GTT was recently asked to attend a food security workshop with Western Cape Government officials and other interested parties including national and global charities, national retailers, food producers, suppliers and farmers. The farmers were represented by our own Genadendal Farmers’ Co-operative with whom GTT has been working for some two years now to help build up the local market for their vegetables. An enlightened local commercial farmer has also joined in the discussion and it is hoped that the future might see an organic food hub being set up around Greyton to supply local and regional markets whilst generating meaningful income to subsistence and commercial farmers. The purpose of the workshop was for those on the ground (both figuratively and literally) to contribute to Western Cape Government policy addressing issues of food security.
The two market stands run weekly by GTT, outside Via’s restaurant in Main Road from 10 – 12 on Wednesdays and also at the Saturday morning market have grown from strength to strength. We are welcoming over ten local suppliers now, from Blue Hippo, Heuwelkroon and Boesmanskloof, the local farmers as well as many garden growers. Marshall Rinquest’s award winning environmental education work has seen vegetable gardens developed or almost developed in all six local schools. The state schools are using the vegetables to provide fresh, healthy nutrition for children on their feeding schemes. The surplus is sold through our markets, generating income for the schools.
Pure Café, our flagship project for our food security programme, has often struggled to find its way. Opening a vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the Overberg animal farming hinterland was always going to be a challenge but, against all odds, this little café/restaurant is beginning to find its feet. The team now comprises Ruwayda Rinquest, who has excellent skills as a chef having worked at the Greyton Lodge in the past. As a Rastafarian she is vegetarian and delights in being able to cook within the parameters of her faith. Keeping continuity is Vianca Jafta who has been working at Pure almost from the start. Her deft touch in the kitchen and obsession with cleanliness makes her the perfect chef’s assistant.