Tackling food security with urban agriculture

The Plantwise Blog

urban ag
The world population is projected to increase by an additional one billion people by 2030 with Africa and Asia accounting for the greater share of this population growth. According to UN reports, more than half of the world’s population currently live in urban areas. By 2030, it is expected that more than 70 percent of the world population will live in urban areas, especially in developing countries. The steady influx of people to urban areas has significantly increased the demand for food, water and shelter in cities and those who cannot afford these basic amenities are referred to as ’urban poor’.

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The Garden of your Heart

One of the endeavours of CareSA is the Care Africa project, which includes the concept of Care Gardens, with the catch phrase “Plant a garden in your yard, Plant a garden in your heart.”

Today I thought to recapture the vision but with an emphasis on the garden of Your Heart.

Just to encourage you to tend to your garden with these few simple, yet profound truths on how to grow the splendour of your soul.  The clever play on words are not all my own, I found them lying anonymously in my box of collectables begging to be shared for a chuckle or two.

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Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit:

Love, Joy, Peace,
Faithfulness, Goodness, Kindness,
Gentleness, Longsuffering and Self Control.
Share generously with all you meet this year.

Plant a good few rows of Peas:

green-peas

Ppatience, Ppoliteness, Ppreparedness, Ppromptness,  Ppersistence, Ppunctuality, and Peperseverance.

Plant four rows of Squash:

gem-squash

Squash gossip
Squash grumbling
Squash indifference
Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of Lettuce:

lettuce

Let us be faithful,
Let us be kind,
Let us be obedient
Let us really love one another

No garden  without Turnips:

* Turn up for meetings
* Turn up for service
* Turn up to help one another.

turnips

We must have Thyme in our gardens:

thyme
Time for Work
Time for Play
Time for Laughter
Time for God
Time to Pray.

Weed out all toxic thoughts immediately !
Regularly sprinkle on the Fertilizer of Forgiveness.
Water well, and often, with the Word of God.
Do these simple soul deeds, and watch  the Garden of Your Heart  grow !!

With a little Faith Hope and Love, you can
 Pick the fruit of your labour.
fruitWant to join the Care Africa project ?… then

Plant a Garden in your Yard.  Plant a Garden in your Heart.

And send me a photo of the Garden in your yard…. for my upcoming Care Gallery.

Some Ideas for the Gardens of your Yard.

Wishing  you all a bouquet of fresh vegetables in 2017

vegetables-colorful

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,  Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.   Psalm 34:8

 HAPPY GARDENING     cherries

A Credo for the Year’s Shortest Day

These words ring true if we stand still for a moment, reflect, take a deep breath, then carry on.

 

Metaphor

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.

– Robert Fulghum

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Showing off

CareSA Designs had a lovely experience showing off all its crochet craft at the five day Kwa Zulu Natal Christmas Craft Market this December.

In the spirit of entrepreneurship more than 150 traders gathered at the City Hill Church auditorium in Hillcrest to show off their creations and hard work done during the course of 2016.   Certainly a work ethic is being developed to combat poverty.

As I quietly observed the people and their displays for progress I could not help ‘seeing’ an informal economic pillar being built for a better future.   Yes, not all will make the businessman or woman of the year, but there is resilience and resolve, and if perseverance is thrown in with good measure, it could make a small dent in poverty, and lay a foundation for a better future.

Entrepreneuring runs on Hope, develops imagination – where anything is possible – builds a necessary work ethic, releases expression and God given creative potential.

The other side of the coin however is getting to know the nuts and bolts of running a successful business.  This is another story altogether, yet has to be embraced by the budding entrepreneur,  if good  lasting results are to be obtained.  So the next phase would be to get business savvy, and look for mentors willing to take a walk with ‘the future economic builders’.   It may be a long walk, but a start has been made, and as they say … Rome was not built in a day.

Have a look at some of the 2016  CareSA Designs crochet craft range that was on sale at the Christmas Market this year, and feel free to leave a comment or two on new additions, improvements, or add some new ideas for developing a small enterprise.

All it takes is some pretty yarns, hooks, needles maybe a button or two and a little imagination to make a happy hobby – that one day will grow into a budding enterprise.

Here’s to diligence and to hope, and may the work of our hands prosper.

GIVE, its good mental health.

blue-river

Let your life be a river not a swamp

Like the pages of a book in a gentle breezy wind the months just seem to flip over.
I had intended to write on good mental health for the month of October, but it slipped my mind !! – and October came and went almost unnoticed.

So I am playing catch up, and want to share a few simple thoughts on good mental health.

Let your life be a river not a swamp,
Give, its good mental health.

stars

When stars stop emitting light, gravity sucks them in, and they become a black hole !!
So keep on shining, keep on giving… its good mental health.

Give of yourself…. little deeds of kindness, makes the world a better place.
Give of your finances ….  it breeds generosity in you, and in others.
Give of your personality …. and share your sense of humour, share your opinion, your smile – and best of all share your presence.

Let your life be a river,  not a swamp that is stale and stagnant, a place where crocodiles lurk !

