UJMA Vegetable-Box Project
The Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, as part of the community outreach programme, invited learners of the UJ Metropolitan Academy to partake in creating a Vegetable-Box Garden. In this project, learners planted seasonal vegetables in a vegetable-box that was placed at their school. Ms Estherna Pretorius, Mr Thinus Fourie and Mr Stanley Khumalo of the Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology provided planting materials and assisted learners in starting their garden. The vegetables were grown in upcycled pallets that were converted into a three-layer crate making up a vegetable-box-garden. The project aims to teach learners about sustainable living through growing a vegetable garden and harvesting for their use. Through growing vegetables, they develop a better understanding of and appreciate all the effort going into producing vegetables. Learners were exposed to the concept of companion planting, where various plants are used to attract natural pollinators and insect repellents. The vegetables planted included radishes, lettuce and spinach as well as basil (an insect repellent) and Marigold (a bee attractant).