MEET ROOT-TO-GROW

Making a difference since 2011

“We’ve had a very humble beginning through obtaining small sponsorships from the Ackerman Pick & Pay Foundation, SABIC (Saudi Diversified Manufacturing Company), SPAR, The Oceana Foundation and The Department of Agriculture Western Cape and those individuals willing to make a difference” says director and founder Pieter Strauss – a former school teacher with the vision to teach children to grow their own food as we are faced with a certain food shortage in the future.

Root-to-Grow was registered in 2011 as a non-profit company and started with the implementation of organic vegetable gardens, worm farms and recycle initiatives at only two schools in disadvantage communities in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

Today, we are proud to say we have established food gardens at 18 schools in similar disadvantage communities throughout the Western Cape and even more proud to say we are feeding approximately 2500 children!

Research has predicted that in the next 10 years fresh produce will become unaffordable and very scarce due to global warming. 50% of South Africans depend on social and government grants. Global warming is not a myth anymore, it has become a harsh reality. The world is running out of food. Each and every person has to consider a house garden.

Therefore, we at Root-to-Grow believe that our youth is our future and in a world faced with food shortages, what better skills to learn than to grow your own food.

GROWING A SCHOOL GARDEN

If they grow it, they will eat it and it might just change their lives

Growing a school garden fosters community, teaches kids where their food comes from, and gets them outside.

For many children there is no way they can relate the food they see in bottles, packets and jars, with soil, sunshine, ripeness and satisfying activity.

At Root-to-Grow we are convinced that changes in food choices do not come about as a result of cautionary advice, charts or pyramids, but by example and by positive experience.

As a teacher, I’ve seen first-hand how educational and fun gardening with children can be. From watcing a little girl’s surprise and wonder as juice and seeds trickle down her chin upon biting into a tomato to the little boy who saved me the seeds in his apple because he was proud he knew what they were, I believe that gardening gives children something they can’t get in the classroom… hands-on activities that help long-term memory acquisition.

By creating and caring for a small school vegetable garden, and then preparing and cooking the harvested produce, young children could develop greater enjoyment of flavour and texture, a better understanding of cultural and culinary differences, and an increased understanding of the relationship between growing things and caring for the environment. An equally important part of such an experiment would be the sharing around the table and talking about what was being eaten.