The women growing food gardens in Rawsonville and Ceres enjoyed rich summer harvests in January and February, producing beans, spinach, watermelon, potatoes, onions, mealies, squash, pumpkin, tomatoes and carrots, including indigenous varieties. There are 25 food gardens in the Western Cape, and 30 food gardens in the Northern Cape.
The women used most of the vegetables they produced for household consumption, which has greatly enhanced their household food security. Many women reported they had been unable to afford vegetables in the past, but were now they able to provide fresh vegetables for their families throughout the year. Some women from Rawsonville were able to sell their surplus vegetables to neighbouring households, thereby generating income for themselves and enabling their neighbors to consume fresh and affordable vegetables. The Ceres Cooperative has also purchased vegetables from the food gardens in Rawsonville, which they use to make preserves and chutneys to sell.
The food gardens also supported the communities during the farm worker strikes, enabling women to feed their families.
In June, the food garden participants from Rawsonville will participate in a seed capturing and agro-ecology workshop in June. Women from the Ceres Cooperative will co-facilitate the training with WFP staff as they have already participated in similar training and have recently successfully captured their own indigenous seeds for the first time.