I recently had the very good fortune to be in the right time, at the right place, and have secured, for the next few years, an allotment garden in Claremont.  It’s one of the most exciting things I have ever embarked upon, and I will be posting about it very soon.

Before I vanished off overseas for the incredible experience that was attending Terra Madre, in Italy (a gathering of Slow Food members and enthusiasts from around the world – also to be written about SOON), a friend and I got stuck in and started our first plantings for the spring season.  But, we could never have done it without the help of a wonderful guy called Tony – a man with considerable expertise in permaculture gardening, and great enthusiasm for the produce it can create.

Not only did Tony help us, but everyone else gardening alongside us (there are 5 allotments in total) – and the results are already beautiful to behold (photos soon!).  If you’re keen to learn some of these handy skills, you might be keen to come along to a course Tony and his wife Mildred will be holding this Saturday.

One of my fellow allotment holders, Matt Allison (www.imnojamieoliver.com), has organised the workshop, and wrote about it as follows:

“As you may know if you follow this blog, I’m a gardener. I started with a small salad garden and am now an allotment holder over at the Ariston Elemental Organic Garden.

One of my fellow gardening partners are duo, Mildred and Tony. They both have wealth of knowledge when it comes to gardening in all its facets and a particular love and interest for permaculture.

It has long been my hope to help them start a small business. I’ve been supporting them by buying weekly produce from their garden and employed Tony to work along side me in mine. I’m now helping them start up monthly workshops.

Mildred is the senior field worker for a great organisation called ‘Soil for life’, who already host a great series of weekend workshops. The idea is not to compete with their great work, but rather offer a single day course in organic gardening basics, which Mildred will lead.

It will be intensely practical and fun, teaching you how to start and grow your own vegetable garden covering soil preparation, composting, planning your garden, companion planting, seeds and seedlings.

It will be held at Ariston Elemental Organic Garden, which can be found on the Corner of Dunluce and Malone Avenues in Claremont.

The cost is R200.00 per person and will include a light tea and runs from 9am – 2pm, Saturday, November 20th, 2010.

Booking is essential and space is limited. To book your place please contact me on 083 324 1477, or e-mail me at matt@imnojamieoliver.com.

Come along and learn how to put fresh, pesticide free food on your table all year round.”

If you have a chance, and you’re keen to learn some simple tricks on growing your own food in our Cape environment – and growing it naturally (organically) – then get in contact with Matt… R200 is a bargain!

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