Keeping our Community Gardens at their Best

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Thornybush Community Gardens are integral to adding that extra something to our guest's South African safaris. Thanks to these projects we can provide fresh, locally grown produce to most of our lodges every week.

How do we get this produce to taste and look so great? Here's one of the ways…

Under Cover Tactics

We are up for anything when it comes to protecting and nurturing our Community Gardens – as long as it is environmentally friendly.

One of these initiatives is netting our gardens. Thanks to our sponsors, we have been able to erect netting at both Thousand Herbs & Vegetable Garden and Hanani Primary School.

This netting, which has a 40% shade coverage, allows enough sunshine to filter through the holes, and mainly assists our gardeners in the following ways:

Protection from the Elements

It's no secret that it can get hot in this part of the world during the summer season. The shade nets help to reduce the amount of sunshine that reaches the plants, as well as helping to reduce the amount of evaporation from the soil. Together with careful mulching practises, this aids in keeping the roots of our plants that little bit happier.

While water is always welcome in any garden, summer storms can be severe in the Lowveld, and a heavy down pour can flatten a lot of the 'softer' plants, thus the nets also help reduce the impact of these big rain drops by breaking them up, allowing our plants the benefit from a softer shower instead. We don't usually get frost or hail in winter, but if we were to have an unexpected freeze, our nets would help protect the plants from that too.

The Way Forward

The areas that are covered at Hananani Primary School and Thousand Herbs and Vegetable Garden fair far better than the areas out in the open. When the heat of summer is at its most intense, heat waves of 40 degrees Celsius plus can often last around 2 - 3 days. When this happens, we often have widespread disaster/loss of crop in all the areas that are not under shade netting protection. The roots basically get cooked to death!

Thus, we plan to increase the amount of shade protection as and when we can afford it. Especially at Hananani where we have now installed a palisade fence, effectively allowing us to slowly expand the garden to roughly 5 times its current size.

Please get in touch if you'd like to lend a helping hand in whatever way possible.

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Monday, 11 December 2017