Kouga Urban Harvest – Edible Gardens

I’ve mentioned Urban Harvest numerous times in our newsletters, but I thought I’d share a bit more about them and introduce you to some of their new programs that they are running for schools, communities and corporates.

Ben Getz, Founder of Urban Harvest

Firstly, Urban Harvest originates from Cape Town and was started by Ben Getz, who you may recognize from some of the Garden articles in the Simply Green magazine.

The vision of Urban Harvest is “to reawaken a culture of self-sufficiency and sustainability, balanced with community spirit.” Its about bringing REAL food security into the urban landscape, and applying to principles of permaculture to do so.

Susan Botha

Jakkie Botha

The Urban Harvest Kouga branch only started after Susan and Jakkie Botha moved back home to Jeffery’s Bay with the intention of building an eco-friendly house for their mom (See it here). They were setting up food gardens for friends and family just as a hobby, but it was after chatting with Ben, who is a friend of Susan’s, that the Kouga branch (which services the St Francis, JBay and Port Elizabeth areas) was born.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with both Susan and Jakkie and am very interested in the work they are doing. But what exactly is it that they do?

Well, not everyone has the time or expertise to set up and maintain their own organic food garden. Thats where Urban Harvest comes in.

These two ladies will come in and design an edible garden for you according to the principles of permaculture, which can actually rehabilitate the immediate environment while providing you with healthy, organic produce. Not only will they establish the garden, but maintain it as well, and you’ll get to learn through the whole process.

Within the context of todays challenges (namely peak oil, climate change and economic instability) it makes a whole lot of sense to have at least some of your food produced right in your backyard, for a number of reasons.

Its produced organically. That means no chemical pesticides or fertilizers, which are products of fossil fuels, to damage the soil and compromise the nutritional value of the crop. So your health benefits, and so does that of the environment as the garden has been designed to mimic the patterns of nature; working with nature rather than against it.

The food is fresh and local, so no [fossil fuel] energy needs to go into packaging (usually plastic…another product of oil) or into transport. Less energy burned means fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

And then of course you have a nice green space in which to relax and show off to your friends.

Apart from the residential gardens, Kouga Urban Harvest now also offers a set of programs that benefit schools and communities, as well as corporate team building workshops. You can follow the links below to find out more about each one…

Kouga Urban Harvest Feeding Scheme Gardens Program

Kouga Urban Harvest Edu-Maintenance Schools Program

Kouga Urban Harvest Team Building Workshops

Kouga Urban Harvest Community Home Garden Program

These really show added commitment to building local food security, whilst empowering others and addressing the poverty issue in our area.

If we had a Transition Stamp Of Approval, Urban Harvest would most certainly get it!

They were even featured on Pasella recently where Susan spoke a bit about the benefits of having your own organic food garden. You can watch that feature below…

For more details, you can contact Susan on 084 329 8410 (susan.botha@gmail.com)

Jakkie on 079 934 0689 (jakki.botha@gmail.com)

Or visit the website http://www.urbanharvest.co.za

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7 Responses to Kouga Urban Harvest – Edible Gardens

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