Urban gardening with waste water in Zimbabwe (Willem Van Cotthem)

When reading a former posting on my desertification blog, I could not resist thinking how easy it could be to help the gardeners in Bulawayo by sending them lots of free seeds of vegetables collected by our action “Seeds for Food”.

Please read the second paragraph :

“Using waste water has helped me to grow vegetables for sale,” Maziya told IPS. “I have used money from the sale of these vegetables to put my children through school. The project has made a difference for my family and I. “My wish now is to improve the variety of vegetables I grow here to include carrots, spinach, tomatoes cabbage and onions which will increase my income.” Maziya is one of about a thousand farmers who are part of a project to grow leaf vegetables such as rape, sugar beans and maize using treated waste water. “

Now suppose that some development aid organization or a NGO wants to help these urban farmers in Bulawayo to seeds.  Probably they would buy them in Zimbabwe (thus helping the local seed producing companies).  Wouldn’t it be wise to save that money for other aid actions and use our free seeds for urban gardening ?

We can only offer to help gardeners, wherever they need seeds.  Just ask !

2008 - Allotment gardens Slotenkouter (Ghent City, Belgium) - Successful application of an Indian organic fertilizer (left untreated, right treated).

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.