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

My week spent on Gondwana Game Reserve with Conservation Global was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I was fortunate enough to travel to South Africa with Franklin University Switzerland on academic travel in the spring of 2015. Bonding with the staff and learning about the animals in their natural environment made for one incredible week. Each day was filled with activities and lectures that were as entertaining as they were educational. As a group we had a lecture in the morning either from a member of the knowledge staff or from a local expert. We learned about native bee populations and were treated to honey samples from the region and were given a demonstration on the practice of tagging and tracking animals on the reserve. Perhaps the most memorable was when we were taught how to properly handle a tranquilizer gun and had a competition to see who could get a bullseye! After the morning lecture, the group would split up for the safari in which the staff took great care to make sure we saw as many animals as possible. Later in the afternoon we would regroup for a drink and to admire the scenery. I have the utmost respect for Conservation Global and the work they are doing—hoping to return to South Africa soon!

Solange Pittet March 1st, 2015

I spent two weeks in South Africa with Conservation Global in a partnered trip with Franklin University Switzerland. It is safe to say that these two weeks are by far the most memorable of my life thanks to the effort Conservation Global put into both the educational and adventurous aspects of our trip. From hiking up Lion’s Head in Cape Town, diving with Great White sharks in the Indian ocean, and near encounters with the endangered White Rhinoceros, this NGO helped plan an incredible experience for my research conservation class. If it were not for Conservation Global I do not think we could have done many of the activities we did- such as engage with students at Tsiba College on issues of sustainability on our campuses, and meet and listen to Mark Rutherford lecture on how to run Gondwana Game Reserve. I will forever be grateful for these two weeks and for all of the hard work Conservation Global put into this experience!

Taylor Deems May 24th, 2016

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