Lisl Barry, fine artist based in Oudtshoorn, Klein Karoo, Western Cape - South Africa Lisl Barry, artist and author based in Oudtshoorn, Klein Karoo, Western Cape - South Africa
 Oudtshoorn | Projects with heart : 

.... and the WINNER is ....

Lockdown created a much needed reality check on the lack of food

security within poor sectors of our communities. The Win would be

if it was more than overcoming hunger. If everyone had

access to a HEALTHY, ongoing, fresh food supply, grown in naturally

nutritious soil without toxic sprays, with minimal affect on the

environment. Boosting people's immune systems all the while

and understanding the importance of that, that would be a Win.

And as nature intended.

- produce from community farm Spensplaas near De Rust -

While I myself am but a humble, fumbling-but-persevering-

organic-food-home-gardener-novice-with-varying-success, eating

mindfully has been an important part of my life for many years.

Learning how the mass-production, intensive factory farming industry has

taken its toll on nature, farmed animals and not least of all, people's

health and well being, has been a cause of distress to me.

From dubious farming practises, carbon-spewing food miles, to

wasteful, harmful plastic packaging, these issues have a dire

impact. The importance of dealing with these as a matter of

urgency really cannot, I believe, be underestimated.

Ignorance is bliss until you open your eyes and realise

that it affects everyone and everything. Including yourself.

Just as covid and lockdown has. Society can simply no

longer continue to support these practises.

I watched then with great excitement and admiration as community

food gardens mushroomed throughout the Western Cape over lockdown;

flourishing, organic greens often replacing literal dumpsites a few weeks

later. A silver lining of hope in the persisting gloom.

- Spensplaas headgardener, Katie, a community food garden
initiative that rose out of need over lockdown 2020 and an
inspiration for this project. -

When I heard that there was a similar project being planned for

Oudtshoorn by a local community group here (Klein Karoo Connect*),

I was very keen to get involved. Although happy to get my hands in

the soil when the time comes, I was eager, if there was a need for

ready cash, for my contribution to be something helpful from the

outset. And so I set about in the only way I could - with a painting.

Or 5 actually.

- In my studio: the 5 artworks -

People entered for the draw from where the winner could chose

one from 5 paintings on offer. I chose these 5 pieces from a variety

of series to include different subject matter, use of colour and

even canvas size, so that I could entice various tastes and possible

space limitations. All proceeds went directly to Klein Karoo Connect

with the express purpose to assist in setting up these food gardens.

- De Rust community member helping harvest at Spensplaas -

For inspiration Klein Karoo Connect had visited Spensplaas, a

community driven food garden initiative in De Rust (34km as the

road drives and the crow flies) that rose out of need over lockdown

2020. I urge you to listen to the radio interview (link given at end).

Just wonderful!

Anyone can benefit from Spensplaas. Either volunteering of their

time in exchange for a meal and their own freshly picked produce

to take home, or through payment: you pay and you pick for your

own needs. This money goes towards paying the head gardener.

And everyone can only benefit - from the sense of community,

spending time outdoors learning skills to grow one's own food and

from eating organically grown, fresh food.

Another admirable local project is at Blue Lily retreat,

Matjiesvlei (55km from Oudtshoorn - via a winding, scenic road)

where a portion of land (above) is worked by the workers

on the farm and all produce grown is for their own use.

Klein Karoo Connect set up a prototype garden at Rooiloop, where

a piece of land has generously been offered by the farmer for

this purpose and its produce distributed over lockdown

to various food kitchens in and around Oudtshoorn.

At the time of writing this, 3 community food garden zones in

Oudtshoorn have been determined and the creation and planting

of the first is imminent.

After 2 months of my time spent marketing in which ever way

I could, almost R15K was raised. A very special thanks to all

at Klein Karoo Connect, Louise Venter and to all those that

supported and gave generously to this fundraising effort.


And finally. ... the winner is ... CATHY LEE!!!!!

Fingerprint of the Sea was her chosen piece.

And, if you will excuse the obvious pun, what a growing

experience! And a heartfelt one.

May there be more winners out of this and a revival

in the art of growing our own food.

- In a creative, green space -

To listen/view the recording of the Klein Karoo Connect's

visit to Spensplaas and my studio

Radio interview: Spensplaas and Lisl Barry's studio live (click here)

*To learn more about Klein Karoo Connect - NGO (click here)