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Urban farming: More than just local produce

Parks and green spaces really breathe life into cities, and urban farms have the added benefit of creating jobs, and providing wholesome local vegetables.

We are lucky to have the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) on our doorstep, on the corner of Sidmouth Avenue and Upper Orange Street in Oranjezicht. If you haven’t stopped by yet, you can do so between 08h00 – 14h00, Monday to Saturday.

This non-profit project celebrates local food, culture and community through urban farming. It’s managed by a small group of local residents, who are looking for like-minded people to get stuck in and join them – find out more on their volunteer page.

Their vision is to inspire positive change: “As individuals, we can bring about change every day through what we choose to buy and cook. But change also begins in our communities, and through action we can take together with our families, our neighbours, our local farmers, our local shops, and even our politicians. Together, we can assume more control over at least some of the food we eat, by understanding where it comes from, who has grown it, how it has been grown and how it has arrived on our plates.”

Image credits: Oranjezicht City Farm and Market

A move to buying more local produce is a trend that’s been steadily gaining traction, and research done by Nielsen found that 48% of consumers prefer locally produced ingredients and food.

Aligned to this, the City of Cape Town’s Council has just approved R3 million funding for the Urban Agriculture Programme, which aims to encourage and upskill urban farmers across the city.

The South African Institute of Entrepreneurship has been appointed as the service provider and 720 farmers will participate in an urban farming project this financial year. It is intended that 30 food (urban) farms will be implemented across the city within the 24 Sub-councils.

Secured sites such as backyards, schools, open space around City buildings, churches, NGOs, clinics and libraries that require no capital costs will be utilised.

“The goal is to assist households to develop home gardens to supply most of the non-staple foods that a family needs every day of the year, including vegetables and fruits, beans, herbs and spices and even animals and fish.

The intention is also to assist the participants to establish cooperatives and facilitate the hosting of market days and informal trading activities,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.

We can’t wait to see this project take shape, and will keep you posted as we learn more!

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