MAROPENG PLANTS FOOD GARDEN AT MALONEY’S EYE SCHOOL
To supplement learners’ meals with organic vegetables, Flow Communications in conjunction with Maropeng, the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind, has planted a food garden at Maloney’s Eye Primary School.
For many years Magel van de Venter, Maropeng’s education and marketing executive, has worked closely with Maloney’s Eye where over 300 children from poverty-stricken backgrounds come to learn, despite facing almost insurmountable social challenges. The work they’ve done at the school up till now has ensured that the school has decent facilities, a fully functional kitchen and jungle gyms to play on. This has also contributed to the growth of the school’s reputation as a quality learning institution.
“I’m a firm believer that if the kids assist with the planting, they will take responsibility for the overall food garden,” said Van de Venter as she lined up trays of seedlings in pre-prepared beds at Maloney’s Eye School. “So we asked the Grade 7s to help plant the 740 seedlings. We’ve got cabbage, spinach, beetroot, onion and cauliflower – all winter sprouts,” she added.
Staff from Maropeng had earlier made ready the ground, prepped the garden beds and enriched the soil with manure from Maropeng’s Bokashi process recycling system. Recycled tyres act as retaining walls to the stepped vegetable garden. The tyres will help retain water in the summer and limit soil erosion in the windy winter.
“Our aim is to enhance the nutritional value of the one warm meal these learners are guaranteed daily,” she said. “While the Department of Basic Education’s feeding programme includes maize meal and soya as staples, these vegetables will boost the school’s menu with nutrient-rich meals for learners.”
Flow Communications generously donated the money to purchase the seeds, Maropeng staff also lent a hand with the planting and even principal Ellen Mpho Sechotlo got her hands dirty. Flow bookkeeper, Nam Madokw, says, “To see the kids help plant the vegetables and how appreciative and keen they were, was amazing to witness. The vegetable garden is such a good idea, and easy to implement and sustain. And the kids were just wonderful.”
Flow writer, Kolosa Vuso, agrees. “Seeing the dedication on the eyes of the learners was such an amazing experience because we all walked out of the school knowing that with the guidance of the principal Ellen and Van de Venter, the seedlings will flourish to feed these learners. I’m so grateful I got a chance to help the learners plant. I can’t wait for the harvest!”