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Beyond Organic: Just What Is Sustainable Food?

Published at: 28 May 2015

50% of South africa’s population does not have access to enough food. Reel Gardening has developed a unique seed system that can be grown into a vegetable or herb garden in any climate.
 
Johannesburg-based startup Reel Gardening created a paper strip that comes prepackaged with seeds and fertilisers so it can be easily planted and maintained. The strip uses 80% less water than more traditional methods of planting because it requires water only at the exact location of each seed, said team leader and inventor Claire Reid.
 
"Our paper encases the seed along with a water-retaining mineral, which keeps the water you use near the seed," said Reid. "This also enables a constant germination process." The company is expanding with projects also in place across South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania.
 
The design is simple: planting instructions are written on the tape and there are step-by-step illustrations for those who cannot read. Each tape is colour-coded to indicate the sowing depth. Reel Gardening believes in social sustainability which empowers women to produce the paper strip which encase the seed within it so the simple design was crucial to making the project work.
 
Reel Life is a Non Profit Company aligned to Reel Gardening which focuses on the implementation of sustainable community garden projects utilising the Reel Gardening technology.
 
“Through the many gardening projects Reel Gardening has worked on we have realised the need for a wide variety of community development initiatives to come together to form the complete solution to the livelihood needs of communities. Reel Life therefore creates an environment in which partnerships between other service providers can thrive adding depth to the projects we create.”  Said Reid of Reel Life which offers a holistic solution to community development needs with regard to food security, that includes, but is not limited to, vegetable gardening.


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