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Food in the City part 1: A tale of two gardens in Cape Town, South Africa

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Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) overlooking the city. Photo by Steven Bland.

Micro-farmers benefit from improved health, renewed dignity and social connectedness, as well as vital additional income

By Steven Bland
Future Capetown
February 6, 2013

Excerpt:

Up in the hills of Oranjezicht, something is stirring. What strikes you at first is the size. At 2450sq.m including 700-800sq.m of growing beds, this is no back garden. “In summer, we’re going to need at least 4,000 litres a day”, says Mario, the ex-organic farmer who’s tasked with turning this ex-bowling green into an urban oasis of efficient organic production. “It’s got to be quality, organic produce” he tells me. He is a man with a mission: to create an economically viable urban farm in the heart of Cape Town.

Mario is part of a growing trend: urban food growing is in vogue. More and more people are turning their hand to growing vegetables. For some, it’s a reaction against the environmental impacts of industrialised commercial agriculture. A chance to reconnect with nature, teach kids about where their food comes from, and reduce food miles. For others, it’s more than a lifestyle choice. With over half of the world’s population now calling urban areas home, the city has become a new battleground for food poverty and malnourishment. 80% of households in Ocean View, Phillippi and Khayelitsha surveyed by the African Food Security Urban Network were found to be either severely or moderately food insecure.

Read the complete article here.