Finding Strength In Soil

Gardening was never something that interested me. But I think I’m going to try it, mainly because of what I saw at a domestic violence shelter operated by the Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development in South Africa. The women took so much pride in growing their own food. They reveled in telling us about what they grow. I learned about how the food they eat allows the women and children to become healthier. Many of the women and their children have not had proper meals, and gardening allows them to grow and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. The garden started as a way for the women to take control of even a small part of their lives. The women clearly see how their hard work turns into something tangible, something real and useful—a meal. In their garden they grow spinach, tomatoes, baby tomatoes, gooseberries, potatoes, cabbage, onions and spring onions. They used to grow beans, but the stalks spread into the neighbors’ yards and had to be cut down.
–Nicole Eldred