We recently received this story about community farms from one of our South African distillers and would love to share it with you!
We have a very poor community in Bela Bela, who have quite a lot of land available to them because of the size of their tribal boundaries. (Bela Bela is about fours hours drive from Johannesburg, where our offices are.)
About one year ago, the community, represented by Mr. Lelaka, decided to allocate some of the land to growing essential oil crops. Mr. Lelaka contacted us last year to ask for funding and education on farming essential oils.
They received a small donation from a private bank investment which allowed them to build a small nursery, clear natural land, and put basic irrigation on the land from a river which flows through it. We were able to fund organic geranium plants to help them get started.
We also have joined with them to try to find more funding to expand. We have met with them on numerous occasions (at our offices and on their land) to give advice and educate them on how to grow geraniums successfully. We prepared a 21-page presentation for them, to allow them to use the presentation as a marketing tool to try get funding.
They were wanting to expand to alternate crops and to clear more land.