Sowing Solutions

Ukulima was sent off on a while goose chase to cover all that they could about food gardens. Given that our topic was bestowed upon us by our dear superiors, we immediately jumped to the conclusion that food gardens must be worth their while or otherwise, why on earth were we covering it?

So, the TV students decided to take a more evaluative stance on the matter and made their way around the Grahamstown community, chatting to not only the organisations that help create sustaining food gardens but also to the people who have grown fond of the food gardening world, including women and children. We certainly learnt a lot more about this concept.

It seems as though cultivating your own veggies is a cheap and easy answer to problems of malnutrition and poverty, provided you get over the first rocky patch of learning exactly how to do it and are able to purchase your first packet of seeds. This was another mission of Ukulima, inspiring the production of How-To brochures (accompanied by seeds) and audio sound-slides that are available to the public in need of them.


About Ukulima Grahamstown

Ukulima means 'to cultivate' in isiXhosa and we felt it was a very appropriate name for our project since we are exploring how food gardens are a local and sustainable solution to the global crisis that is food security.

We are a group of third year journalism students that were given the topic 'food gardens' as part of our Critical Media Production course. We are a multimedia group consisting of writers, designers, TV, radio and photojourn students and have been working together, as well as with various civic organisations and community projects on a number of media outputs.

Even though this project will only last six weeks, we hope to 'cultivate' some change in our community and make our media outputs sustainable in that we wish to leave behind knowledge that will benefit people and hopefully lead them in the right direction in creating a food garden that will make them self-sufficient.

We are creating a DVD of all of our visual outputs, which will come with a 'how to' brochure and packet of seeds. We plan to distribute these to various schools, clinics and community centres in the Grahamstown/iRhini area in the hopes that we can encourage people to build food gardens of their own.

We are exhibiting all of our work at Barratt Lecture Hall, Rhodes University on October 22 2008, and hope that members of the community take a look at our efforts in promoting the idea of food gardens.