GROW YOUR OWN FOOD

STARTING your own food garden is easy, cheap and a highly therapeutic exercise, yet countless people and communities gohungry..

STARTING your own food garden is easy, cheap and a highly therapeutic exercise, yet countless people and communities gohungry..

Vegetables and fruit boost the body's natural ability to cope with sickness and disease, providing it with ample ammunition to fend off and successfully overcome the effects of microbes, toxins and pollutants in the environment - yet most people gorge on junk food and pass on the opportunity of saving by buying fresh produce they can grow on their kitchen windowsills or in their backyards.

You only have to start to realise the immense sense of satisfaction of watching your own plants grow, enjoy the relaxation of mind and soul that comes with tending for your own neat, thriving garden and the great sense of fulfilment that comes from enjoying your first fruits or other produce.

But a rising number of women-led, community, principals and teacher-led groups are heeding the call to contribute to food security by starting and maintaining food gardens.

These are the nominees for the 15th yearly Nestlé Community Nutrition Awards - true unsung, nation-building heroes - who were chosen out of about 250 candidates.

The overall winners were RM Vegetable and Fruit Produce Enterprise, who scooped R150000. Sizabantu Nazareth Community Garden and Masizame Community Garden Project were the joint second prize winners, pocketing R75000 each.

The most promising food garden, which earned its creators a whopping R30000, was the Phembindlela Food Gardening Project.

In the schools category the overall winner was Gontse Primary School, which received R50000. The two runners-up, who scooped R20000 each, were the Zitha and Saxonsea primary schools. The most promising school food garden was created at Zingisani Primary School, which pocketed R10000.

Nestlé South Africa initiated the awards to reward efforts by women who improve the nutritional status of their families and communities by creating food gardens.

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