Hananani Permaculture Project is a garden we helped create in February 2014. It is based at Hananani Primary School in Dixie, the closest village to the Sabi Sand (North) Game Reserve. The garden’s primary purpose is to grow and supply vegetables to the school kitchen, which is responsible for providing each of the 180 young primary school children with a balanced, nutritious meal during school every day.
Once all the needs of this kitchen have been met, the goal is sell surplus produce to the local Dixie community members. Income derived from these sales will be re-invested into further developing the Hananani Permaculture Project.
In the past year we have completed a number of new projects for Hananani, these include the drilling of a new borehole (complete with Jojo tanks), being used by both the garden and the school, and the construction of a shade net covering approximately 400 square meters of the garden.
The Thornybush Collection is responsible for the running costs of the garden, while also developing the strategy and managing all the associated administrative tasks. Currently two ladies from the community work in the garden and invoice us as ‘sole traders’ for their hours. The Thornybush Collection will be facilitating their attendance at various training courses to develop their skill set to be able to manage the garden effectively.
Current projects include securing funding for the construction of palisade fencing around the entire school grounds, both to enhance security for the garden and the school and to keep wandering cattle and goats out. We have learned from experience that livestock very quickly decimate delicious herbs and vegetables!
Once a secure fence has been erected we will be able to significantly expand our growing area. Growth, however, will require additional water resources which means we will need to increase our water storage capacity. We are investigating the installation of rainwater catchment facilities off the school buildings, as well as earthworks to appropriately direct and capture rainwater.
Moving forward, an appropriate building for harvest processing, seed saving space, and for general storage will also be necessary. Fruit orchards and indigenous leguminous trees will be added, and a composting and effective microorganism program will be initiated to sustainably process the required fertility inputs.
Our priority at this stage is to urgently get the school children and their teachers more involved in the practical aspect of vegetable gardening. Our hope is that we inspire them to take their new skills home in order to establish more home vegetable gardens. At the same time our vision is to transform the school into an ‘Eco-Schools’ model.