Urban Harvest - Port Elizabeth
Jakkie and Susan Botha run the Port Elizabeth arm of Cape Town based Urban Harvest - a business offering a vegetable gardening / design service for your home.
Website www.urbanharvest.co.za Mobile +27 (0)79 934 0689 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Story by Deni Archer
The house that Jakkie built
Jakkie Botha is a can-do type of lady. If you want proof, just check out the house that she, her mom and her two sisters built themselves out of sandbags. If you can build a house, you can pretty much do anything, we’d say.
Jakkie didn’t stop there. She went a little further and put together a food garden adjacent to the house. Soon friends began asking about the garden and whether Jakkie could help them plant their own. She did, and eventually Jakkie had the opportunity to run her own food gardening business when she and her sister Susan opened a franchise of Urban Harvest - a growing service which was started in Cape Town in 2008.
Gardens that mimic nature
Like Urban Harvest, Jakkie and Susan use permaculture techniques and ecological design to implement the best edible gardens for her clients. They assesses each garden carefully before the work begins, taking into consideration the location, direction of sunlight, exposure to prevailing winds, quality of the soil and accessibility from the house, amongst other pertinent characteristics. The most important aspect Jakkie and Susan concentrate on is the soil quality - good soil results in healthy and nutritious vegetables!
These techniques, which include companion planting and crop rotation, mimic nature while remaining practical for the garden user. Jakkie says no-one should be without their own food garden, and that no space is impossible to grow in. She has built gardens from the size of a door, to the size of an olympic swimming pool! Once the garden is established, a client can either take over the gardening or Jakkie can maintain it for them on a weekly basis.
More than a growing service
Urban Harvest doesn’t only provide a food gardening service - Jakkie and Susan also present workshops to a wide range of participants from non-profit organisations, to schools, to large corporate companies.
Jakkie’s can-do attitude shines through in her advice on growing your own food: just start, it’s easier than you think!
Jakkie shows us a worm farm she's installed in a client's suburban garden in Port Elizabeth
What can be better (and fresher) than picking your own vegetables out of the garden just before dinner? Here Jakkie harvests a healthy looking potato for her client.
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