Embedded in Johannesburg’s city centre, the greenhouse is a remnant of social, infrastructural and economic disparities. The conservatory or greenhouse (as it is known more commonly) was built in 1907 as a site for the growing and preservation of primarily ‘exotic’ plants, collected from wealthy donors and Kew Gardens in the UK.
The site of Joubert Park was established as one of the first public parks in Johannesburg. Today, this is a quiet space surrounded by frenetic activity. The greenhouse has been co-opted as a community garden for growing edible and medicinal plants on a subsistence scale. This is run as part of the GreenHouse People’s Environmental Centre.
The GreenHouse Project is a registered section 21 not-for-profit company that runs the GreenHouse People’s Environmental Centre in Joubert Park, Johannesburg. The centre is a walk-in demonstration, outreach and information hub for environmental sustainability and sustainable living practices on: permaculture landscaping and organic food and herb gardening; materials reclamation for reuse and recycling; water harvesting and saving; environmental education and “green” school tours. http://ghouse.org.za/ .