Keyhole Gardens Bring Life to Rwandan Village

Share Article

Vita Gardens’ Eddie DeJong helps plant seeds of hope in Africa.

Vita Gardens, Keyhole Gardens, Garden Media Group
The great thing about keyhole gardens is that they can be made out of nearly anything. The average cost for constructing, training and materials for a keyhole garden in Rwanda is around $100.

Eddie DeJong has had a busy month. After enduring two 21-hour flights, more than 18 hours of car rides and making countless new friends, he can finally call his trip to Africa a success.

DeJong, head of business development and design for Vita Gardens, and his wife Lerryn traveled to Africa to build keyhole gardens in a small village in Rwanda. Their mission was to teach people how to grow their own healthy, organic food year after year.

Traveling on behalf of Vita, the DeJongs partnered with Africa New Life Ministries - an organization that works to break the cycle of poverty in Rwanda. Together the team of 11 built a total of 10 keyhole gardens during the two-week trip, enough to feed 50 people throughout the year.

The keyhole gardening method was developed in Africa as a way to grow food in severe drought and extreme heat. It works by creating one raised bed for both growing and composting and uses 80 percent less water than conventional gardening methods.

Vita is working to bring this African farming technique mainstream in North America with its flagship product- the African Keyhole Garden Bed while providing funds to support villages in Africa. One out of every four Vita gardens sold in North America helps build one keyhole garden in Rwanda.

“Teaching communities how to sustain themselves is a life skill,” DeJong said. “The great thing about keyhole gardens is that they can be made out of nearly anything. The average cost for constructing, training and materials for a keyhole garden in Rwanda is around $100.”

DeJong said while he met a variety of unforgettable people during his journey, one woman in particular stood out in his mind.

“We visited the home of a 73-year-old woman named Grace. She told us she never had a garden before, and the thought of growing food that would be able to fill her body with nutrients brought her a lot of joy,” he said.

“When she came outside to see her keyhole garden for the first time, she had tears in her eyes and began dancing,” he recalled. “She dropped to her knees with her arms reached out in thankfulness. The new keyhole garden brought her life that day.”

DeJong said he plans to have Vita team members return to Rwanda once a year.

For more information about Vita and Dejongs’ trip to Rwanda, visit VitaGardens.com.

Vita is a design-forward, lifestyle and portable gardening brand that helps gardeners save time, money and water while growing greater natural yields. Vita’s signature product, the African Keyhole Garden, was introduced this year. Built around an ingenious gardening technique perfected in Africa, the Keyhole Garden is a combination raised bed and composting system.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Samantha Arcieri
@gardenmedia
since: 08/2010
Follow >
Follow us on
Visit website

Media

Vita Gardens, Keyhole Gardens, Garden Media Group