Value Up! Horticultural School Training Programme Kicks Off Again

  • Written by: Tafadzwa Masviba

"Use what you have" has been the class's running motto.

The Horticultural School training programme re-commenced this week at Ekuphumuleni Geriatric Nursing Home.

Graduate, Sam Mvura, facilitated the workshop with aid of ZDDT Agri Consultant Yvonne Berkhout and was attended by the three of the new intake as well as three nurse aids from the nursing home.

The training session revolved around making citrus marmalade. For all the students, it was their first time making marmalade.

Duduzile (nurse aid) commented "the workshop was wonderful and I learnt a lot. So, I can now make my own jam and not buy and also it gives me an opportunity to start my own business as I have realised there is a big profit."

Tinashe, also a nurse aid, adds that "I’m shocked how easy it is to make jam, and it’s so helpful knowing that you can make something healthy from what you have at home."

Other discussions brought the aspect of nutrition in cooking into play.

The subject of nutrition is key for the nursing home. In studying labels, students were asked to identify ingredients used in jam and peanut butter spread bought from the store, and most were unknown to them.

This exercise highlighted the importance of home-made product that would be suitable for nursing home residents. Duduzile expresses this concept by stating that "as a caregiver, if my patient has allergies, I can make my own jam using my own recipe that will safeguard them from getting ill as I would know what I would have put in making the jam."

This is a reference to such things as diabetes where the inclusion of sugar can be dangerous.

ZDDT cooking workshop goals also aim to promote the concept of self-help through business growth by value addition making use of the produce you have on hand.

The term 'value-added foods' refers, in this case, to crops that have been improved through processing whilst maintaining organic properties, improved packaging and achieving a longer shelf life.

The students carried out a cost breakdown on the marmalade jam they had produced and came up with a profit of USD$51.

"I enjoyed the lesson and was amazed at how much money I can make, especially with the current situation in Zimbabwe, were everything is expensive." Ivonia, a new Horticultural School student remarked.

There is much anticipation towards the next cooking workshop to again be held at Ekuphumuleni Nursing home, as ZDDT drives to empower its students and partner institutions with healthier
product and profit-making opportunities.