Get involved and make a real difference

36 Month
MGS Startup

The primary goal of the MGS Startup Sponsorship is social upliftment and food security. The secondary goal is to gather valuable data so that RegenCAN can promote the RO*Food Market Garden System (RO*Food MGS) and the use of the Intensive Rapid-Cycle Method of growing vegetables.

A donation of R100 per month for 36 months — R3,600 in total — ends up as more than R10,000 worth of high quality food over 3 years from a minimum of 20 planting cycles in a 10 m2 garden bed. This is due to the Intensive Rapid-Cycle Method of growing vegetables used by the RO*Food Market Garden System.

As an MGS Startup Sponsor you are funding the three year theoretical and practical training phase of a market gardener plus subsidising R3,000 worth of rooted sweet potato runners & super-plugs. Super-plugs are 6 to12 week old seedlings in 1 litre yogurt tubs — this significantly speeds up crop cycles.

The grow medium in the 1 litre yogurt tubs is high quality compost teaming with beneficial soil microbes — this kick-starts and enhances the regenerative capacity of the garden bed and increases yields by increasing natural fertility. The compost also helps with soil structure and water retention.

A key goal of the Market Garden Development Initiative is to address both food security and job creation by initiating the establishment of a comprehensive ecosystem of sustainable small and micro scale farmers. Using the RO*Food MGS, a grower can be very profitable on less than 1,000 m2.

Very strict checks-and-balances, including audits, ensure that your donation is used as intended. Only one sponsored 10m2 garden bed is allowed per person and per property. However, trainee market gardeners are encouraged and incentivised to expand their gardens to around 100 m2. Incentivised?

YES! From our target of 1,000 trainee market gardeners, 100 will be selected for the fourth year of training and financial assistance to become Certified RO*Food MGS growers. Finally, after another year or two, around 10 should become Certified RO*Food Farm Grown commercial growers.

Most pertinently, trainee market gardeners can only use their sponsored MGS tokens at a participating outlet for sweet potato runners and super-plug seedlings. Furthermore, trainees need to pay 2 FD+ (R2) of the R5 cost of the runner or super-plug — further ensuring your sponsorship is used wisely.

For FD+ availability, R1,200 is paid out to trainees in FD+ when they attend workshops on the RO*Food Market Garden System — @ 100 FD+ per 4 hour workshop. The content of the workshops & online lessons ensure that trainees get the best possible training — towards been self-employed in a few months.

Each sponsorship covers 600 runners or super-plugs @ R5 which works out to R3,000 plus R200 for 2 start-up consultations and eight 3 & 6 monthly follow-up consultations @ R50 each. Consultations — which are also verification inspections — are performed by suitably qualified consultants.

Sponsors have exclusive access to the Market Garden Development Portal.  Each trainee market gardener has an online profile on the portal with monthly updates and photographs, etc. Details are verified by peer review and more intensive audits are conducted randomly. Total transparency at every level.

The 'typical' MGS FD+ token Cycle

Donor Rands are paid into the RegenCAN NPO bank account pRE & FD+ tokens are issued to donors and projects respectively via the water infiltration swales etc. are built by workers in exchange for FD+ (work is managed by projects) workers use their FD+ tokens to purchase veggies from local RegenCAN MGS members Rands from the bank account are paid to RegenCAN MGS members in exchange for FD+ tokens.

This is a virtuous cycle that empowers more people for every Rand donated than any other initiative — and it fixes many real environmental issues at the same time! Furthermore, the yogurt tubs used by the RegenCAN MGS Initiative are collected by school children from their own homes and those of friends and family — this indirectly connects school children to the environmental, upliftment and food security outcomes of RegenCAN and the Rescue Earth System.

RO*Food Certification

The RegenCAN Market Garden Development Initiative is a great way to significantly boost the number of suitably proficient RegenCAN MGS & certified RO*Food MGS growers.

The Certified RO*Food classifications are represented as follows:

Certified RO*Food Home Grown
Certified RO*Food MGS ­···­·∗·­·­··
Certified RO*Food MGS ­··­·­∗∗·­··
Certified RO*Food MGS ··∗∗∗··
Certified RO*Food Farm Grown
Certified RO*Food Eco Pastured

Seedling & Super-Plug-Production

Maize, Cucurbits (Pumpkin family) and beans, peas, etc. grow very fast and become root bound very quickly — so in summer, after only after 4 weeks, they are ready for planting out into a garden bed. In contrast, under the same conditions, spinach and beetroot, etc. will take at least 8 weeks to be ready.

Tomatoes, chilies, peppers, brinjals, etc. are notorious for a slow start even in summer — super-plugs are only ready for planting out in around 10 weeks. One can add 2 to three weeks if the seedlings & super-plugs are grown in winter. These phenomenons / characteristics are highlighted in the table below.

Brassicas (Cabbage Family)7 weeks5 weeks
Tomatoes7 weeks5 weeks
Lettuce6 weeks4 weeks
Spinach6 weeks4 weeks
Beetroot6 weeks4 weeks
Green Pepper11 weeks8 weeks
Egg Plant (Brinjal)11 weeks8 weeks
Chillies11 weeks8 weeks
Onions7 weeks5 weeks
Maize / Sweetcorn6 weeks4 weeks
Cucurbits ( Pumpkin family)6 weeks4 weeks

The list above is an example only — the list of vegetable varieties grown is very long! We are in the process of developing a 15 super-plug carrier that can be used in the nursery and to securely transport the super-plugs. The super-plug carriers will be available for purchase by trainees for around 300 FD+ each.

RegenCAN Market Gardens & FD+ Compact

In the context of the RegenCAN Initiative, participants in the RegenCAN Market Garden Initiative can sell excess produce directly to FD+ Compact members using FD+tokens for payment. Market garden trainees can then exchange the FD+ tokens for ZAR (paid into bank account) or to purchase seedlings, etc.

At a later stage, market gardeners will be able to use FD+ tokens to purchase group-discounted water tanks, irrigation systems, gardening tools, farming equipment, organic fertilizers & plant nutrients, packaging, etc. Prices charged will be significantly lower than retail prices — helping MGS growers to succeed.