Urban or city farms aren’t a new concept, globally. You can find them on rooftops in Bangkok, San Francisco and London, in numerous neighbourhoods around the US and along busy railway lines in Australia.
In South Africa, the idea of urban farming has taken some time to take root and grow, but it’s gaining momentum with the development of a project that hopefully will grow into 20 city farms throughout Cape Town.
The Oranjezicht City Farm, an official Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 project, with its successful weekly market, is flying the flag high.
Says Sheryl Ozinsky, one of its champions “This is about building relationships between people from all parts of this beautiful city. That’s the beauty of something like this,” she explains distracted by the view of the city just past the farm and a frigate in harbour. “It’s a catalyst for relationship building, nutrition, health, treading lightly on the planet and seeing that there is another way to be in the world. It’s about neighbours meeting for the first time while bending over to plant a Moroccan mint – how wonderful is that?”
The design of the OZCF reflects its context in time. Mark Stead of Derrick Integrated Communication and Tanya de Villiers of CNdV Africa played a key role in ensuring that the farm was inspired by its existing context – a 17th-century Dutch garden.
Looking to the Dutch East India Company markings and symbols for inspiration, they found the diamond shape that runs as a thread through the project, from the logo to the centrepiece of the farm. The vegetable beds are protected from the wind by hedges of herbs including thyme, lavender and rosemary, and tap into the fresh water springs that run through the area to irrigate the plants.
They have been approached to start farms in other areas. “Passion and enthusiasm are important ingredients,” Sheryl smiles. “If that is available in tons and mixed with a bit of compost, one can make miracles.”
Courtesy Visi : http://visi.co.za/content/article/2062/oranjezicht-city-farm-for-wdc2014#sthash.HohnqiqE.dpuf
Picture courtesy Coco van Oppens