Service Project 2013- Varkplaas Community Garden- Update #1

Finished veggie garden!

Finished veggie garden!

It’s proven to be quite the task trying to figure out all the details of building and maintaining a community garden for Varkplass. The foundation was already laid out by the students that went to South Africa last year which is extremely helpful. The garden is primarily used to plant tomatoes and onions to bring profit to the people of Varkplaas. Creating a garden does not come down to the issue of finances but rather the issue of creating something functional that wont stick out in the town or call too much attention. Since the garden has its boundaries already our biggest challenge is to fix the fencing from the previous year since the wind has started to tear parts of it.

I really didn’t even know where to begin to find fences that would be reasonably priced, functional and well suited for the area. Winters in South Africa can be very cold and windy which can cause problems with the vegetable gardens and fences.

I decided to look at Home Depot for some ideas about different types of fences that are available. Many fences are for decorative purposes, used for houses or have a grated design to them. Looking on Lowes proved to show me the same types of fences and gardening sites were way out of our price range. I got to thinking about the fence that was used last year and why it didn’t hold up. Since it was just one solid sheet that wrapped around the entire garden it seems only expected that it would eventually get rips and tears from the wind. The overall idea of a solid sheet that is inexpensive


and visually fitting in the area seems to be the best option still. I think to improve this however we would need to think about reinforcement for the sheet. We would first begin by wrapping the perimeter of the community garden with the same fencing material as previously used. Instead of leaving it by itself we would reinforce it with barrier fencing


that can purchased in large amounts at a very inexpensive price.

Beyond the fences I began to think about different ways to make the garden look visually pleasing and also get the younger community members involved. I stumbled upon some neat ideas on Pinterest that I think could be used for the garden. There are different crafts geared towards children that create rolls of seeds to be planted as well as garden decorations. I wanted to begin to explore Pinterest further to see if any other ideas could be altered to fit the Varkplaas community garden.


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