By Grant Potter
Slow Food International continues to make progress on its ambitious pledge to create 1,000 vegetable gardens in every African community participating in its Terra Madre network. The aptly named “A Thousand Gardens in Africa” is now in its most active stage as coordinators fundraise for future gardens, inaugurate new gardens, and form an educational network between existing gardens.
One of the most important elements of the project is fundraising. Slow Food estimates that all the inputs required to make a successful garden, including research, materials, training, and networking, cost approximately US$1,290. According to Slow Food, they have raised enough to finance over 141 gardens. They have also partnered with many restaurants throughout Italy where proceeds from special fundraising nights will go to the gardens.
Over the last few months Slow Food has been actively opening up new gardens. The project saw the creation of its first gardens in Tanzania at a primary school in Dar Es Salaam, as well as Msindo, a tiny village in the southern part of the country. There are 13 gardens in Uganda, 11 gardens in Kenya, two gardens in Tanzania, and one garden in Cote D’Ivoire. Slow Food tracks their progress on an interactive map, updated as new gardens are launched.
Slow Food is also making sure that these African gardens are linked to one another, allowing growers to share information and experiences with one another.