A young lady from Valhuise, Oudtshoorn has started growing vegetables for the first time in her life. Valhuise has a high youth unemployment rate and high levels of poverty. For instance, a number of families in the informal community still have to share water and toilets.
Candy Mayfair has spent three years looking for a job without luck. When the Covid-19 lockdown started, she decided to get a vegetable garden going.“Before lockdown, l would wake up in the morning and go out job hunting but because l am in lockdown, l then decided to be productive, “said Mayfair.
She explained that she developed an interest in gardening from her grandmother, who worked on a smallholding outside Oudtshoorn. “My grandma had a big yard where she used to plant vegetables, and as a child l would help her with watering the garden,” she said.
She got support from her uncle, who provided her with the seeds. The garden has now grown from a small patch to beautiful green plots surrounding her two-bedroom home. She has carrots, cabbage, beetroot, onions, tomatoes, pumpkin, spinach and lettuce.
“Every evening, l water my small veggies with a bucket of water. This garden is expected to feed my family and l don’t have to go to the shops to buy veggies. My wish is to open up a small fresh vegetable stand in the near future and supply big companies,” said Mayfair.
Lucy Seaman, Mayfair’s neighbour and a community leader said: “She is an inspiration to this community. As the community, we need to support her fully. The only way to fight hunger and poverty is to plant veggies”.
The 21-year-old hopes she will inspire other unemployed youth in her area to start food gardens. “The youth must understand that the R350 government grant is still not the solution to our social problems,” she said.