On 18 November work officially began on the community garden boundary fence and site preparation for the community garden.

The plan was to construct the fence using Gum poles and smaller treated timber poles for the infill panels. To do so, a sample panel was constructed, although a series of holes were dug along the full length of the boundary.

Breaking ground by digging holes for the gumpoles (van der Walt, 1to1)

To anchor the poles in the concrete footings, 150mm nails were hammered into the portion that would be submerged below ground.


The fence construction process. (van der Walt, 1to1)

The clearing of the site had to begin manually, as there was a significant amount of salvageable rubble that could be re-used for the construction of elements of the design. It did not take long for residents who were in the area and children to start to help to collect whole bricks, half-bricks, and broken bricks from the rubble on-site. The bricks that still had mortar on them needed to be cleaned so that they could be re-used. The half bricks were set-aside to be used as paving on the site. The rubble would be used for backfilling and to build a sample gabion fence option.

Sorting the building rubble on site and cleaning the bricks so that they may be re-used. (van der Walt, 1to1)

For one month construction took place on site, mostly by hand and when volunteers had time between their on jobs and responsibilities. During this time, a third boundary fence option was explored, which was the result of the volunteers deciding that to build with purchased materials is a waste of resources and they began sourcing retired tyres form local tyre dealerships. The tyres were tied between the gum poles using wire and braced from behind with a third cross=brace also of a gum pole.

To mark an additional achievement, and in keeping in the South African spirit of celebrations through food, the construction of a brick braai stand was prioritized using mostly repurposed building rubble from the site.

A celebratory braai

On 18th December a braai was held to celebrated the completed work thus far. It was also a closing function for the year. Everyone was very excited about the year to come and the rest of the implementation of the community garden project.

The celebration braai being started on a cold December morning. (van der Walt, 1to1)