Agri Vision Foundation (NPC) went to Joe Slovo informal settlement in Port Elizabeth to encourage and train the wider community on how to sustain themselves via home grown food gardens. Fourty-eight people attended the six hour training and our training partners for the day was Farming God’s Way. The community expressed their need for entrepreneurial business training and wanted to know how we can help struggling fathers to become responsible fathers in their homes. Over 60% of the children grow up without a father figure in the house in Joe Slovo. We have already identified a course called ‘The World Needs a Father’ for their needs. The entrepreneurial course material we use is called Emerging Leaders.

Participants were reminded that farming is a noble profession and that nature provides all we need to be successful, should we maintain the soil quality and make use of crop rotations. The rotation cycle suggested starts with fruit crops like beans, continues to leafy crops like swiss-chard, and ends with root crops like beetroot and spring-onion.

Some of the locally available material (wood ash, manure, compost and mulching) were used to build and cover the demonstration garden on the day. We also demonstrated the soil’s water holding capacity using spunges and bread as examples, and demonstrated how brown mulching can lower the impact of rain on soil compaction, erosion and loss of nutrition. Lastly, emphasis was placed on plant row orientation and planting distances between different crop species based on their frame size.

We want to extend our gratitude to the Joe Slovo community leaders, our training partners and Laeveld Agrochem for making this day possible. LACares also provided 220 nutritional sachets for which are very thankful. The sachets were well accepted and resulted in great excitement. Over 100 of these saches will also be donated to children in the Somerset East area where food shortages are a regular occurrence. We are looking forward doing entrepreneurial and fatherhood training in the community in 2024 !

For more information on this project and other community based projects in the Eastern Cape, please contact Dr Michael Southwood at