Urban farming: cultivating real change in Cape Town

Recent concerns about transparency of food supply and mislabelling are certainly a welcome change, but even so, such questions are still a luxury of the affluent, especially in a Cape Town where issues around food insecurity far outweigh those around food integrity.

It’s only logical then that a selection of initiatives committed to putting the power of food production back into the hands of the people have sprung up in Cape Town over time.

With a focus on organic micro-farming, the enterprise, which provides training and start-up packs, looks to improve the hungry’s access to nutrient-rich, non-poisoned food that can supplement a very restricted diet.

“There’s absolutely no reason for food insecurity anywhere,” asserts Abalimi Co-director Rob Small, a charismatic man who firmly believes that the only major hurdle to keeping the poor full and fed is a deeply entrenched mindset that places no value on small-scale farming in built-up areas.

“People mustn’t plant plants, they must plant vegetables, plant food,” says the Cape Town designer-cum-environmentalist.

In his perfect world, he sees Cape Town as an autonomous city that boasts a thriving local economy and a mass of well-nourished citizens that are as rooted, plump and healthy as the veggies they’re personally producing.

With a mushrooming number of sustainable food production projects now budding in the Mother City, this dream may not be such a distant reality.

Food insecurity may still seem like an insurmountable issue to conquer, and, realistically, we may still rely on those elusive outside sources for fare for many years to come, but we can certainly take some comfort in the fact that the option of growing our own greens has the potential to harvest real change in our pretty fertile city.

Source: Urban farming: cultivating real change in Cape Town