Food gardening
 
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Communal vegetable gardens at each of our 13 centres encourage and teach women (and some men!) how to grow their own food.

Each woman is given her own vegetable bed and is responsible for planting, weeding, watering and reaping – with help on hand if she needs it.

Even though the beds are small, by planting three or four different types of vegetables in rotation, enough food can be grown all year round to feed an entire family.

Once the women gain the necessary skills and confidence, they are encouraged to start their own vegetable patch at home. Surplus cabbages, potatoes and carrots can be sold to neighbours to earn a little extra income.

food garden

Getting involved in food gardening at the ACFS not only ensures fresh healthy food for the family – it also provides healthy outdoor exercise, an occupation for the unemployed, companionship and a wonderful feeling of achievement and independence.

There's nothing quite like the feeling you have when you sit down at the table to eat vegetables you have grown yourself!

vegetable gardening

ACFS uses the trench method to grow healthy fresh vegetables, as taught by the Food Gardens Foundation

It's simple, effective and uses the minimum amount of water. Well worth trying yourself!

  1. cabbageMark out a garden bed approximately 1 metre x 2 metres in size (a garden spade measures about a metre from handle to blade).
  2. Dig out the bed until it is about knee-deep.
  3. carrotHalf fill with rubbish such as old vegetable peelings, chicken bones, leaves, torn up cardboard, grass cuttings, egg shells, etc. Do not use items that won't rot – e.g. bottles, cans, plastic bags.
  4. onionCover the rubbish with the soil you dug out of the bed, replacing the subsoil first and then the topsoil. The bed will be slightly higher than the surrounding ground.
  5. Cover with mulch – dry grass, leaves, old newspaper or even stones. (This helps keep the bed damp after watering.)
  6. peasMake nine rows across the bed, approximately a hands' breadth apart, and plant four or five different kinds of vegetables.
  7. Water and protect the bed with net/shadecloth.


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