The Mhani Gingi Organic Herb and Vegetable Seedling Nursery celebrated its first harvest at the new ‘Centre of Excellence’ site in Athlone, Cape Town, on 1 October 2018 by honouring the many partners in its efforts to boost food security and to provide healthy nutrition in vulnerable communities.
Invited guests who received gifts of vegetables and herbs – including spinach, lettuce, beetroot and turnips freshly picked from the gardens – included Bernadine Bachar, Director of the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children. Collaboration with the Saartjie Baartman Centre enabled Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network to relocate the Mhani Gingi Nursery to the new site in mid-2017.
Other partners of Mhani Gingi who were thanked with gifts of produce from the nursery gardens were team leader Vanessa Baadjies of Mandla Sport 4 Change and 14 gardeners from Uitsig Community in Ravensmead, as well as Cordelia Romes, Principal of the Blouvlei School for Learners with Special Needs in Retreat.
Another guest and partner of Mhani Gingi who was honoured at the first harvest was Dianne Fritz of Zest for Life. Hilary Cloete, representing the Pick n Pay Ackerman Foundation who were sponsors of the Flagship Programme incorporating the Mhani Gingi Nursery, also received a box of mixed fresh produce.
Supporting community gardens
The team numbering 18 gardeners at Uitsig Community have disabilities and maintain three food gardens situated at Uitsig Primary School and Uitsig Community Centre. The Mhani Gingi Nursery supplies seedlings and expertise to these and 21 other community gardens in the greater Cape Town area.
Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger
This work of Mhani Gingi aims to contribute towards achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger.
Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi, used the symbolic occasion of the first harvest from the new grounds to emphasise the importance of collaboration and to express her appreciation to organisations who partner with Mhani Gingi in efforts towards eradicating chronic poverty. Guests were served refreshments of cooked African spinach, Morogo, and fresh beetroot by the Mhani Gingi Nursery.
Kate Marais, Corporate Social Investment facilitator of Food Lover’s Market, was another guest. Also in attendance were Cheryl Harper of WE CAN CHANGE OUR WORLD, Professor Gail Hughes who supports Mhani Gingi’s the health project through the 1.6 Million Club South Africa, and Mhani Gingi Trustee Joan Wright, leader of the Restoring Dignity soap-making project located at the Saartjie Baartman Centre.
The soap-making factory delivered a record order of 200 bottles of 250ml of hand-made natural liquid soap that morning to the SaVI Conference 2018 organisers.
Wright congratulated her team and the Mhani Gingi Nursery team led by Flagship Programme Co-Ordinator, Tabisa Mahlathi, as well as expressing Mhani Gingi’s appreciation for the successful collaboration with the Saartjie Baartman Centre.