After a lengthy and harsh drought, the early showers of rains that were received during the beginning of 2021 have transformed the barren Kalahari sand plains into a green oasis of crops. Despite some noticeable challenges as too much rainfall, the sprawling of seasonal insects and mice feasting on the newly planted crops, the time has arrived to feast on the efforts of their labour. Crops such as maize, beans, tomatoes, onions, pumpkin, spinach, and many more are finding their way to the plates. The rains also nurtured to life some of the beloved veld foods such as the coffee tree, maramba beans, soet bessies and wild potato. With the school holiday looming parents are preparing to go into the veld to collect veld food and supplement them with produce from the garden, the usually dry and hungry winter months look promising with a hot plate full of nourishing food items. Donkerbos being extremely remote the thought of having access to fresh produce is an absolute pleasure!
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Land Reform together with the DRFN as the implementing partner have been supporting the San communities of Drimiopsis, Skoonheid and Donkerbos through the Livelihood Support program (LISUP) since 2007. Without the regular provision of seeds, diesel for ploughing, training and skills development it would have been a bleak winter for our remote and marginilised communities. Programs such as LISUP provide hope and development to those who never would have had the chance.