Food activists urge residents to plant vegetables

Khayelitsha residents are being urged to cultivate their soil and grow their own fruit and veg.

At the Impilo Food Market in Site C, Khayelitsha on Saturday July 30, food activists encouraged people to use their small gardens to help them live more healthily.

The market is about providing access to healthy and organic food for the community.

At the event the young – as well as the young at heart – were treated to quality entertainment and fruit and veggies grown by Ikhaya Garden and food activists.

The Blue Hall in Khayelitsha, where the event took place, was filled with various stalls showcasing different types of food which had been produced by locals.

Impilo Food Market manager, Xolisa Bangani said there had been food markets in other areas, usually more affluent ones, but not in the townships.

He said they wanted to put Khayelitsha on the map and were hoping it would become a big attraction, even for those from out of town.

“(The) reason we are in Khayelitsha, (is that) there is no health food market (here). People don’t get access to organic food. Healthy food markets don’t normally take place in townships where healthy lifestyles are challenged,” he said.

“We have made this a monthly event. This is to appeal to the people to start looking out for themselves in terms of health. They should support local farmers and embrace the idea of small scale farming. This is also to encourage them to plant and plough,” he said. He appealed to residents to effectively use their soil. He said people can even use bottles and tyres in their gardens. “One does not need to have a big space to plant. There are many things that people can use to their advantage.

“It is important that we all have fresh and organic foods from our backyards. We are appealling to people to do that,” he said.

Lungelo Sibi, who said he stumbled upon the event by chance, hailed the event. The RR Section resident said he had been at the hall for a political gathering but found himself at the market instead.

Mr Sibi said he had enjoyed many different dishes and that “I am not a healthy type of a person but I found myself eating spinach”.

“I went on to taste other foods on display,” he said. “I must say I enjoyed the spaghetti more than any other food here,” he said. But, he questioned how the event had been marketed. “We do not get to know where such events are held. It would have been nice if they went around to all areas. I have learnt a few planting tips from people here. I will have to put them to the test and I promise to have my own garden soon,” he said.