Garden project empowers university students

Margo Fargo getting her hands dirty in the solar powered garden.

“The solar powered garden”, a new project that has been inspired by passion for sustainability and interest in renewable energy, is up and running. The aim of the project is to help and empower students in need.

As a sustainable entrepreneur and environmentalist, Margo Fargo has always wanted to create and spark a community project that will not only be there for a day but for years to come.

Fargo came together with different stakeholders to bring this new project to life with the purpose of empowering the student who has signed up for a food parcel to be planting their own vegetables, taking care of the garden and harvesting their own food.

“Each student then receives a box of fresh vegetables on a regular basis which they can take to their flats and even back home. Furthermore, there are talks with the Department of Consumer Science to have students make products from these vegetables so that they can sell on market days when it is safe to do so.

University students getting down to business in their new solar powered garden.

“This will be a collective implementation with two ladies from the department, Dr Natasha Cronjé and Ms Carien Denner, who are pivotal in the success of this project,” said Fargo.

According to her, food insecurity is one of the many challenges experienced by less privileged students at institutions of higher learning. At the University of the Free State, research findings indicated that 59% of students go through periods of hunger.

60% of students skip meals because of financial reasons, almost 41% use fasting as an excuse and 43% are too embarrassed to ask for help.

Stakeholders include Fasken Johannesburg, The University of the Free State, The Department of Agriculture, the Department of Consumer Sciences as well as Dr JW Swanepoel from the Department of Sustainable Agriculture.

If you would like to get involved, an email can be sent to

Pierce van Heerden