Garden For Growth Project
San Salvador Home
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San Salvador Home’s ‘Garden for Growth’ project has been in existence for the last eleven years.
The aim to start the vegetable garden was borne out of the need to provide a cheaper source of vegetables for the home. The price of vegetables increased dramatically over the years and it was becoming a big expense for the home, a cheaper source was essential.
We needed a project within the home to enable us to become sustainable and for the home to become more self-sufficient. The aim was to provide employment and training for the intellectually disabled folk.
What better idea than to start a ‘garden for growth’ project?
The garden was established towards the end of 2001 and covers an area of over an acre.
We now educate and employ, train and motivate 5 disabled folk in all the various aspects of the vegetable garden for example weeding, watering, planting etc; and teach them how they can start their own gardens at home.
The disabled folk are rotated every 3-4 months. We recently had to re-locate our tunnels and now have one and a half tunnels. They have been successfully been removed closer to the home on the east side.
We grow tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, red and green peppers in the tunnels.
The ‘tunnel’ vegetables are hydroponics, which means they are fed x3 times per day through a dripping system over 24 hours and grow out of direct sunlight.
We also have an ‘open ground’ area where we grow potatoes, onions, spinach, cabbages, carrots, lettuce, and basil to mention a few. Our vegetable garden is capably run by David Kometsi, assisted by Anthony.
Any training is done through Dicla Farms who run various courses throughout the year.
Our goals have been successfull. We supply the home, our Alexandra folk and their families, various restaurants in the area, Spar Sandringham and Lyndhurst with fresh vegetables. Any extra vegetables we supply the Queen Alexandra home and the Old Age Home in Alexandra.
Gardening is one of the few activities where a disabled person can match an abeled person. They can take the skills that they have learnt in the home back to their own homes and start their own vegetable gardens and see the results for themselves.