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Each morning the students are collected from a central pick up point in Stanford, Wearing their Growing the Future overalls and bright orange caps. The students are driven up to their classroom, which is a renovated shed, situated on Steynsbos which is surrounded by their veggie plots, situated in the midst of Grootbos's magnificent fynbos. The morning lessons usually start with practical life skills where students are helped through various subjects such basic banking and budgeting, business skills and health issues. Each day the college provides students with a hearty breakfast and then it’s on with the theory sessions until lunch. Our curriculum is multidisciplinary, focussing on vegetable and fruit production, turning the produce which has been harvested into value added secondary goods, the principles of successful animal husbandry, as well as beekeeping. Each week students learn how to propogate various vegetables from seed, their growth requirements and how to plant and harvest various vegetables. We explore all aspects of growing and caring for vegetables and fruit trees.
After a hearty lunch prepared by the Grootbos kitchen the students head outside to put their newly acquired knowledge to practical use. We propogate seed in our own green house. We learn about feeding, watering and pruning of veggies and fruit trees, design and lay out of vegetable plots, general care and maintenance vegetable gardens and much, much more. The practical sessions are generally held in the nursery and in the vegetable plots. Regular visits to vegetable farms and gardens and other places of interest add an extra element of fun and learning to the Growing the Future programme.
My name is Amanda Condaba and I am 22 years old. I was born in Ngqeleni on the 22nd of June 1989. I attended Umtata Technology College and passed Grade 10. I came to Gansbaai in 2011.
I have 1 child who is two year and 1 month old.
I want to know everything at growing the future. I am interested in plants and computers. This is the best future for me, because I left school at a very early age. Now it is my chance! I want to graduate and get a certificate!
After I finish, I want to work on my own project. I want to earn money and have my own house. I want to help poor people and to educate people about plants and computers.
My name is Nobule Adonis and I am 29 years old. I was born in Butterworth on 17 July 1982. I went to a school in Litha Township and passed Grade 11. I came to Gansbaai in 2006. I am married and have a five year old boy.
I want to learn more about growing plants and life skills and also get experience in plants and vegetables.
I want to have my own project and help the people who have no jobs and teach them about growing plants.
My name is Anchelle Damon. I am 25 years old and I was born in Hermanus on the 20th of August 1986. I attended Hawston Secondary School and passed Grade 11. I have lived in Stanford my whole life.
I was always interested in growing stuff. My goal is to understand the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of growing organic vegetables. I want to learn about everything here. I want to give my best so when one day I have my own family, I can grow healthy organic vegetables. Everyone wants the best for their families, right?
I’m definitely taking my experience into my community. I really dream about being a chef. I love to cook and I enjoy being around people. I want to work in the hospitality. I want to work in the hospitality industry.
My name is Asanda Masela and I am 24 years old. I was born in Tsomo on the 19th of August 1987. I attended Siphandla Senior Secondary School and passed Grade 12. I came to Gansbaai in 2010.
I want to have more knowledge about how to deal with plants and know how to make plants grow and how to protect them. I want to learn more about food production and agriculture. I want to know how to plant vegetables and learn how to help each other.
I want to be a good person with plants. I want to teach other people one day about vegetables and have my own big garden. I also want to get a better job.
My name is Noxolo Ntlongotyo. I am 35 years old and was born in Tsomo on the 06th of February 1975. I went to Sinetemba Senior Secondary School and passed Grade 11. I came to Gansbaai in 1999. I am married, but have no children.
I want o learn about life skills and food production. I also want to learn about raising chicken and pig production. I also want to learn about how to how you prepare soil when you are going to plough.
After my year at Growing the Future I want to work. I want to have my own project, then I can teach other students what I have learnt at Growing the Future.
My name is Nwabisa Masela and I am 28 years old. I was born on the 3 November 1983 in Tsomo. I went to Tsomo High and and passed Grade 11. I have been in Masakhane since 2010. I have one girl, who is five years old.
I want to learn more about plants and production and more skills in my future. I like to feed the pigs and chickens. I want to work hard in Growing the Future because I like this work. Growing the Future feels like a home to me.
After I finish my training, I want my own business because I want more things in Growing the Future.
My name is Sinethemba Siqinepu. I am 25 years old and was born in Lady Frere on the 7th of August 1985. I went to Mtirara High School and passed Grade 11. I came to Masakhane in 2006. I have one boy who is 4 years old.
I want to know about the difference between Green Futures and Growing the Future. I want to learn how to grow vegetables and plant and also to learn life skills and food production.
I want to help people who do not know about life skills and food production in my community. I want to be hard worker and have my own business.
My name is Ziyanda Bayi. I was born in Umtata and I am 19 years old. I was born on the 22nd of December 1992. I went to Qhanyiya Senior Secondary in Hermanus and passed Grade 10. I came to Gansbaai in 2009. I have two children; my boy is 3 years old and my girl is 1 year old.
I want to learn more about food production and life skills. I also want to learn more about vegetables. I am serious to learn about nature, because nature is very important.
After I complete my year at Growing the Future, I want to work for Grootbos.