The 1.2ha Lentegeur Market Garden (LMG) was established in 2013 by the Spring Foundation at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, as a vocational training service to the residents of the facility. The goal of this psycho-social rehabilitation programme, initiated and led by psychiatrist Dr John Parker, is “to grow the psychiatric patients at the hospital, to become experienced market gardeners who are able to re-enter society as a result of being healed through their work on the land and who are now equipped to offer their community skills that make them an asset.” Since its founding, the LMG has enabled participating patients to contribute meaningfully in development and operation of a bio-intensive, Market Garden. This highly visible project is helping revolutionise mental health care delivery by turning a place of rejection and despair into an emblem of beauty and hope.
In 2015-2016, the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust raised roughly R1.2m for the project and worked with the Spring Foundation and its Lentegeur Market Garden team in 2016-17 to develop a business plan, farm operational plan and job descriptions; design the layout and specifications for key farming capital infrastructure; recruit and hire staff and implement farming initiatives; help ensure market access for its produce and thereby viability and sustainability for the project; and link the LMG to other urban farms with related social development, community development and educational components. This included training and mentoring, education, public awareness, and events. The Trust continues its supportive relationship with the Lentegeur Market Garden.
Visit the Lentegeur Market Garden website.
Hear LMG production manager, Toni Khulule, describe the connection with the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust (podcast, jump to time index 35:17).