Tag Archives: Gardening

Grow to Live: A Soil for Life gardening workshop

Dear friends,

I spent the past weekend with some fantastic people participating in a “Grow to live” gardening course with Soil for Life, a non profit organisation based in Constantia, Cape Town. Soil for Life teaches people to grow their own food and it works with the premise – healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy people!

soil-for-life-2009-021 pic: trench garden construction

The Grow to Live workshops happens once a month and is a comprehensive, hands-on gardening workshop that teach you how to grow your own organic vegetables in small areas, at home, your office, or community garden. The weekend course introduces the basic concepts of soil building, composting, mulching, trench gardening, pests and disease control, companion planting, seed saving, container gardening, and vegetable harvesting tips.

The course was scattered with practical, get-down-and-dirty-activities which provided a great platform for putting theory into practise. We were all eager to dig soil, plant seed and seedlings, build a trench garden and sample some of the fresh organic veggies and fruit from the Soil for Life garden! The figs are delicious! Bugs, insects, and birds thrive in their garden! By the end of the weekend our group had constructed a two metre by one metre trench garden, planted it with seed and seedlings, creatively labelled it, and were very proud of our achievement!

soil-for-life-2009-0661 pic: the completed trench garden, with clever seedling protection contraptions made from recycled waste

I was thrilled to be out in an enchanted garden for a weekend, but I also learnt so much about biological processes, the connection between pest control and predators in a garden, building soil nutrients, and having fun whilst doing it. Pat Featherstone who facilitated the course, is an excellent teacher with such enthusiasm for sharing her experience and knowledge with willing learners. Thank you Pat!

soil-for-life-2009-054pic: Pat Featherstone demonstrating plant spacing, and an ingenious watering can…

So, if you want to learn how to grow your own organic food, or need advice and help with your current food growing initiatives, or want to buy seed, seedlings or pick-your-own veggies, visit them in Constantia, or visit Soil for Life.

We’ll post some news in the coming weeks about our new, in-process vegetable garden at our office.

Keep mulching!

Alistar