Projects

The Seed Project

The Seed Project (TSP)’s mission is to support the development of integrated small-scale organic gardens, support the garden’s development as a social enterprise, and to utilize the garden as a tangible classroom to foster ecological intelligence and leadership in diverse youth along the Garden Route of South Africa.

The Seed Project (TSP)’s vision is an integrated world system with ecological, social, and economic components led by an empowered, compassionate and eco-literate youth.

The Seed Project (TSP)’s objectives are:

  1. To provide communities and youth with the opportunity to learn about small scale organic farming practices.
  2. To foster entrepreneurialism and empowerment of marginalized groups through opportunity in small-scale sustainable agriculture/social enterprise.
  3. To connect diverse youth to nature and to each other through experiential environmental education programs grounded in principles of eco-literacy and cooperative leadership.

TSP offers a three-year long support system to school or community gardens in which the stakeholders of the gardens can access assistance for sustainability integration into curriculum or outreach, access funding, develop the garden as a social enterprise and create long term plans to sustain the garden over many years. As all gardens are unique, depending on the specific gardens’ needs and the stakeholders’ interest, this assistance will vary.

The Seed Project (TSP) achieves this goal through a three-part system:

  1. Sustainable Agriculture. Supporting the production of organically farmed vegetables with a demonstrative component in innovative small-scale agriculture.
    1. Garden can include veggies, herbs, fruits, medicinal plants, flowers, permaculture systems, one-square-meter farming, compost, simple irrigation, container farming, worm farm, hydroponic system, etc.
  2. Social Enterprise. Bridging the gap between subsistence farming and social enterprise/ employment opportunities in the green economy, by providing workshops and consulting for sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs. For schools, we will aim to provide youth with experience in social enterprise development via a school stall at a farmer’s market or other similar programs.
    1. Farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), direct sale to restaurants, etc.
  3. Environmental Education. Connecting diverse youth with nature and with each other through experiential education based in principles of eco-literacy and cooperative leadership.
    1. Workshops on sustainable agriculture, leadership, diversity, inclusion, and more.

The Seed Project (TSP) addresses the challenges of:

  • A lack of resources, by helping communities or schools access these resources on their own and identifying where these resources can be accessed and how.
  • A lack of interest in gardening and/or sustainability, by only working in schools or communities with existing interest in hopes that this interest will spiral into other communities and schools.
  • A lack of time of the teachers’ and community leaders, by providing a support team for the first three years to get the project off the ground, help plan workshops/programs and ensure its longevity.
  • A lack of planning, by providing a support system and a timeline for planning to those in charge of the garden for the first three years.

TSP works with schools or communities with a preexisting interest or energy in sustainability. For example, there are many school gardens along the Garden Route here a garden was once created, but due to a lack of resources, time, or commitment, never produced the intended results – food for the school’s kitchen, educational opportunities for youth, etc. Alternatively, there are places where an interest in sustainable agriculture has organically sprouted and is operating with varying levels of success. These are the two types of situations in which TSP would become involved, but only (1) upon request, and (2) with existing interest or infrastructure. This is a key component of our model – we only work where there is existing interest and energy in our initiatives, ensuring local ownership of the project and longevity of impact.

Interested in learning more or getting involved? Want to finance a garden? Contact elisabeth@conservationglobal.org!

Testimonials

The South Africa travel was the most incredible experience of life!! With Conservation Global’s help, I experienced memories that will last a lifetime. From learning about sustainability in townships and wildlife conservatory at game reserves, to the social and economic issues that South Africa struggles with today, Conservation Global allowed me to be enthusiastic and engaged throughout our trip, as well as encouraged me to think about how my relationship with nature and the environment will affect future generations for years to come.

Julia Tomich May 24th, 2016

Conservation Global provided a comprehensive and engaging travel experience for a group of seasoned travelers. My expectations were exceeded due to the organization’s ability to strike a balance between learning and fun, academics were firmly grounded as the motivation for all activities. We had access to sustainability focused thought leaders who were great privileges to learn from; many of whom were only accessible through this fantastic organization and their vast network of environmentalists. From a beautiful sunrise hike of Lion’s Head in Cape Town to spending time with the students at Tsiba college in Knysna, I would happily relive this trip in a heartbeat. I am grateful for Conservation Global and the time and energy they put in to ensure a memorable, inspiring and educational South African adventure for all involved.

Morgan Mellinger May 24th, 2016

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