Local gardens get chance to trade

Zodidi Langa and Nokwanda Nkqayi from Khayelitsha-based, Siyazama Gardens, sold their produce at Checkers Somerset West.

Siyazama Community Gardens in Khayelitsha were among the local community food gardens which had the opportunity to sell their fresh and organically grown crops directly to the public at selected Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets last week.

Market Day was first introduced in 2017 to further extend the retailer’s support of the many community food gardens it partners with to provide the gardens with a platform to sell their fresh produce and to promote themselves to a wider customer base. While it creates an additional income earning opportunity, garden members also gain invaluable skills about operating in a formal retail environment.

“It is scary selling our fresh produce at such a well-known store, but we’re extremely grateful to Shoprite and Checkers for supporting local growers and giving us the opportunity to sell our produce in their stores,” said Zodidi Langa from Siyazama Community Gardens, Khayelitsha.

Gardens from nine provinces participated in the market day – selling produce such as spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce and green beans.

“Through its Act For Change programme, the retailer supports more than 160 community food gardens and over 2 500 home gardens, which impacts almost 17 000 beneficiaries. In the past year, more than 570 community members were trained in sustainable food gardening, assisting them to generate an income while growing nutritious and organic food,” said thr group’s spokesperson, Angelique Wagner.

The food garden support includes an 18-month agricultural training and mentorship programme for community members as well as the provision of seeds, seedlings, gardening equipment, water-infrastructure and shade-netting.