The change of season is the perfect time for our new Cub’s Den project to begin. It starts with a bunch of happy children, green aprons, watering cans and a packet of seeds.

The idea behind this new activity is to incorporate the Londolozi village into the children’s experience and to teach them the value of recycling water. The lesson is that one wants to reap one must sow.

The children – each armed with a watering can and a green shwe-shwe apron – will make their way up to the village. There they will fill up their watering cans with recycled water, collected in drums from the Learning Centre’s air conditioning unit.

Lesson 1: If one recycles water and looks after its usage quantity, it can go a long way and bring life to many new things.

A shwe-shwe apron among rocket and lettuce leaves. Brochure, Watering Cans and Little Hands, designed by Roxy Burrough. Photograph by Kylie Jones

With their watering cans brimming, the children will arrive in our traditional Shangaan Village. This is where the Cub’s Den garden lies.  Each child will pick some rocket or basil. Once they have placed their pickings safely into a gardening basket they will use their green rakes and shovels to turn the soil so that it is loose and aerated, fresh and ready to plant a seed into the earth.

Lesson 2: What one takes from nature, one must return in order for the cycle of life to continue.

A traditional structure in the Shangaan village. This hut is opposite the Cub’s Den Veggie garden. Photograph by Kylie Jones

With another movement of their shovel and a pat on the soil, their seed will be covered. With a tip of their watering can, the newly planted seed will be able to grow in moist soil and the already growing plants’ thirsty roots will be quenched. With a smile and press of the shutter, the merry bunch will have their photo taken, documenting their gardening moment. With a basket filled with rocket, the children will be ready to start using their culinary skills by rolling and kneading their pizza dough. Once their dough is rolled out flat, topped with sheeba (traditional tomato and onion relish), cheese and an array of toppings, the final touch will be their pickings of the day.

Lesson 3: If one looks after nature, one is taken care of by nature and will be nourished by plenty of leafy treats.

Recycled water flowing onto growing lettuce. The vegetable beds are inside of a metal cage. This prevents opportunistic monkeys from stealing a mouthful of rocket. Photograph taken by Kylie Jones

Through this gardening project we hope to add a new experience for the many children visiting Londolozi. One which teaches them the joys of having green fingers, the importance of nurturing nature while simultaneously having lots of fun outdoors.

Filed under Cubs Den

About the Author

Josephine Benecke


Josephine grew up on a farm just south of Johannesburg, which exposed her to open spaces and encouraged her to develop a love for nature at a very young age. Later she attended the Diocesan College for Girls in the Eastern Cape where ...

View Josephine's profile


on Three Life Lessons Learnt from Water Cans and Rocket Leaves

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Senior Moment

10/10, now if only politicians learned that we should only take what we can replenish…


The Cub’s Den is a fantastic way to get kids into recycling water, gardening and seeing and tasting the fruits of their labour and having fun at the same time. Kids then go back and teach their parents the value of what they have learned. Nice blog Josephine. When growing up in Australia we relied heavily on rain water and were taught at an early age that it was not to be wasted. Water was collected from the sink after dishes were done, laundry tubs and bathwater – which went to watering our garden. Still practice most of this to this day.

Connect with Londolozi

Follow Us

Sign up for our newsletter

One moment...
Add Profile