An initiative – called a pavement or sidewalk garden – to help feed those in need is making waves in Gauteng. A public garden is a small fruit and vegetable patch residents create on their own property, like the sidewalk outside their home. The garden is tended by the owner, but free to use for all in need.

The concept was recently shared on Facebook by Ikhala Trust, who posted a picture of such a garden in Johannesburg. “This is a public garden for community to harvest. Lets use the space we have to feed each other,” they said.

A pavement garden in Melville, Koppies. This is a public garden for community to harvest. Lets use the space we have to feed each other. #usewhatyouhave #startwhereyouare #eachonefeedone #ABCD

Posted by Ikhala Trust on Wednesday, 8 July 2020

It’s no secret that many are jobless as a result of the lockdown imposed after the COVID-19 outbreak. Many vulnerable communities face hunger, as breadwinners can’t provide for their families simply because they cannot work, even if they want to.

A public garden is a fantastic and easy way to lend a helping hand. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either.

Here’s how to start your own:

  1. Choose a suitable space on your property that is accessible to the public. Make sure it is allowed if you are renting.
  2. Choose what you want to plant. Carrots, spring onions, peas, green peppers and cauliflower are easy veggies to grow in winter. Apples, pears, peaches and nectarines are good winter fruits.
  3. Make a sign board that clearly says the produce may be harvested by anyone, without permission.
  4. It might be helpful to add a sign explaining how to pick the fruit and vegetables in the right way.
  5. Tend your garden. Knowing you help feed someone in need, as well as being able to pick from your own garden will be immensely rewarding.

Picture: Unsplash

Article written by

Anita Froneman