Give, its good mental health.

brown-swamp

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.

For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.   Luke 6:38

Give, and it will let your cup run over with  JOY, ….  and thats good mental health !!

cup-running-over

Parallel Dreams

 

Unused fields could yield plenty of food for the poor, but unjust men keep them from being farmed.  –  Proverbs 13:23

It never ceases to amaze me how God connects people together.

I met Isabel, well in fact I haven’t actually met Isabel, we have just spoken over the phone. Isabel and I have a  mutual connection through a friend who has similar interests in faraway places,  particularly  in Africa, specifically in Zimbabwe.  Isabel comes from  Zimbabwe but now lives in Benoni, South Africa.

When we spoke Isabel told me of her dream to establish a care centre in Zimbabwe.  She has a compassionate heart for the Grannies who look after the Aids orphans in her district.
And she has land that can be used for this dream.

She is connected to a stream of transporters who taxi goods to and from Zimbabwe – as Zimbabwe is a land in dire crisis.   I managed to parcel a few things up for her in her plight to help the people in distress there.   I apologised for the feeble futility of my donation and got a polite scolding as she said that nothing nothing is to small to send to Zimbabwe.  There is so much hunger and poverty and hardship there.  The people are suffering under a tyrannical ruler, and the crippling drought has aggravated the living conditions to Unbearable status !!

I told her of my dream for a Care Africa movement that could help Africa feed itself through care gardens.   I had included some veggie seeds in the parcel I had sent to her.
On her return from a visit to Zim she sent me these photos of the gardens her brother grows.  He has given the seeds to one or two families to encourage them to grow food – even if only in car tyres to start with, as water is scarce.   I suggested : “even have a little competition with the reward of a food care bag for those willing to start their own food gardens ?”     She will find out from her brother if this is a good idea.

Perhaps our dreams will roll out separately – yet together ?   Parallel dreams if you will ?  Isabel is one of those people who unwittingly makes a big difference to many lives, in this instance even to a country,  needing the attention of those who care for people in need. I stand amazed at the difference one person can make !
May all our dreams come true.

Green Africa map

Plant a garden in your yard
Plant a garden in your heart.

HOPE TRADERS

A quote I once read said this “leaders are dealers in hope.”

Well, what follows is the result of about two years’ meetings with community workers –  that there makes them leaders in themselves. Ladies who faithfully and diligently go into the poorest of communities to encourage and uplift people who are in dire poverty.  The contrasts in our communities are vast, and the outlaying communities from our cities are the worst off financially and materially –  yet so rich in community life.

In an endeavour to develop community crafting skills as a means to alleviate poverty these women have been meeting to seek out a practical plan or model for entrepreneurship.
The following writing is perhaps but one version of an expected final document that can capture the concept of   caring through community entrepreneurship.

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THE  HOPE  TRADERS  CO-OPERATIVE
–    Traders in Hope   –

Hope gives a future.

When the Non Profit Organisations came together through Durban’s Soul Action Network, a vision began to birth to capture entrepreneurship as a way to aid the alleviation of poverty among clients of their organisations. In 2012 the Hope Christmas Market saw the light of day and has since become a very successful annual event, complementing an entrepreneurial mind-set for community development.

Emerging from this initiative was a gathering of community workers who formed an Entrepreneurial Development Focus Group, who have been meeting for the past two years to establish a realistic and practical plan for entrepreneurial development for the local crafting communities.

The Hope Traders Co-Operative  writing is but one draft, that may take the task forward, through the following prospect.

To develop and promote  community entreprenuership, –  and advance Durban’s profile as a favourite tourism destination, – by establishing an unique retail space where creative displays of local craftsmanship  will attract visitors and revenue from the international and South African tourist industry, – and expose creative Crafters and their stories, to a global market, and Durban as a caring city.

Vision:

  • Create an unique tourist attraction for prospective visitors and investors to the city.
  • Establish an unique retail space to showcase local Crafters and their products.
  • Connect the consumer and producer through use of story/multimedia/experience.
  • Promote Entrepreneurship through creative collaboration in Durban and wider communities.

Mission:

  • To identify, celebrate and nurture the creative potential within communities.
  • To attract revenue from the tourist and local trade toward sustainable living for Crafters and their communities.
  • To facilitate opportunities for entrepreneurial and community development.
  • To act as a catalyst to integrate cultures.
  • To weave community caring into the fabric of the Durban society, and its city image.
  • To encourage and educate the South African public to buy local South African products.

Conclusion:

In South Africa we live in a society where the “resources” of its various members have the potential to – and yet do not always – address various forms of cognitive, physical, social and emotional poverty. (Phil Bowyer, Soul Action Durban)

If,  with the tools of our rich diverse cultures, community caring, crafting skills and imagination, we can harness a personal work ethic, through Entrepreneurship, there is no reason we cannot take on the mind-set of … “from poverty to progress“,  and contribute to an emerging informal economic pillar for a prosperous South Africa – that benefits all.

Durban’s best.
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