Lead SA, Talk Radio 702, 567 CapeTalk, 94.5 KFM, and 94.7 Highveld Stereo will be focusing on food security and sustainability for Mandela Day. Ahead of 18 July, Nurseryman Morne Faulhammer spoke to 567 CapeTalk and Talk Radio 702’s Africa Melane and provided some advice on starting your journey toward food security.

“In an area like Phillipi in Cape Town, nine out of the ten days, families do not know what they are going to have for supper,” said Africa opening the discussion.

“And it’s not a case of too many options in the cupboard… They do not have anything that they can eat for supper”.

This is the sad reality for many, many South Africans.

According to FoodBank SA, at least 14 million South Africans are vulnerable to food insecurity – yet this is a statistic we can counter.

There are, according to Morne, three ways in which we can begin to fight hunger.

The first two ways are largely in the hands of policymakers and farm/landowners.

The other way to work towards food security and sustainability is to start your very own garden and, ideally, share the surplus.

“Everyone has the ability to grow their own plants,” said Morne.

The resources you’ll be needing are:

  • Soil – be it in an open ground area, container or tyres
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • The seed or propagation material

“Then, together with the awareness and the knowledge base, that’s it,” said Morne.

Another great piece of advice shared was how to harvest your seed so that you can sow it next season.

“Depending on the crop type, you are simply holding back a percentage of the seed instead of eating it,” said Morne.

He used the example of a tomato to explain the process:

  • Leave a tomato on the plant for as long as possible
  • Then, take it off and let it sundry – that is most important
  • Cut the tomato in half, let it sundry and prick the seeds

“How you store seed is very important,” he said.

The seeds must be kept in a place that is dry and without any dampness otherwise the seed is vulnerable to fungal infections.

So, put it into a paper packet and into an area which is dry and doesn’t get any direct heat.

“Then, you can plant it the following season,” he concluded.

So why not start listing all your essentials and favourite vegetables because in no time – with the help of regular “how-to’s” from Lead SA – you will be able to start your own food garden and help combat food insecurity.