Our Flagship programme supports environmental awareness and urban agriculture while providing a platform that encourages both young and old to learn more about organic propagation of vegetable seedlings and herbs and also the use of permaculture methods of propagation. Our environmental activities promote healthy nutrition and food security.
The programme is divided into three distinct focus areas: The Nursery, The Community Gardens, and The Vertical Gardens to include participation by persons with physical disabilities (PWPD).
The Herb and Vegetable Seedling Nursery
The main project operated by Mhani Gingi is the organic Herb and Vegetable Seedling Nursery for vegetable seedlings and ornamental plants. A once unused piece of land at TSIBA campus at Old Mutual Head Office in Pinelands, Cape Town, was turned into a productive incubator space in 2009.
The Mhani Gingi Nursery moved to Athlone in 2017 in collaboration with the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children.
The Mhani Gingi Nursery is used in many ways to benefit both network members and the Cape Flats communities within which Mhani Gingi works.
Today, the Nursery consists of several gardening tunnels, a hot house, 3 ‘Wendy houses’ for tool storage, an office, training as well as planting beds, for the cultivation of plants, flowers, trees and thousands of seedlings. These are supplied to about 25 community gardens that are supported by Mhani Gingi in the greater Cape Town area. The fencing wall is also utilised for vertical gardens, innovatively including persons with physical disabilities to participate in gardening.
“Use what you have to attract and keep what you need” – It is of utmost importance to utilise every possible available space to produce nutritious food. This practice has worked very well for Mhani Gingi and thanks to the generous donation of seedlings from Pick n Pay, it is being extended into communities via unused grounds at local schools, creches, hospitals, prisons and even office parks on the Cape Flats.
By promoting better nutritional practices at all levels as well as programmes that enhance direct and immediate access to food by the neediest, Mhani Gingi places the emphasis on “Prevention is better than cure.”
It is hoped that as school children and communities are taught how to produce and eat healthy food, more and more opportunistic diseases, caused by lack of nutrition, will be eradicated.
Plant Tissue Laboratory
A plant tissue laboratory planned for Mhani Gingi has not materialised due to lack of resources. It would not only provide a platform for plant propagation to support the network’s vegetable gardens and nutrition projects, but would also provide training in scientific procedures for township learners. This would help them make a transition to further qualification at tertiary institutions and also to a job in the private sector.
The Vertical Gardens
The Vertical Gardens include participation by persons with physical disabilities (PWPD) in gardening activities and the cultivation of vegetables and other plants.
The Rose Geranium Farm proposal
Mhani Gingi’s Rose Geranium Farm proposal earned a place as one of 50 finalists in the University Startup World Cup 2015 in Copenhagen. The proposal aims to employ persons with disabilities and abled gardeners in urban agriculture through establishment of an organic Rose Geranium oil farm in one of the disadvantaged communities in the greater Cape Town area.