Worm tea – a key ingredient in our organic gardening

Have you ever heard of worm tea? It doesn’t sound great, does it? Thing is, it is amazing! It’s often misunderstood what worm tea actually is. It is not the leachate (water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents) which gathers in the bottom bin of the worm farm.  This shouldn’t be used on your vegetables as it may contain pathogens and the PH  may be high, plus studies have shown that it has low nutritional value (so your plants will not thrive on it). Worm tea, however, is the key ingredients to your vegetables and plants thriving!

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“Inspire, Nurture, Cultivate”: Working with ECP

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Etienne Basson is a Earthchild Project facilitator in our environmental programmes in Lavender Hill. Read what he has to say about working work our Eco-Warriors as part of the Earthchild Project team…

Six months ago I started my journey with Earthchild Project. I was excited to be part of this inspiring organization. I want to teach people to fall in love with nature and not nature as we know it, but human nature and what comes naturally to them – and with Earthchild Project’s motto being “Inspire, Nurture, Cultivate” it felt like the perfect fit. The idea of connecting with the kids and sharing and teaching them about what I love – nature – brought a certain joy and smile to my face. To think, I could shape how they think and feel about nature through the lessons and maybe, just maybe, inspire one of them to be the next top ecologist or biologist.

I remember walking into my first class and the excitement of the 35 kids immediately overwhelmed me. All they wanted to do was learn about worms and they couldn’t stop talking about what they already knew. I went into all my classes with this excitement and joy and thought about how I can stimulate their curiosity through the practical experience that worm farming and gardening has to offer.

As the months passed and I got to know the children and teachers, I got a different insight into what Earthchild Project was really about, and this was particularly evident at the 8-day Earthchild Alumni Camp in Greyton. Most of the participants have been part of the Earthchild Project Programme for more than 5 years, from the age of about 7 or 8 years old.

At the camp I got to spend more time with the Alumni group and during this time this group of young people really inspired me and changed the way I see and think about Earthchild Project. What really stood out about the group was the way they stood up and took responsibility and promoted the idea of positive actions and initiatives to support their fellow young people.They participated fully, asked questions, and gave valuable opinions and thoughts on important topics and activities presented at the camp. They openly shared their fears, struggles, and obstacles – and worked on their visions, goals and intentions. They helped, supported and encouraged one another through personal issues, struggles and illness that came up at the camp.

As the camp closed I came to the realization that Earthchild Project is not “just” about teaching yoga and worm farming in schools and shaping the next ecologist or yogi. It is truly about this idea of “Inspire, Nurture, Cultivate” – as the slogan says.

Through learning about nature and practicing yoga they get a sense of who they are, and all the positive contributions they can make to their lives, the lives of others, and to nature. And when we look at what’s going on in our communities and country, we need to know that somewhere, somehow, someone will start making positive changes in their lives and in the lives of others. I am proud to be part of the Earthchild Project Team that are making a difference in the lives of so many young people in Lavender Hill and Khayelitsha.

Etienne.

Gardening for health, wealth and happiness

Gardening is one of humankind’s oldest practices, yet we seem to have lost the essence of this practice in the modern world. It is a given that growing your own veggies and fruits will improve your diet, but gardening also has a number of other physical and psychological benefits that will get you wanting to plant those seeds right away.

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What exactly is worm farming?

Worm farming, something Earthchild has implemented in the schools in Kayehlitsha and Lavender Hill, is a method of using worms to process organic food waste in order to produce a nutrient rich soil. Food waste includes coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags, fruits and vegetables and even cardboard or paper. This is extremely beneficial for the environment in that the waste which would normally end up in a landfill is converted into compost for the garden.

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The Spinach King – A beacon of hope in the midst of Khayelitsha

The community of Khayelitsha, where Earthchild Project is present in 4 schools, is a very special one. The children are happy, smiling, and eager to learn and practice yoga, but their living and home situation is not always ideal, with some areas having families of 8-10 people living in one shack and having to walk up to 200 m for running water. Khayelitsha is one of the fastest growing townships in Cape Town and is prone to all different types of violence. Earthchild Project aims to help the children living in this environment to realise their potential and to create new possibilities for their lives.

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Earthchild Spotlight: Athenkosi Khulu

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we will be highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. We present to you the third Earthchild Spotlight : Athenkosi Khulu. Athhenkosi has been a part of the Earthchild Project family since the very beginning of our journey. This young man is currently studying at college and will start his very own hiking club with the Earthchild Project in 2017. I had the honour of interviewing him last week.

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Little Green Fingers

Over the years we’ve planted many gardens, big and small.  However, theft and vandalism have been a constant challenge and have often left us and the children feeling quite despondent.  That’s until Xoli came up with a great solution – the indoor windowsill herb garden!

Our main aim has always been to give children the experience of planting, caring for and harvesting as a way to deepen their connection and appreciation for nature.  And now, all our Living Classrooms have beautiful basil, mint, sage, parsley and chillies growing in their classrooms, right next to their worm farms.

A few little entrepreneurs have decided the want to make herb bunches to sell to the teachers at the end of the year.

Find out more about what happens in our Living Classrooms

From Harvest to Salad: Eco-Warriors, Harmony Primary

Our Eco-Warriors at Harmony Primary in Lavender Hill, Cape Flats, earlier this year got their hands dirty planting a container garden at their school. Not only has the garden transformed the space into a green and vital area, they recently enjoyed fruit (vegetables?) of their labor.

Take a look at the photo gallery below, which shows them harvesting and then transforming their harvest into a delicious salad…

the-earth-has-music-for-those-who-listne“The earth has music for those who listen.” – Rumi

 

yoga and meditation for kidsConnect

We teach children to connect to self, each other and the earth through yoga and life skills.

organic gardening worm-farming for kidsCultivate

We teach children to cultivate practical skills for life through gardening and worm farming.

hiking with kidsInspire

We're inspiring a new generation of young leaders through hikes and holiday programmes.

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