Have you heard about the Oranjezicht City Farm? I was very excited to hear that a piece of land that was originally part of the largest farm at the foot of Table Mountain is back to its original purpose of a farm after many years of neglect as a bowling green.
The Oranjezicht City Farm on the corner of Upper Orange Street and Sidmouth Avenue is a non-profit small-scale food production project just a few minutes away from the central business district of Cape Town. Vegetables, herbs and fruit have been planted in a lovely design with cobblestones paths (advice: wear flat shoes, the stones are uneven in some areas!) around a central pond. There are several benches to stop and admire the view and be inspired to go home and plant some vegetables!
The farm has received massive support from locals and the municipality is providing free water until the natural underground springs can be used. These springs used to supply all the water needed for Cape Town in the days of early settlement but in modern times much of this water is going to waste into the ocean. Some of the pear trees planted 200 years ago are still there, as well as the old slave bell and barn.
The organisers aim to expand the farm to other green parts of the city and, with the dynamic Sheryl Ozinsky co-ordinating things we know this will grow from strength to strength.
On Saturday mornings volunteers are welcome to come help weed and carry out various functions, and there’s a market where fresh produce is sold as well as various delicious snacks, coffee, fresh flowers and plants. On the morning we visited there was a good crowd and the coffee stand could barely keep up with demand. T’ai Chi/Chi Kung classes are held every Saturday morning at 10am for R20, and guided walks are at 10:00, 11:00 or 12:00.
It’s also a great place to take children because there’s a playground for them to play.
The Oranjezicht City Farm is a brilliant project which should inspire anyone with even a small piece of ground to plant some vegetables!