Even though, it was a dull day, with the threat of rain, it did nothing to dampen everyone’s enthusiasm. Soapkidz volunteers as well as Richard from Majestic Nursery joined the Nedbank team to create a day of fun and learning for the kids of Epworth’s children’s home.
The kids were divided into teams and entertained us with some songs whilst we setup.
Their rendition of Nkosi sikele lifted our spirits.
Natalie did face painting with some of the little ones and they also got creative and painted each others faces, whilst Karen and the SOAPkidz team showed them how to make fishes.
Meanwhile members of the Nedbank team and Richard got together some of the older children and they started getting together all the equipment needed for the vegetable garden.
85 year old Mr. Pilime our garden expert had finished measuring and made recommendations of which seedlings to plant. The children gathered together and were taught how to do the planting. Each one then planted a seedling, with the older children leading the way.
Richard, Warren and Jonathan then put up the fencing for the compost heap. Jonathan gave them a talk on compost heaps and they then put in grass cuttings and vegetable peels. They listened attentively and eagerly participated.
They then got an opportunity to plant pea seeds in the last bed, using toilet rolls, which greatly concerned Mr. Pilime because in all his years of preparing vegetable gardens, he had never seen that method before. Richard then showed them how to grow seedlings from the seeds. They used compost and toilet rolls, placed in seed trays and took it back to their respective houses to nurture and grow.
The children had fun and thought I was a little crazy when I told them that they should tell the seed to grow into a beautiful plant and give it lots of love as they put it into the ground, but they went along with it, asking to plant more seeds. Troubles were soon forgotten as they connected with nature and all the visitors.
In consultation with Mr. Pilime, it was decided to plant the tomato seedlings on the boundary so that it would create a natural fence. Jonathan dugout the boundary and the kids then did the planting.
Alas, we ran out of space and it was then decided that we would prepare more beds next weekend so that they can plant the rest of the seedlings and some seeds.
Then it was time for a break and everyone enjoyed delicious hot dogs and juice that Jayrani and Vijay prepared.
Mr. Pilime shared his passion for vegetable gardening with all of us. Not only did we learn about gardening, but also the value of teamwork as everyone effortlessly got together and participated to create some magic.
The children definitely had a wonderful time and will enjoy the fruits of labour in six weeks time.
The Nedbank team will take turns visiting the Home and checking on the Garden as we hope to build a sustainable relationship with the Epworth’s.
Once again the SOAPkidz team helped to create magic in more kids lives.