PEDI Urban Agriculture Academy – One year down the line
The R3-million PEDI Urban Agriculture Academy launched on land adjacent to the Philippi Fresh Produce Market, on 5th June 2017 has progressed from a construction site to a fully operational agricultural academy, where to date 11 beneficiaries from the local Philippi community have been employed.
The Academy is currently mentoring its first Emerging Farmer, who is a female graduate with a qualification in National Diploma in Crop Production (a 3-year course), from Fort Cox College of Agriculture, Middle Drift, Eastern Cape. The academy also employed graduates from CPUT (1) and Department of Agricultures’ Elsenberg Agricultural School (3), to complete their Practical Portfolios of Evidence against their theory coursework completed at these institutions.
The Academy now has four operational business units, namely:
- PUAA Crop Production Business Unit
- PUAA Seedling Production Business Unit
- PUAA Vermi-Tea Business Unit
- PUAA Community Garden and Market Stalls Business Unit
The tunnel farm has 64 sub-irrigated growing beds as pictured above where pure organic crops are grown all year round.
The seedling business unit has a 300m2 tunnel with 4 tables capable of holding a maximum of 172 000 seedlings, which supplies the growing beds, community garden and sales to local garden markets and the public.
The Vermi-Tea business unit is an interesting operation and is a must see for anyone interested in environmental sustainability projects. In essence the PUAA, with its partnership in Waste 2 Food, generates Vermi-Tea as a by-product of the earthworm composting processes done by Waste 2 Food. Pictured above are industrial scale worm hammocks which holds pre-composted organic waste, originally destined for landfill sites, and earthworms which further breakdown the organic matter. The liquid collected from earthworms and groundwater that is filtered over the compost produces a vermi-tea high in organic nutrients which serves as a natural herbicide and pesticide in our grown processes. the business unit sells the vermi-tea to local garden markets and the public. The 1-litre vermi-tea can be diluted 1:10 given the high content of nutrients.
The community garden is the latest business unit to come online at the PUAA. This is a 800m2 unused land parcel being converted to accommodate 240 organically composted growing beds. This business unit will train local Philippi residents in community garden-farming methodologies in order for them to start their own community gardens in their areas.
The PEDI Urban Agriculture Academy is a must-see Job Creation, Community Development Initiative for both investor and visitor to the Philippi area.
You are welcome to place orders for veggie-boxes or full wholesale orders of our pure organic crops by sending an email to [email protected]