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Start a food garden<span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Why plant your own food?​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>Creating and working in food gardens has enormous benefits for our health and our society, including:</p><h4> Diet and health</h4><ul><li>Improving diet and health</li><li>Access to plenty of fresh produce, by picking and eating on the same day</li><li>Access to a wide variety of fresh food rather than relying only on what supermarkets offer</li><li>Reduce or even avoid the use of pesticides (if food is grown organically)</li><li>Become physically active and get outdoors more often </li></ul><h4> Equality</h4><ul><li>Make affordable fresh fruit and vegetables accessible to everyone </li><li>Help alleviate poverty and hunger </li></ul><h4> Economics</h4><ul><li>Save money and protect yourself from the rising cost of food </li><li>Foster an entrepreneurial culture </li><li>Build skills and create jobs </li><li>Support small businesses and farmers </li><li>Create income (e.g. when surplus food is sold) </li></ul><h4> Empowerment</h4><ul><li>Be in charge of where your food comes from and how it was grown (and even know who grew it!) </li><li>Make informed and healthier food choices</li><li>Feel more connected to nature and its cycles</li><li>Build a resilient city that is able to withstand food insecurity due to climate change and natural disasters) </li></ul><h4> Community</h4><ul><li>Create safe, “green” community spaces</li><li>Bring people together on a common vision</li><li>See the results of team work</li></ul><h4> Education</h4><ul><li>Learn basic hardening skills</li><li>Pass on the knowledge of food production</li><li>Educate our children about their food and where it comes from </li></ul><h4> Environment</h4><ul><li>Reduce food miles as food doesn’t have to travel as far</li><li>Reduce the carbon and water footprint of our food due to less industrial production, transportation and storage </li><li>Reduce food waste associated with industrial food production </li></ul> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Starting at the beginning​​​​​​​</h2></span> <h4> Make sure you have a piece of ground that: </h4><ul><li>gets a few hours of direct sunlight, ideally six hours;</li><li>is sheltered from the wind (create wind barriers if necessary); and</li><li>has the best possible soil quality.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Remember</h4><p> Cape Town has a Mediterranean-type climate, with cool, wet winters and hot, dry and windy summers. The majority of our soils are nutrient-poor sands, which, together with the hot, dry summers, create very harsh growing conditions for plants.</p></div></div></span> <h4> You will need the following:</h4><ul><li> Access to water (ideally <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Residential-utility-services/Residential-water-and-sanitation-services/alternative-water-sources"> recycled water</a>, like grey water)</li><li> Basic gardening tools (e.g. spade, fork and rake) or anything that can be used as a tool (e.g. poles or branches) plus a hosepipe, watering can or other water carrier</li><li>Seeds (or seedlings) – make sure you prepare these in a sheltered spot. Note that seeds take 6–12 weeks to become seedlings)</li><li>Compost or organic plant food – <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Greener-living/Green-gardening-and-eating/Start-composting-at-home">learn how to make your own compost or worm farms</a></li></ul> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Prepare your beds​​​​​​​</h2></span> <ul><li>Clear the area and remove all rubbish, grass and weeds. Work around trees and bushes so you can use them as a windbreak or for shade.</li><li>Mark out the areas to be planted (your 'beds'). The beds should be a maximum of one-metre wide so that you can reach your crops without standing in the beds, and separated by paths of about 0.5 metres.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p> If you don’t have a lot of space, prepare your soil and plant your seeds in containers; e.g. old crates, plastic buckets, wheelbarrows – whatever you can find! Poke holes into the bottom of the container and line it with a porous material like bidim or an old compost bag or brown bag so soil stays in and water can drain out. Containers can easily be moved around to make sure your plants get enough sun.</p></div></div></span><span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Sort your soil​​​​​​​</h2> </span> <ul><li>Mix your soil with compost. Healthy soil should be dark and should smell sweet.</li><li>If your ground soil is contaminated, it’s a good idea to build raised beds – remembering that some vegetables need 30–45 centimetres of soil to grow.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p> Artificial fertilisers and pesticides eventually destroy the good microbes (tiny, microscopic living organisms like bacteria and fungi) in the soil. Rather create your own healthy soil by adding compost and placing a layer of mulch on top – keep it thin so seeds can emerge easily! Mulch can be lucerne, grass cuttings, newspaper or leaves. </p></div></div></span> <p>Download the <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Procedures%2c%20guidelines%20and%20regulations/CCT_Smart_Living_Handbook.pdf" target="_blank"> Smart Living Handbook</a>, for more information on natural ways to deal with pests.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Get planting</h2><ul><li>Choose seeds according to the season – see <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/greener-living/green-gardening-and-eating/what-to-grow-in-your-food-garden">What to grow in your food garden</a>.</li><li>Plant a variety of plants. This is good for the health of the soil – and you’ll have fewer insects and pests.</li><li>Some plants work beautifully together – this is known as “companion planting”. For example, basil helps to keep pests away and leads to sweeter tomatoes</li><li>Make the distance between rows about 20–50 centimetres, depending on the size of the crop – make sure there will be enough space for the plants when they are fully grown.</li><li>Sprinkle the seeds and cover them with soil, pressing down gently so the seeds are in close contact with the soil.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p> Plant the seed at a depth three times its length. If you plant it too deep it will struggle to germinate.</p></div></div></span> <ul><li>Water the seeds gently.</li><li>Add a fine layer of mulch. Remove the mulch as soon as the seedlings come through the soil.</li><li>Check twice every day to make sure that the seeds don’t dry out. Your soil should feel moist.</li></ul> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Time to harvest​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>Depending on the crop, it can take anywhere from six weeks to six months for vegetables to be ready for pick or harvest.</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p>You can harvest the outer leaves of some vegetables – like spinach and lettuce – letting them continue to grow rather than removing the entire plant.</p></div></div></span><span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Maintaining your garden​​​​​​​</h2> </span> <ul><li>Plant every two to three weeks to have a continuous supply of fresh fruits and vegetables</li><li>Keep adding nutrients to your soil. Simply add compost on top of your beds. Don’t mix it into the soil at this stage as you will destroy the existing organisms in the soil.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Remember</h4><p> Never dig the soil up (also known as tilling) as this can destroy any living organisms that have become established in the soil. If you need to give the soil air, push a fork gently into the ground at various spots.</p></div></div></span> <p>Download the <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Procedures%2c%20guidelines%20and%20regulations/CCT_Smart_Living_Handbook.pdf" target="_blank"> Smart Living Handbook</a> for more information about growing your own food. </p>GP0|#72bcb9b9-acca-427f-b1c0-9b4cdfedc2c5;L0|#072bcb9b9-acca-427f-b1c0-9b4cdfedc2c5|Start a food garden;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#630f1ce3-4d76-4447-85fb-0afef5f00698;GPP|#39d66b11-2134-4df5-8360-0bc5e66e8f4f;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711;GP0|#81e692ef-12a4-4dbc-bfd2-2c5035887924;L0|#081e692ef-12a4-4dbc-bfd2-2c5035887924|Start a food garden;GPP|#fe19bc42-9232-4590-8313-a4e3dae57d27;GPP|#090e430c-3809-42d5-a80b-caea93b2beafA step by step guide to planting and maintaining your food garden.

 

 

Smart Living Handbook 20208333340GP0|#dcc8214b-489e-4c99-a7e9-6bc8bda6e154;L0|#0dcc8214b-489e-4c99-a7e9-6bc8bda6e154|Handbook;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#d8892104-ce90-493e-b813-93c488f4b1d3;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2020-06-29T22:00:00Z

 

 

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