Dibanisa Lesson: Farming Sustainably in Fynbos

On Thursday, the boys played their Coaches Across Continents game.  The boys were divided into ‘good farmers’ and ‘bad farmers’.  There is a target player that is standing in the small area. The target player represents the fynbos. The other players are separated into two groups - the "good farmers" (the defending team, slightly less players) and the "bad farmers" (the attacking and possessing team, slightly more players than the defending team). The goal for the "bad farmers" is to possess the ball and try to pass the ball to the target player (which represents damaging the fynbos). The "good farmers" have to try to defend the small area and try to stop the "bad farmers" from passing the ball to the target player.

On Friday, the children visited Growing the Future to learn more about sustainable farming within a fynbos environment.  Anchelle, one of our Growing the Future students’, showed the boys around Growing the Future and started off by showing them the giant pumpkins that grew in one of the fields.  We then moved on to the herb garden, where Anchelle told the boys about the various uses  for the herbs – comfry is a good antiseptic for wounds, mint is good for a sore throat, as well as the uses for origanum and fennel. 

We moved on to the next bed, where Anchelle showed the boys a plot that has been mulched to retain moisture.  The mulch also breaks down to become part of the soil, adding extra nutrients.  We moved on to the next area, in which Anchelle asked the boys to identify a variety of vegetable plants.  She showed the boys the difference between plants that were harvested and plants that have gone to seed in order to collect seeds to grow plants the following season.  She also showed them the sun-dried tomatoes that they were busy drying in order to sell them to the Grootbos kitchen.

When we walked past the lavender, Anchelle told the boys that it is good for keeping the mosquitos away!!! Next on our tour, we visited the free range chicken coup.  The boys got the opportunity to collect a few eggs!

We moved on to the quince tree, where each of the boys got their own quince to eat and when we moved past a vine, we all got to taste the grapes.  We moved into the hothouse where we saw germinating seeds as well as turmeric and ginger which is being grown.

Next on our list, was the pig pen, which was the highlight of our tour.  The boys were very impressed the size of Scratchy, the resident sow.  They also took a closer look at the piglets!

Anchelle also told them about the worm farm and how they make organic fertiliser from the worm tea and chicken manure, which is used to fertilise the plants.  As a reward for being good, the boys all got to taste our wonderful fynbos honey!

Thanks to Anchelle for showing the boys around, for Viola who did the pick-up and drop-off and to Mzi for helping with supervision!

We look forward to our beach clean-up which will take place at the end of the week!