Apples don’t grow on supermarket counters, and veggies aren’t made in factories. If we want to create future generations who are environmentally responsible we need to educate them from an early age about our dependence on Mother Nature, and our responsibility to look after it.

We have all heard that being outside in the fresh air has amazing health benefits for people of all ages. We have also heard that planting flowers or veggies can be therapeutic. But did you know that gardening has amazing developmental benefits for kids?

In a continent like Africa, where climate change impact is disproportionately severe, knowing how to cultivate one’s own vegetables is essential if our communities are to be climate change resilient and act responsibly toward the earth.


School gardens are a wonderful way to use the outdoor space as a classroom, connect students with the natural world and the true source of their food. It also allows an opportunity to teach children valuable gardening and agriculture concepts and skills. What they learn in the garden  integrates with and even applies to what they will learn in maths, biology, science, art, health and physical education, and social studies. Equally important it teaches personal and social responsibility. Additional learnings opportunities may include:

  • Encouraging Healthy Eating
  • Enhancing Fine Motor Development
  • Teaching Patience
  • Enhancing the Ability to Plan and Organize



Sandi Jacobson, aka Millie Khumalo, was born in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa in 1957. There was never much that was conventional about Sandi. At 18 she was living in a village called Sekonyela in the Maluti mountains of Lesotho, working with the local community. It was there she developed skills in, and a passion for growing vegetables.

Her pacifist philosophy was fundamentally challenged in the early 1980’s when a number of her close friends in Lesotho were executed by SADF commandos. She joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military arm of the ANC and operated in exile till mid-1991.

Apart from vegetable-growing and her core convictions on social justice, her other passion was children. At the age of forty, she finally decided to do something for herself and bought a small organic veggie farm with her husband, Winston and a friend, Steve.

Devastatingly, her joy of working with the soil was short-lived when she was murdered on 31 October 1997.


Steve Jacobson and his sister Val Mardon are working with Afrika Tikkun to improve the lives and prospects of very young South Africans in honour of Sandi. They are proud to sponsor the combination of Sandi’s primary passions; growing vegetables and early childhood development. They invite you to join them and help attain the funding target of ZAR 350 000 to support the “From the Garden to the Kindergarten” programme” for one year, in Sandi’s name at the Orange Farm Afrika Tikkun centre.