My World In a Garden®, Warren's Wall
There is a charitable component to this project. MAWO, with help from Ray-Cam, will secure a sponsor for each of the 2,500 plants for a basic annual donation of $60 a year, with a four year commitment. Additional sponsor levels are being developed Each donor will also be credited with a plant in MAWO’s other vertical food walls in Bergnek and Cradock, two communities in Eastern Cape, South Africa. The gross proceeds from sponsorship .
“Warren’s Wall” is now reality. This unique vertical vegetable and fruit garden, built by My Arms Wide Open® (MAWO), will support the food program at Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre. Like its “sister food walls” in South Africa, Warren’s Wall will bring focus to community, food security and family. At the same time, it will provide a special learning opportunity for the children and youth at Ray-Cam to work side-by-side with the Centre’s seniors. Working in teams, the seniors, together with the children and youth under supervision, will plant, maintain and harvest the vertical garden. The Ray-Cam youth who have participated in and completed MAWO’s “Iziko Labahlali” Program will lead the teams in accordance with an established learning guide.
The garden will create collaboration and a sense of ownership across the community – ownership by the children who will work in the garden; their families, as a result of their own children’s involvement; and other members of the Ray-Cam community who will not only benefit from the garden’s harvests but will take joy in watching it grow. The intention is to inspire other children and youth within the community to take similar steps and grow vertical food walls.
The garden is designed in an “S” shape and is approximately 23’ long x 7’2” at one end starting from 3’5” at the other end. This design allows younger children to tend to the lower part of the garden and older youth and seniors to maintain the higher areas. A 1’ high concrete footing supports the frame and individual steel ‘cages’
with divided slots. Each slot will house a plant. There is room for 2,500 individual plants.
A portion of each harvest during the growing season will be canned or frozen to augment fall and winter food requirements
Community collaboration is essential in a project like this. Without the financial support from the HRSDC (New Horizons Grant) and the City of Vancouver/Vancouver Foundation (Green Cities Grant), and without donated assistance from the following organizations, the food wall could not be completed: Strathcona 1890: Urban Seed Project, Twin Lions Contracting, UBC Civil Engineering, In-Form Engineering and Craig Yates, a young structural fabricator. Make a Donation.
The My Arms Wide Open® Foundation provides support for mothers, children, and youth in South Africa, as well as in indigenous and aboriginal communities in other parts of the world, to create and manifest sustainable, autonomous and responsible businesses and economic activity within their communities. My Arms Wide Open works directly with community members, who identify priorities for community development. We help them improve their skills and knowledge in areas such as entrepreneurship, leadership, policy and governance, mentoring, education, food security, infrastructure and personal development. Our work is focused in five key areas that respond to indigenous needs and benefit the community as a whole. Supported by a network of partners, My Arms Wide Open is committed to helping communities be vibrant, sustainable and environmentally attractive.