The Young Permaculture Changemaker
In this week’s #TMFInTheField we introduce you to Anthony Plaatjies, one of TMF’s Small Grant recipients. In 2013 Anthony matriculated from De Rust Futura Academy and decided to take a gap year. During this gap year Anthony volunteered his services in the veggie garden at the Thandi Community Crèche, where his mother worked as a child-minder.
Much to Anthony’s surprise, he soon realised that he had, in a fairly short period of time, developed quite a passion for tinkering in the soil and growing vegetables. He particularly enjoyed growing veggies in the Haygrove veggie tunnel. During this time, Anthony was introduced to the WESSA YES Programme (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa – Youth Environmental Studies) where he completed a one year Learnership in Environmental Studies. Part of the YES programme included being placed with a host organisation that could assist the learners with gaining practical life and work experience, under the careful guidance of a mentor.
It was here that Anthony met his mentor, Jo Kearney, from EduCraft Training & Development. Jo immediately recognised Anthony’s true potential and ‘threw him into the deep end’ with regards to an accelerated personal development and learning programme. Besides his WESSA qualifications, Anthony has now completed a number of other training programmes, including: The Introduction into Permaculture; The Permaculture Development Course (PDC); The Micro MBA Entrepreneurs Programme; and two certificates from the SA Green Industries Council (SAGIC) in Invasive Species Management.
Working under the umbrella and guidance of EduCraft, Anthony has subsequently started his own business, Permogrow Nursery and Wood Creations. As a self-employed entrepreneur, Anthony propagates specialist plants/seedlings, primarily for the permaculture industry and manufactures veggie planter boxes from recyclable apple bins and old packaging pallets. He also renders his services as a co-facilitator for EduCraft and mentor for other emerging Agri-entrepreneurs, sharing his passion for permaculture and sustainable veggie production.
TMF is proudly supporting Anthony through our Small Grants Programme.