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Lessons from a vegetable garden

It was a talk by Jane Griffiths in 2015 that inspired me to start a vegetable garden, one that would be organic and fully sustainable.

Not that I had much knowledge – I have no gardening background. But once my husband had installed drip irrigation I jumped in, boots and all. I wanted to plan and manage a vegetable garden in the most natural way possible.

We farm in Middelburg in the Eastern Cape, where you have to get to grips with extreme climatic conditions: very cold winters with heavy frost, intense heat in the summer months, and exceptionally dry Karoo air.

I quickly learnt what would survive and what would not – and that there is a wealth of vegetables and fruits that can grow here with the help of natural resources and planning. I also learnt how I could work with nature to get the best out of the soil.

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