GCI project: getting hands dirty and hearts beating for nature

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” These words by Roman politician and lawyer, Marcus Tullius Cicero, came to mind during the recent launch of the Green Campus Initiative’s (GCI) Mobile Vegetable Garden Project on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark.

Students from several residences rolled-up their sleeves to join in the Mobile Vegetable Garden Project. These residences include: Faranani (off-campus), Thuthuka, Khumba, Vergelegen and Horizon (postgraduate residence). According to the organising committee the project builds forth on the success of previous initiatives such as a greenhouse on campus and landscaping at the residences. According to Nadine Smit, a member of GCI, the mobile vegetable garden project will serve as a pilot project in terms of viability and as such each participating residence only received a limited number of vegetable boxes – four each. To take part in the initiative a 20 percent commitment fee (R304) was payable to the GCI. A complete mobile vegetable garden box is valued at R1 520.

With the help of Magic Garden Centre – a well-known nursery in Vereeniging – the committee was able to host an introductory workshop on vegetable gardening. This collaboration also saw each vegetable box being equipped with the necessary materials (gardening tools, seeds, nutrients and soil).

On the day of the launch students gathered at the Big Lapa at 09:00 to divide into teams and to prepare for the workshop. Nadine gave a practical demonstration on how to go about planting a vegetable box and the various methods to prepare the soil and the correct watering techniques. The real fun started when the students started on their vegetable boxes. Good spirited rivalry – and the prospect of a prize for the best maintained vegetable box, now motivates each residence to take extra care in sustaining their respective vegetable boxes. The GCI will be kept up to date with frequent progress reports.

Nadine explains that should a residence excel in the project, the residence will be able to apply for 4 additional boxes during the next planting season. “By doing this and keeping the students motivated, we hope that the project will remain sustainable,” says Nadine.

The GCI committee also bought four mobile vegetable boxes and will be growing spinach and peas in the patio area of the Learning and Research Commons (Building 4).

To learn more about the GCI and how you can get involved in their projects, please visit them on Facebook

 Students having fun during the launch of the Green Campus Initiative’s (GCI) Mobile Vegetable Garden Project on the NWU’s campus in Vanderbijlpark.

Submitted on Fri, 05/05/2017 - 15:00