Tenikwa supports the Tsitsi Tuiniers Community Gardens Club.   This is an inspiring little club consisting of 35 community members living in Kurland Village who share their knowledge and love of gardening, sometimes in a trying environment. There are some amazing vegetable and flower gardens flourishing in the back yards of this disadvantaged community.  We support this project because it encourages a sense of pride and improves the living conditions in the village.

The gardeners struggle with the most basic of needs. For the winter planting, we have donated a truckload of compost which has been shared amongst the active members as part of preparing their gardens for winter vegetables. A talk was also given by Redford Nursery on soil analysis and we gave some vital pointers on how to interpret soil deficiencies by looking at the plant growth.

Although not strictly a community gardens concept, the members of the club are wanting to donate vegetables to the community for a soup kitchen and also sell hampers of vegetables, so in this way, the community will benefit directly from the club.

Tenikwa arranged for Mother Earthworms to come and show the gardeners how to set up a basic worm farm, and we were thrilled to see some very healthy worm farms flourishing a few months later.  The Earthworm farms are used to recycle kitchen and garden waste, but also to generate high quality compost and liquid fertilizer for the gardens.

In preparation for the summer season, Tenikwa once again donated a whole truckload of compost which literally just disappeared into the nutrient deficient soil in the various gardens.

The results of the year’s hard work burst into bloom in December during the Annual Gardens Competition.

In the forthcoming months, the members of the club will attend workshops on Gardening to bring back the birds, and companion planting in order to reduce the use of poisons and insecticides, as well as other environmentally-friendly gardening practices.

Worm Farming

Worm Farms are easy and cheap to create.  Take a plastic crate and line it with a scrap of old shadecloth. Add some scrunched up newspaper at the bottom and fill with a bag of compost to kickstart. Add the Red Wriggler Earthworms to this compost. Place vegetable scraps on top and keep adding. Cover with a dampened old blanket or sodden cardboard egg boxes. Place the crate on a scrap piece of corrugated iron or zinc plate. Place the iron on some bricks with one end slightly tilted. On the end where it is slightly tilted, slit some off-cut black pipe and fix onto the end of the sheet making a simple run-off for excess water. At the end of the run-off, place a bucket or 5 litre container to catch excess water. Keep the worm farm damp. Use the excess water to water your vegetables as it is nutrient rich. As the worms break down the vegetable scraps, they create worm castings which move to the base of the crate. These  can be retrieved and dug into your garden for compost.

Talk on Soil Conditioning

Annual Community Gardens Competition

“Inspirational”  is the only word to describe the annual Community Gardens competitions. Members of the Tsitsi Tuiniers Gardening Club put their gardens on show, and the results of their effort showed in every way.

The judges who represent Tenikwa, Crags Conservancy, Kurland Village School and Natures Valley Trust evaluate the 14 gardens entered according to the following criteria : Layout of the garden, Health/quality of plants and soil, Innovation and usage of infrastructure, appropriate use of space, Use of light ito North, South, East, West, use of indigenous/water-wise plants, use of environmentally-friendly gardening techniques, Use of decorative items.

3 Cash Prizes of R500 each were up for grabs, “Best Vegetable Garden”, “Best Flower Garden”, “Best Overall Garden”. Tenikwa sponsored one of these prizes and spontaneously added an additional prize for “The Most Inspirational Garden”. Every entrant was also able to choose a gardening product from a selection sponsored by The Crags Conservancy.