By establishing several vegetable gardens in the village, we would like to motivate the women not only to earn some extra money by growing and selling their own vegetables, but also to learn how to establish and maintain a vegetable garden. For this purpose, we procured tools and seeds, as well as a water tank, which the women of the village could not finance themselves, but which are absolutely necessary for the construction of the gardens.
The women of the village have grown spring onions, chilies, beetroots and spinach so far, with beetroots and spinach now already ripe and ready for sale.
As every child knows, the available resources in South Africa are severely limited. To establish a plantation, tools and seeds are needed as well as water and a suitable plot of land.
So we had to come up with a project idea that was not only lucrative, but also required as few resources as possible. And that finally gave us the idea of a geranium farm. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a plant native to South Africa, which is suitable for our project for two reasons: Firstly, only a little water is needed for its cultivation and secondly, essential oils can be produced from the leaves of the plant. Essential geranium oil is widely used as an ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics but also as a treatment for various health conditions such as skin diseases, bacterial infections and mental issues.
Once the plan was in place, we then needed a plot of land which works a little differently here in South Africa than we were used to in Germany. So we talked to the village elder, the so-called "Chief", who finally provided us with communal land, right next to a river and on the doorstep of the famous Kruger National Park.
Since we quickly realized that building our own distillation plant was not yet financially viable for us, we decided to cooperate with Like Mountains. Like Mountains is a farm in the middle of the Klein Drakensberg and produces and distills essential oils. In addition to geraniums (Pelargonium graveolens), they also plant Lippia javanica, Helichrysum splendidum, Artemisia afra, and Eriocephalus tenuifolius on subleased land owned by the Moletele Community Property Association. Like Mountain gives young Moletele women the opportunity to learn how to grow and produce essential oils so that they are able to start their own production and sell appropriate units to Like Mountains Farm. So, the aim of our plantation is to sell the harvested geraniums regularly to Like Mountains Farm, who will process and sell them accordingly. Through the cultivation and sale of geranium plants as a supplier to the Like Mountains Farm, long-term jobs are to be created, especially for women in the area.
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