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Armed with 2L coke bottles (to use in a water-saving planting method), old cardboard (to repurpose as mulch) and sunscreen, our planter team headed off to Thlakanang Primary School in Tembisa.

This Team Tuesday, our Food Lover’s planter team committed to planting a fruit orchard to compliment to the existing vegetable garden maintained by the school. The team consisted of Paul Minett, Mirella Gastaldi, Anthea Wenn and Dane Coppin, and was led by Andrew Millson. This volunteering adventure forms part of our Earth Lovers programme through which FLM has contributed towards over 2m meals t hungry people, mainly children, over the past 18 months. For more on this, see

For those of you who haven’t ventured into Tembisa, it is a township, very close to our Food Lover’s Market Corporate House, founded in 1957. The name Tembisa comes from the Xhosa word meaning “promise”. It came about when black settlers of Johannesburg were being evicted from Alexandra and other townships in the area, and when created was a beacon of hope for those who were suddenly homeless. It is now densely populated, with 463,000 people (in 2011) living in 42.8km2.

The school the team were working at was Thlakanang Primary School. Many of the children rely on the food they get at school as their only meal of the day. The team experienced the cooking facilities used to feed the children daily.
Andrew Millson, Head of Sustainability at Food Lover’s Market shares his experience, “The chefs do the most unbelievable job with the food they get from the government. The vegetable garden, and soon, the fruit orchard is not only to supplement these meals but also to act as an outdoor classroom, teaching the kids how to grow their own food.”

The team was put in touch with Thlakanang Primary through Food & Trees for Africa, who have planted over 4,2m trees since they were founded in 1990. If you or your company would like to help out, you can reach them at


“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now” – Chinese Proverb

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