Ntshambili Community Gardens & Orchard Project

by St Ives Community Orchard & Nature Reserve in St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Ntshambili Community Gardens & Orchard Project

Total raised £170

raised so far



To support a wonderful community in South Africa. Giving them much needed access to water, providing seedlings and fruit trees.

by St Ives Community Orchard & Nature Reserve in St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th December 2021 we'd raised £170 with 9 supporters in 42 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

We run St Ives Community Orchard in Cornwall and would like to twin & support Ntshambili Community Gardens in Umzumbe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
To raise funds to provide them with much-needed access to water and to provide vegetable seedlings and fruit trees so they can grow their own food. Helping them to become self-sustainable while providing good nutrition for their families.1634532658_ntshambili-community-gardens.png

This community live in a rural area and collect all their water from the local river and carry it home in buckets. They do not have transport so they walk miles and miles to buy food from the shops. They have a local creche that supports about 45 children who also have no water.


About 10 years ago, 3600sqm land was given to them by a wonderful local woman, Mrs Gumede, and the local Chief Ngamzizwe Madlala arranged to have it fenced by the municipality to prevent goats causing havoc.

This communal land/allotment was used for many years by all those who lived nearby to grow their own vegetables. A borehole had been installed in 2005 and the water was pumped up into the tank for their use but sadly this borehole has now fallen into disrepair and no longer provides water.

Then the municipality started delivering tap water to the area but never enough water for the communal veggie garden and then at the beginning of 2020,  the municipal water stopped completely with no sign of ever returning.

The community had to go back to collecting all their water from the local river using buckets. Not only for their veggies but also for their homes and the creche.
This has been a very difficult time for them as due to the covid pandemic harsh restrictions, many of the breadwinners of this area have lost their jobs and with lockdown and lack of water, the community garden dried up too.

Over the last five months however, with some of the young and keen members wanting to help their community and with support of local neighbours, Jenny & Mark von Senger, this community garden has taken on a new lease of life.
The land has been cleared, the raised beds have been made and so far 20,000 donated vegetable seedlings and 24 lemon fruit trees have been planted and thriving – bringing ‘hope’ and ‘health’ back to this beautiful peaceful part of the country!
The reaction of this local community has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
They are very excited and have already planted out cabbage, spinach, tomato, beetroot, onions, leeks, peppers and brinjals plus, in smaller quantities, also chilli, parsley, lettuce, basil. Many of the young have been helping the more senior citizens to establish their patch which is very endearing and great to see. They are already picking and sharing the vegetables.
These healthy vegetables provide good nutrition to the local families and the children in the crèche and any surplus, they can sell to provide much-needed income.


We would like to support this wonderful initiative plus help them have access to water so they don’t have to collect it all from the river.
A couple of specialists in the area came up with the most feasible, robust and affordable idea to harness the rain & river water nearby.  And based on their recommendations we would like to try to raise money for the following.

Funds needed:

  • To buy a large water tank to collect rain water off the creche roof. (the creche looks after and teaches 45 children.) They also have plans to use the creche facility in the afternoons for adult education classes as some cannot read and others would like to learn new skills.
    Cost is £4750, which is £220
  • To install a hand pump concreted into the ground next to the river which has a constant flow even in the dry With this method, water can be pumped up at 2700 litres per hour into the tank that is installed on a high frame then the water will gravity feed down to the veggie garden where 3 taps will be installed.
    The cost for the pump, piping, concreting the pump into the ground and attachment to the pipes from the river to the pump and up to the JoJo tank with taps installed will be approx. R15223
  • To install a well within the vegetable garden to draw water direct.
  • To sponsor buying further veggie seedlings, seeds and fruit trees for them to grow their own food and provide good nutrition for their families on-going. Planting high quality seedlings makes a huge difference to the success of the vegetables as they have a much higher survival rate. More Lemon trees but also mango, pawpaw, avocado, nut, guava and banana trees that all grow well there.

Based on exchange rate on 11th October 2021 we need £1500 to support this community in order to provide for this very worthy cause. If we were able to raise any more, we could buy extra tanks so they can store more water plus buy more seedlings, fruit trees and beehives.

Regular Progress Reports

There are a few people who will keep us updated with progress of the project and send us regular news of how the project is doing.

  • Bonelwa Mazeka who lives there and has attended a course on Organic gardening and received a certificate is already teaching this group the best organic methods to grow healthy vegetables. She is an amazing woman who has built three houses, one for her Mum, her sister and herself, making every brick for these houses from sand and water, collected from the river.  She is passionate about organic gardening and also has taught herself how to keep bees.
  • Jenny & Mark von Senger who have been providing the seedlings & fruit trees for them so far will send us updates.
  • Brian Reid who has been a huge support and picks up the seedlings and delivers them to the community garden. Brian also took the photos and has offered his time to teach basic bookkeeping to the key members for this project as it grows and develops.
  • Elise Langley who helps look after the St Ives Community Orchard. She grew up in this area in SA, knows a few of the people who live there & will keep everyone updated on their progress through a Facebook page.


Bonelwa's certificate & her with the water pump that no longer works. 


First crops 2021



View of the community garden. 


fyi – Ntshambili is pronounced a bit like Jambeelee


This project offered rewards

£5 or more

£5 donation

We'll blow you a kiss and do a happy dance.

£10 or more

£10 reward - Ntjambili Party in the orchard

You'll be invited to a Ntjambili celebration party in the orchard.

£10 or more

£10 donation - Orchard Tour

You'll be invited to a guided tour around St Ives Community Orchard. Find out about our different trees and edible plants, learn about our worm baths, our unusual beehives, our edible forest garden, the nature reserve & end off by enjoying a complimentary cup of our orchard cider or another drink of your choice at our bar.

£20 or more

£20 - a native woodland tree planted + gift card

We will dedicate a newly planted native tree in Penbeagle Nature Reserve in St Ives to you and post you a card with a 'What 3 Words' location of your tree.

£50 or more

£40 - Tree planted & Business promo

We will thank your business for supporting our project on our facebook page - with a link to your facebook page or website on the post plus put a thank you and link on our website on https://www.stivesorchard.co.uk/ntshambili-community-gardens/. Plus we will dedicate a native woodland tree in Penbeagle Nature Reserve in St Ives to you and post you a card with a 'What 3 Words' location of your tree.

£50 or more

£50 - Membership to Porthmeor Print workshop

A years free membership to the Porthmeor Print Workshop worth £65. Donated by Rachael Kantaris.

£65 or more

£65 Reward - Scarlet Wines

Half a case of delicious Scarlet wine donated by Gill Scott-Anderson

£80 or more

£80 Reward

A garden consultation / tidy by Chris Greene of http://www.chrisgreenegardendesign.co.uk/, an artist who designs and builds gardens in a very unique way; using ethically sustainable and environmentally friendly materials for each unique garden.

Show your support

Payment and personal details are protected