Schools encouraged to grow food gardens
18 May 2022
The Western Cape Education Department’s National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) team hosted a school garden information day at Riebeeck Valley Special School in Riebeeck Wes on the West Coast.
The theme of the event was “Healthy plants, healthy people”.
Principals, NSNP school coordinators and gardeners from schools in the circuit were welcomed by Riebeeck Valley Special School Principal, Ricardo Rickett. As one of the winners of the school garden competition last year, his school was the perfect choice to host the occasion.
NSNP Provincial Manager, Lindelwa Sopotela, said the event aimed to encourage schools to establish new school food gardens; promote healthy lifestyles amongst learners, educators, parents and the community at large; and to improve the nutritional value of the NSNP by growing vegetables to provide nutrients and improve the health of learners. She added that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of food gardens to help communities combat the scourge of hunger and malnutrition.
Irista Primary in Kuilsriver and Murraysburg Primary School, both with award winning gardens, shared their practices to encourage other schools.
Loandri van Wyngaardt, a teacher at Anne Pienaar Primary School, did a presentation on curriculum integration of the garden project. She explained how each grade can use the garden to make teaching and learning much easier. She further explained how the garden can be used as a teaching aid in teaching various learning areas (subjects). At her school, she helps her colleagues to align their lessons to the garden project.
The second guest speaker was Madri Schuch from Youth 4 Life, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO). She talked about an agro-processing project with two schools in Laingsburg and two schools in Touwsriver.
Dr Samantha Adey of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture discussed the link between healthy soil and healthy plants that result in healthy people. She also touched on the use of available natural indigenous plants as a source of nutritious food.