‘Return to earth’ – grow organic food

Gugu Mazibuko, Penny Johnson and Kate Patience.

Soil for Life’s aim is to get people to put the right things in their hearts, the gardening upliftment organisation’s founder Pat Featherstone told its annual general meeting on Friday August 12.

Ms Featherstone said the non-profit organisation hoped to change the world “one garden, one person at a time” by encouraging people to return to the earth to grow their own organic food and produce good quality compost.

Guest speaker Liz Eglington expanded on this idea, describing how commercial farming methods exhaust the soil of nutrients impairing biodiversity and health. She said modern industries leached carbon from the ground, where it is needed by plants and animals, and put it into the air, where it causes climate change.

“Carbon needs to be put back in the soil,” she said.

Ms Eglington works for Conservation at Work, an NPO that helps to conserve private land in the Western Cape, and owns her own organic farm.

“We are currently in the worst global health crisis of all time because our food contains no nutrients. Half the world is dying of starvation and half the world is dying from the effects of obesity,” Ms Eglington said.

Soil for Life, which is now in its 14th year, also has a new corporate look and logo, which is green with the bottom half of a brain with plants growing out of it. Ms Featherstone said the logo summed up the organisation’s ideology: feed the mind feed the heart.

Ms Featherstone said the organisation has eight new assistant trainers and of the 753 new gardeners it trained in the past year, 590 “have successful gardens and are still garden- ing”.

For details about Soil for Life contact 021 794 4982 or visit www.facebook.com/soilforlife/