Development cooperation through container gardening : a fairy tale (Willem Van Cotthem)

A couple of years ago Patrick HARRY (Lilongwe, Malawi) set up his “Youth Container Gardening Project”.  This successful initiative aims at motivating young Malawians to produce fresh food (vegetables, fruits) in all kinds of containers at home.

2006 : Patrick HARRY and some of his enthusiastic youngsters showing the first container gardening harvest (Photo Patrick HARRY)

Yesterday, we launched at Facebook a group called “Friends of Container Gardening in Malawi” :

“This is an open group of people interested in the “YOUTH CONTAINER GARDENING PROJECT” of Patrick HARRY in Malawi. Patrick was a student in Ghent (Belgium) and took advice to start container gardening in his home country. He is teaching and training youngsters in the container gardening technique, thus helping youth to grow fresh food (vegetables and fruits) with a minimum of irrigation water. The main objective of this project is to provide food security and to limit malnutrition, particularly of children. Members of this group are invited to send seeds of (sub)tropical vegetables and fruits to Patrick HARRY – C/O Martha HARRY – Theatre of Change – British Council – P.O.Box 30222 – LILONGWE 3 – Malawi (Africa).”

Today, Laura KIDD surprised the members of this Facebook-group with the following message :

“My daughter and I went to the post office to post our parcel of seeds to Patrick … it has a long journey ahead … bon voyage little parcel, hope you arrive safely! :)”

2011-01-12 : Laura KIDD and daughter showing proudly their first shipment of seeds to Patrick HARRY’s project in Malawi
2011-01-12 – Laura’s daughter knows where their seeds are going to.

Isn’t this a nice fairy tale in the world of development cooperation ?  The world looks a bit brighter again. FORMIDABLETASTIC !  Thanks, Laura and daughter.


Marty WARE (Australia) joined the squadron announcing :

“I have collected so far some Mini Mamma capsicum seeds, Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Basil and some seeds from our local tomato market. I have Cos lettuce just about to be collected too!  I am looking forward to posting them off soon,

Thanks, Mate !


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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