Lavender Hill is a gang infested community that needs help. And this is what the project is achieving. The vision of Lavender in Lavender Hill is to populate Lavender Hill with lavender and by so doing create a Social Artwork and an Urban Farm for the production of lavender products. The project will bring huge beneficial change to the community of Lavender Hill:
• Lavender Hill will be beautified by lavender flowers. When you fly over Lavender Hill you should be able to see purple patches of lavender all over. This beauty will instil pride in the community and give them a sense
of hope which over time will reduce crime, violence and gangs.
• Lavender fields will become a tourist attraction. This brings exposure to a community once avoided and gives the opportunity for community members to start their own businesses to accommodate for tourists.
• Through the running of nurseries, fields and creation of lavender products, jobs will be created.
• Skills training of how to grow lavender and other plants as well as how to produce products will allow the community members to start their own businesses.
The project started in May 2011 and in only a few months 20 000 little
lavender plants were propagated and growing at their nurseries. There are
currently two nurseries, one at Zerilda Park Primary School and the
second at Lavender Hill High School. They aim to have a nursery at each
school in Lavender Hill. On a daily basis the team’s Master Gardener, Vuyesile, trains community members how to plant lavender cuttings at these nurseries. The lavender cuttings are donated from members of the public who own lavender bushes and want to be a part of this social upliftment project. To date 13 community members have been trained and 10 of them have gone off to find jobs in a related field while 3 have remained to work with the project on a permanent basis.
This is what is written on their information sheet:
“The plants that are grown in the nurseries are planted all across Lavender Hill. We plant in drug hang out spots or dumping spots to reduce drug use and clean up the area. We are also in the process of gaining acceptance for a large piece of land to plant a lavender field. The community has reacted very positively and lovingly. These lavender gardens belong to the community. They are responsible for looking after them so that one day in
the future our team can walk away, and a wonderful Lavender Hill will carry on blooming by itself.
The Urban farm trains community members to create lavender products. Thus far we have lavender tea, cooking herb, biscuits, sachets and oils. These products are sold in stores and money goes back to running the project, planting more gardens and employing more people. Thus, it becomes a sustainable project. We also host Lavender Cuttings Workshops where school and corporate groups can come and learn all about lavender – how to take a cutting, how to plant it and how to look after and grow your plant. We are also starting Garden Planting days where groups come to plant a garden as a team building and community upliftment initiative.
With Lavender Hill as the pilot project, we hope to later take the successful project and replicate it into
other struggling communities.”
Baden Philander, the inspiration for Lavender in Lavender Hill mentioned in the story above, died in January in a horrific car accident along with 4 of his friends and a car guard. To honour Baden, the Lavender in Lavender Hill team have planted two Lavender Gardens in his memory and painted the walls behind the lavender gardens a lovely lavender purple. If you drive along the M5 stop a while and admire the beautiful blossoming lavender and breathe in the scent that fills the air.
Yes….today there is Lavender in Lavender Hill. And we can all help to keep it like that. Please go and look on the facebook page and on the website as to how YOU can help right now in small ways to keep this project going.
At the end of the Indaba on Sunday we will be holding a charity auction with some generously sponsored products by the awesome companies who have supported the Indaba this year….including one or two other exciting ummmmm “products” of another kind All delegates are invited to stay and attend the auction for a bit of light hearted fun and to raise some much needed funds while bidding on some great items. All the money raised will be handed over to this amazing project led by this brave young woman with a passion for lavender and people.
Ways in which we all can help
- Donate a plant for R25
- Gift a Love Plant for a special occasion
- Have a lavender workshop
- Company planting day
- Lavender Power Schools
- Donate cuttings from your personal lavender bush
- Intern (in community or with management)
Lavender in Lavender Hill
Account no: 277098149
Branch Code: 024109
Reference: Your Name
CEO & Project Manager - Marcelle van Zyl