The Avontuur agro-ecological site is a community garden run by farm dwellers in the Avontuur area of the Western Cape. The garden is on 2,5 hectares of land adjoining the local primary school with a land use agreement in place. The children from the school are involved in the garden, enhancing their capacity and building motivation amongst young people. The garden was initiated in 2009 and is worked by 7 full time beneficiaries (6 women and 1 man) with the school learners contributing part time. The site is implementing a number of agro-ecological land use techniques including companion planting, nitrogen fixing, water harvesting and seed harvesting.
Produce is used to supplement household food, as part of the school feeding scheme to ensure learners have access to healthy food and some surplus is sold at affordable prices in the community.
Avontuur is now serving as a "learning site" for other groups who are establishing agro-ecological production sites. Producers undertake site visits to Avontuur and the Avontuur producers are also available to visit new sites and offer advice on technical and institutional matters.
In collaboration with the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, the Surplus People Project (www.spp.org.za) is helping the growers apply agroecological principles.
Avontuur, Western Cape province