July 08, 2022

Growing Communities and Food, Together

If you go down to the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa today, you’ll be in for a big surprise. Renshia Manuel is improving her community and the local environment, one vegetable planter box at a time. 

The single mother of four originally started the South African project eight years ago, as a means of putting food on the table after she had lost her job.

The small tropical oasis of her work can be found on the property of Mount View High School in Hanover Park, where one’s eyes are met with tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach and other mouth-watering vegetables contained within repurposed planks.

The portable wooden boxes are designed by Manuel herself, giving people who live in cramped conditions the opportunity to grow their own vegetables. This act can reduce the cost and environmental impact of shopping in major supermarkets.

The planter boxes are currently sold to the public on a “two-for-one” model, which means that for two boxes sold, one will also be given to a disadvantaged household.

The garden’s placement also provides youths with a positive and creative outlet by joining in the gardening process, rather than using illegal substances or participating in gang activity within the Hanover Park area.

Speaking of the project, Manuel says: “Kids are facing the most, and they don’t have an outlet. They are forced to be strong at an early age, and they have a lot of barriers, and I think they need a healthy, holistic space like this. And that’s what I’m trying to work towards.”

Despite a malfunctioning bakkie, Manuel is doing her best to make a difference in the lives of the people around her. Hopefully, it will inspire others to do the same. 

Image Credit: Source