioned. And this attracts the unemployed youth as well !

Very much more has to be done to revive seed saving as a new cultural practice in our modern times and especially among the micro-farmers who we work with.

We have also launched the introduction of Bio-Dynamic agriculture preparations into the movement (see attached report) through a first intervention. This has had to wait 33 years until we had first created a movement among black farmers who understood the difference between Chemical and Organic and that Organic is better by far.  Now Bio Dynamics, the most advanced agricultural technology on the planet, can be introduced, and can be accepted as a next step and not some sort of juju.

Thank you for continuing to support our movement.

Remember, we are not a begin-end project.  We are a movement for organic micro-farming among the poor and un-employed who comprise nearly 50% of our population in SA and indeed worldwide.

Despite all that lovely reported GDP growth, it really only (largely) benefits the already priveleged, while the gap between the "poor" and the "rich" just grows and grows.

So it's wonderful when you reach out, like you continue to do, to support our work here in SA, to continue to build the bridge "between the worlds" .

All the very best,

Rob Small

Links:


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Organization Information

Abalimi Bezekhaya - Planters of the Home

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​www.abalimi.org.za
Project Leader:
Rob Small
Resource Mobilisation Leader and Board Secretary
Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

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