As a homegrown vegetable brought up in an a suburban vege garden I really could not go past this story. In case you haven’t noticed we are in the midst of a world food crisis. But the great folk in Lesotho (the country that is entirely surrounded by South Africa, for those of you that are geographically challenged) have come up with a simple and life saving solution, according to this BBC news report.
In a country in which creeping desertification and erosion have crippled the economy, households have manged to become self sufficient in vegetables through a simple yet innovative solution. They have created two metre wide, circular, raised vegetable gardens in stone walls. Known as ‘keyhole gardens’ the nutrient value is restored to the soil through filling the raised beds of the gardens with tin cans and mulch. The height of gardens means that they are easy to care for. The stone walls of the gardens prevent the erosion that is blighting much of the country. These gardens have proven to be more productive than expected and even in the off season produce enough food to feed a family of ten, with extra to sell.
A couple of points to this story. As a radish I love this idea. Local and simple, home grown solutions to global problems. (Like the old slogan “think global, act local”). It reminds me of this other home grown story, about the people of Burma who are taking matters in to their own hands and attempting to rescue those their government is neglecting.
It also brings some perspective to those of us bitching about the hike in grocery prices.