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Start a community food garden<h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Before you begin​​​​​​​</h2><h4> You will need to make sure you have:</h4><ul><li>written permission to use the land for at least for five years;</li><li>fenced the area to protect it from intruders (e.g. dogs or thieves);</li><li>access to water (preferably recycled water, like grey water); and</li><li>committed community members.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>These are necessary requirements if you are seeking support from the City of Cape Town.</p></div></div><p>If you are looking for available land, or are not sure who owns the land, <a href=""> get in touch with the City.</a></p><p>Learn how to set up a food garden in your community following the simple steps below. </p><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Step 1: Make a good team​​​​​​​</h2><h4> Ensure you have a committed community members:</h4><ul><li>If you don’t already have a team, let your community know of your plans. Make it clear that a garden takes hard work and commitment.</li><li>Form a garden committee and appoint a garden coordinator – this makes it easier to manage the garden and team.</li><li>Create garden rules and guidelines – for example, a schedule of who will work when and how the harvest will be shared.</li><li>Reach out to governmental and non-governmental organisations for training, support and funding. </li></ul><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> Start out simply. You can always invest in your community garden – for example, add a garden shed or compost bins – later on.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Step 2: The plan</h2><h4> Decide which type of garden is right for your community:</h4><ul><li>In a community garden, everyone contributes to one large garden and shares the harvest. This type of garden needs cooperation and regular meetings and works best with a small group (3-8 people). This garden might be at a school, church, crèche or club for the elderly.</li><li>In a plot community garden, you divide the garden into plots that are looked after independently. This is a good option for groups with different schedules.</li></ul><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> When deciding what to plant, consider what your community likes to eat, which crops are easiest to grow, and which plants are high in nutrition. Read <a href="">What to grow in your food garden</a>. </p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Step 3: Learn how to garden</h2><p>For an overview on planting, harvesting and maintaining a food garden in a sustainable way please read <a href="">Start a food garden</a>. </p><h4> We also recommend you read:</h4><ul><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Best Practice in Community Food Gardens</a></li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Step-by-step Guide to Urban Community Gardening</a> </li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Step 4: Make sure you go green </h2><h4> When planning your garden, there are some tried and trusted methods you can use to grow healthy, strong plants that are right for our environment:</h4><ul><li>Work with nature and plant according to the seasons.</li><li>Plant a variety of indigenous plants, even if not edible. This is good for the health of the soil and you’ll have fewer 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> <a href="">Create compost or a worm bin</a> with your kitchen waste. Compost improves the quality of your soil, resulting in healthy plants.</li><li>Use water wisely. Even when we are not in a water restriction period, water is precious and has to be conserved. Try using <a href="">alternative water sources </a>for your garden. </li></ul> <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>Indigenous plants are best because they use less water, require less fertiliser and pesticides, attract birds and bees, and look great all year round.</p></div></div><p>You can consult our <a href="" target="_blank"> Smart Living Handbook</a> for more advice on how to grow and live smartly and sustainably in Cape Town.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Step 5: Turning a food garden into a business</h2><p>Some general tips for creating income from your food garden.</p><p> <strong>Check commitment</strong>: Make sure your team (staff or volunteers) are motivated to be part of the project.</p><p> <strong>Answer these questions</strong>: <a href="">Which crops best suit the land that I am working on</a>? Which are easiest to grow? Which are most cost-efficient with the best market potential? Which will be easy to sell? </p><p> <strong>Get creative</strong>: If you don't have it, make it, reuse or recycle; e.g. use old tyres if you don't have containers.</p><p> <strong>Create networks</strong>: Sell surplus (extra) food to your neighbours, school kitchens, informal traders or to a veggie delivery scheme. Bigger food gardens can also approach supermarkets.</p><p> <strong>Invest in the future</strong>: Use a portion of surplus income to buy seeds for future planting. As you expand, you can experiment more and invest in better resources (e.g. tools).</p><p> <strong>Think ahead</strong>: Sow seeds or plant seedlings regularly – and according to the planting season – so you have a reliable supply (and variety) of fresh produce.</p><p> <strong>Stay positive</strong>: Don't give up if some crops fail. Successful food gardening is about experimenting and learning.</p><p> <strong>Go holistic</strong>: Rather than spending money on inputs like compost, see if you can make these yourself – or get someone else in your community to make them for you. If you make it yourself, sell on the surplus to other food gardens!</p><p> <strong>Learn from others</strong>: Visit successful gardeners in your area to see how they're doing it. Attend free workshops or training sessions or use free online resources so that you keep developing your gardening – and entrepreneurial – skills.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Step 6: Get support</h2><p>Get involved in our food garden programmes in the city.</p><p>See our full list of <a href=""> City-supported food gardens</a> and get in touch with one of them, or sign up for the <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town Green Map<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> newsletter to stay informed about opportunities and collaborations, and connect with Cape Town’s green community </p><h2 class="sectHeading">Step 7: Help your community</h2><p>Get in touch with one of the <a href=""> City-supported food gardens</a> to find out how you can get involved or make a contribution. Donate tools and other resources (e.g. seeds, compost, training) to a community food garden. Buy your fresh produce from a community food garden – either directly or via a vegetable box delivery scheme (if applicable).</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p> Some City parks also have community food gardens. If you’d like to set up a food garden in your local park, <a href="">contact us</a> today.</p></div></div>GP0|#f8fa9346-8a07-4ea7-8444-bc05cd3806aa;L0|#0f8fa9346-8a07-4ea7-8444-bc05cd3806aa|Start a community food garden;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#ad6fe10c-0568-48ce-aae2-b58e1ca7d8a5;GPP|#4a553a67-2cba-4911-9745-a724e38b645a;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752A food garden is an effective way to promote food security in communities as well as encourage healthy eating.



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