In the early history of the Nguni, community elders used stories and practical demonstrations to share knowledge as ‘know how’; knowing what to do and how. The cattle kraal, for example, was a useful classroom for a Gogo (grandma) to teach young children the wild plants that were available to be picked as green vegetables for supper. The seeds of wild spinach eaten by cattle would be carried in their dung and germinate on the edges of the cattle kraal in the homestead, and a Gogo would commonly be seen instructing young girls on what food plants to pick. With this knowledge, they would know how to use cattle dung as fertiliser in the garden and not to pull out imifino (edible green plants) that could be grown and harvested for food.
Looking at how things are today. Ask around and find out how many of your fellow students or neighbours have compost heaps. You might be surprised at what you learn. The next YouTube video discusses how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be used to enhance our grasp of food gardening as a matter of concern.