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Oranjezicht City Farm

Austen Johnston, Coco van Oppens


In the frenetic tempo of city life, we all too often outsource to others what, not too long ago, we would have done for ourselves. Not so for Cape Town’s Oranjezicht residents, who have rallied their community around what was historically an unused bowling green and is now the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF).

It’s a nonprofit project that celebrates local food and sustainability through volunteer work in design, education and organic vegetable gardening. It’s also an opportunity to connect with similar projects in SA that could adopt under-utilised public spaces for the greater good.

OZCF works closely with local NGO Straatwerk to help homeless residents find steady work, and some are learning to farm organically through apprenticeships. Produce from the OZCF garden is sold at Saturday markets on the farm, with artisanal bakers and food vendors punting healthy fare.

Plans for expansion include a worm farm for compost making, an irrigation system, water storage tanks and education programmes for local schools. To achieve its objectives, OZCF receives additional support through a secure online platform for social investment (or ‘crowdfunding’) named Thundafund.

For more, visit their Thundafund page, or ozcf.co.za.

This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of House and Leisure.