The gardening trainings of the Keiskamma Organic Garden started in August 2009. From the beginning, Cebo Mvubu, Ayanda Gcezengana and Thobisa Nknani were part of the group who attends the training sessions regularly. They are artists who work with the Keiskamma Art Project as designers, ceramicists, print makers and wire workers. While Thobisa grows his vegetable at home, Cebo and Ayanda have decided to start their vegetable garden on the grounds of the art studio.
They are currently preparing artworks that will be part of the Keiskamma installation for this year’s Grahamstown National Arts Festival. As they spend much of their time at the Art Studio, the opportunity of using the land there and having some food to bring back home was best for them. With funding obtained through a talk at the Interesting Gardening Club in France, Franck Danais – who runs the organic gardening programme - supplied gardening tools to Cebo and Ayanda, and thanks to private donors, seeds and manure are supplied on an ongoing basis. So far they planted spinach, onions, lettuce, green peppers and carrots. Cebo says: ‘I like gardening. I tried at home even before Keiskamma started the gardening programme, but I didn’t have much success. Then I went to the Keiskamma pilot garden run by Franck, Princess and Samantha, and I found that it was a beautiful and fruitful garden. It was my inspiration that pushed me to try and have my own vegetable garden and make it successful. I went to their trainings, and started the garden at the art studio with Ayanda. Thanks to our garden, I can help my family with food: my two nephews, my mother and myself’.
‘I am really happy about what Cebo and Ayanda started. They are really motivated and they are the right example to show that gardening is not only for old ladies. They have the right idea about taking initiative to improve their lives, starting with the basics: healthy food, and cut back on food expenses’ (Franck Danais, Gardening Programme Manager).