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Thornybush and the Thousand Herbs and Vegetable Garden

11 Feb 2020 | By Author Thornybush | Community Projects

While dining at Thornybush Lodges, you might wonder where we get our hands on such wonderfully fresh herbs and vegetables out in middle of the bush? The answer is simple – we grow them where our people grow.

Most of our staff members come from the rural villages in our immediate surrounding areas. As part of a thank you to them for making our guests safari experiences as memorable as they are, Thornybush is committed to bettering the lives of their communities back home.

This initiative currently supports 5 ladies, who see to it that their community garden continues to produce nutritious health-giving herbs, vegetables and medicinal plants for their community as well as to some of the nearby lodges in the Sabi Sand and Thornybush Reserves. They receive various training and skills development workshops. Some produce to take home and others to retain a growing monthly income.

Utilising existing community structures

In order to streamline their services, the ladies of the Simbambili/Uthla project have set up a co-operative called the Thousand Herbs and Vegetable Garden. This cooperative oversees the growth, supply and distribution of fresh vegetables and herbs to around 10 luxury safari lodges in the area, as well as a few restaurants and businesses near town.

By combining their forces in this way, the ladies are better able to monitor and oversee their output as well as learn valuable business and administration skills.

The garden grows a wide variety of the most popular vegetables and herbs, but they are also responsible for growing several medicinal plants for use by the community. Currently, the garden has remedies for common ailments such as headaches, stomach cramps and skin infections, as well as plants used for wound-care and as a general tonic. These include:

  • Comfrey
  • Moringa
  • Helichrysum
  • Yarrow
  • Lemon verbena

A natural source of healing

Not only will the gardens provide access to basic healthcare in this way, they will also be a reminder of the authentic customs of these people and will hopefully assist in keeping their traditional way of life alive.