Help more with training a farmer per month
The most sustainable solution is to train a farmer to grow food sustain-ally and our mission is to get farmers set up with skills and the means to grow food at orphanages, care centers and primary schools. We have been training a few farmers over the last year who are almost able to begin farming who just need a little bit of help to get growing on their own.
What is it about?
Our farm has two aims - to produce food naturally for orphaned children while creating jobs by teaching ecological farming skills to the unemployed. We are supported by our local community who buy our veggies, which helps us to cover the cost of the farm in order to feed the children and run our training programmes.
Growing Healthy Farms NPC is a not for profit organisation, and has been fully developed into an young urban farm. The farm is planted monthly for successive harvesting throughout the year and we are in month five of our nine month planting plan. This means we have started to harvest. It also means we are over halfway planted across the available twelve plots.
We urgently need bridging finance to save the farm while we wait for the sales to reach the stage where we have sufficient income. Our funds have run a bit short of our goal due to unforeseen changes in our startup donor funding, who now is focusing on assisting another 900 children in need. This crowdfunding campaign will help us sustain the farm for the next two months until all the plots become fully productive and we can support ourselves.
Then we will be reaching our goal of providing our community with organic vegetables, and our mission of feeding 1014 orphans every month with at least 150g of fresh vegetables each, everyday while developing urban farmers to feed our nation in a healthy way.
The land was purchased in 2013 in the middle of suburbia by our founding donor. The following year, extensive assessments were carried out to apply permaculture and biodynamic principles to improve the soil quality intensively, and grow a natural farm from the early stages. The start of Growing Healthy Farms NPC as a not-for-profit farm was thus put in motion.
The farm was designed in a ecohydrological way in order to harness the run off water, by slowing it down and spreading it over the property. By shaping the ground into berms and swales, the design has ensured that all rain soaks into the ground, and the runoff from neighbors and the road is captured to hydrate the water table and aquifers.
Intensive permaculture plots with drip irrigation to conserve water were developed. Compost production from the neighbours stable waste began, alongside the wormeries and bokashi food waste recycling to make fertiliser to feed the crops. Herbs were planted along the tops of the spiral berms as natural pest-repellants and to attract beneficial predators of pests to the farm.
We now have a fully functioning urban training farm, with a full workforce (our farmers in training) and a nearby orphanage we support, plus weekly buyers of our produce from our community - when we are able to harvest.
Our farm is able to sustain itself and meet our goal of feeding 1014 children a day while developing future farmers, with our extensive and clever use of all the land available, and our rotating plots planting plan, and our community education events. Also our retail nursery and half the crops will be for sale to our local community, which will all help cover the running costs of the NPC. This will happen when all the plots and nursery have matured and are productive - which will be by the end of 2016.
To reach the point of being sustainable on our own, we have a challenge of getting through theses early days until we are known by the greater neighborhood.
We have managed to make it thus far but there are a few bills still unpaid from the last few months. We need to raise 4800 Pounds (R80 000) per month, and R 86,617.28 is all we are short of for our October, November and December monthly expenses. Over the last three months which is pretty good going all things considered. We can only reach a small portion of our monthly budget through our community tours, nursery sales and our veggies sales, due to our plots not being in full production and we are not yet fully supported by locals yet.
What are the funds for
The running costs of the farm are 4800 Pounds per month with a modest budget that covers just the bare essentials. These include:
- Electricity to run the borehole, irrigation farmhouse and Farming hub
- Rent of the land
- Website costs to facilitate orders, sales and delivery of veggies to the community
- Wages for the farming staff
- Seeds to keep the planting going until we are harvesting our own seeds
- Fertilisers until our production meets our demand
- Anti-pest until our production meets our demand
- Chicken and duck food
- Vehicle running costs to get the food to the children and materials to the farm
- Accounting fees to keep our books transparent and in line
- Soil tests to ensure we are adding the correct organic fertiliser recipes
- Insurance for our office equipment and vehicle
Support planWe have worked out a plan, and your support and funds will be going towards creating a job by teaching a future farmer and there after allowing the farmer to get growing on a piece of ground near the children's home or school. R 6,000 per month is needed to cover these initial costs. The costs include trainer and training materials needed per month and the training and coaching is done over a three year period.
About the project owners
Jacques Damhuis has been involved in the conception and creation of our farm from the very early stages. He formalised Growing Healthy Foods NPC in 2016 with the aim to set up sustainable farms throughout Africa, starting with our current training center designed to harness nature to the fullest. He has over 38 years of food growing experience and knows the importance of children eating nutritious food. Jacques also understands that nutrition in produce is based on the soil health, as some vitamins are made by microbes and absorbed by the roots.
Yelang Jenka runs a informative television network through Africa called ‘Access Africa’. This television show takes the business viewer across the continent, exploring how business is grown on the African continent. Yelang will be ensuring our future expansion plans in Africa are done transparently and she will be marketing us through her Access Africa show.
Zain Halle has worked with social development organisations for over 5 years in impoverished areas and has joined forces with Jacques to set up sustainable farms for socioeconomic sustainability in communities. Zain will be ensuring our business side is kept up to date and organised as per the rules of Not for Profit Organisations.