Homegrown: Sustainable Living

06 November 2012

The way the food industry stands today raises a degree of contention:  what are we eating, how are we growing it and how can we improve? 
Comprehensive research tells us that we need to change the way we approach our natural resources. Mankind’s desire for increased convenience conflicts with the concept of sustainable living and the need to protect our environment. 
Africa is not always a haven for farming and growth. Our tough climate, unpredictable soil and tough economic reality dictate that not everyone has the luxury of easy-to-access food. Therefore, self-sustainability is important not merely for eco-preservation but for a large portion of our population, farming is an only means to food. 
Home Grown is a project that was piloted in Botswana with incentive to promote change in the form of self-sustainable living. It is a project that motivates and teaches people to become self-sustainable. Its approach has instigated micro vegetable farming methods for communities and households in both rural and urban areas, and the programme follows a number of easy steps: how to make your own compost, grow seedlings, build your garden, control disease and insects, crop rotation and planting seasons. The farming programme provides people with skills for raising vegetable crops on a small scale in some areas that have been deemed unsatisfactory (with no water or farming background). The techniques are simple, with no farming equipment required.
This initiative is an opportunity that has the potential to impact the lives of children, parents, communities and families. SPAR Botswana had the privilege of being involved in Homegrown when ‘trainees’ from SPAR stores were chosen to become selected Homegrown ‘coaches’ that help coach people throughout the programme. 
Each SPAR Botswana store started five projects in the community with their intention being to maintain, develop and grow a micro-vegetable garden. The Homegrown and SPAR initiative has impacted the lives of people in communities and educated them on the ease of self-sustainability. It has also raised awareness to the importance of self-sustainability and the ease at which these methods can be performed, setting an example for South Africans as well as other African countries.