Please read the call for support to see how you can help the Oranjezicht City Farm. Your support is much-needed and will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged.
From bowling green to bowl of greens
The transformation from a disused bowling green to a vibrant, beautiful, and nourishing Farm is well under way.
The dream of a community vegetable garden in Oranjezicht has been shared by numerous residents in Cape Town for many years. Now, that dream is being realised on an unused bowling green from the 1950s whose deeper roots reach back to 1709 as part of the historic farm ‘Oranje Zigt’. For hundreds of years this was the site of the largest farm in the Upper Table Valley, which grew vegetables and fruit to feed the growing colony and supply passing ships with essential produce to the turn of the 20th century.
Today, the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is re-connecting Cape Town to this neglected piece of heritage. As a non-profit project celebrating local food, culture and community, OZCF is growing vegetables, holding public events and running education programmes to help educate Capetonians and their children about food, environmental and related issues, develop skills among the unemployed, build bridges across communities, and champion underutilised green spaces in the city.
To sustain these activities and help the Farm reach its full potential, OZCF needs the support of like-minded individuals, companies, foundations and friends.
With your help, we are building the future we want
As a community-based non-profit run by volunteers, OZCF is working hard to support itself by growing and selling vegetables, compost, seedlings, t-shirts and more. Volunteers are playing a major role in farming, education, communications and administration and already dozens of people are giving of their time and energy. In the months and years to come this will be enough to cover the core running costs of farming, but it will not be enough to pay for the full range of educational and outreach programmes that will make the Farm such an important community asset.
Start-up funding was generously provided by the Madame Zingara group of restaurants to help cover essential costs for the conversion of the bowling green. Other companies have contributed pro-bono services, including CNdV Africa Planning and Design, MH&A Consulting Engineers, Lema Civils Plant Hire, Derrick Integrated Communication, Reliance Compost, David Hellig & Abrahamse Land Surveyors, Michells Wholesale Nursery and others.
To ensure our farm’s sustainability for years to come, we need to raise significant additional funding, and we are asking for your generous support.
What we need right now
Additional funding is needed right now to install the irrigation system and to construct the light timber pergola that will provide shaded space for school groups and other activities.
In addition, funds are needed to help acquire valuable heritage and indigenous seedlings and plants. We have the opportunity to have cuttings from a pair of unique 300 year-old grape vines growing on the pergola, and to plant other heritage plants and fruit trees, some of which come from the Company’s Gardens dating back centuries.
We are also planning to farm indigenous culinary plants – a first in South African urban farming – working with experts to source plants and develop cultivation techniques so that tortoise berries, bitou berries, lemon buchu and others grow alongside the exotic carrots, turnips and tomatoes.
Funding is also needed to install benches and signage at the Farm to make it a more accessible and enjoyable place for visitors, and to develop and carry out a full education programme that will link local schools, community groups and organisations with the activities and facilities of OZCF.
“If you eat, you’re in.” Absolutely everyone can contribute. No amount is too big or too small.
- Asparagus Assortment: Donations of R50 000 and more. Donors to date at this level: The Madame Zingara group of restaurants, CNdV Africa Planning and Design, Lema Civils and Plant Hire, and Reliance Compost. Further donations at this level will help install the irrigation system or pay for 2 farm assistants for seven months.
- Pomegranate Portfolio: Donations of R5 000 and more. Donations at this level will support an education adviser to implement activities and curriculum-related programmes for learners and teachers from the area and beyond.
- Mangetout Medley: Donations of R25 000 and more. Donors to date at this level: MH&A Consulting Engineers and Derrick Integrated Communication. Further donations at this level will help landscape the pond complete with solar pump, lei water channel and indigenous insect eco-system essential to organic pest control.
- Strawberry Selection: Donations of R2 000 and more. Donations at this level will help provide interpretive signage around the Farm and informational plaques on trees to enhance the visitor experience.
- Raspberry Range: Donations of R10 000 and more. Donors to date at this level: David Hellig & Abrahamse Land Surveyors, Michells Wholesale Nursery and Cape Contours Landscape Solutions. Donations at this level will help construct a wooden pergola for shade that will be a gathering space for visitors, and will help source and plant the indigenous culinary section of the Farm.
- Cabbage Collection: Donations of R100 – R1999. It all adds up. Donations at this level will buy spades, wheelbarrows, rakes, uniforms for the farm assistants, sun hats, terracotta pots and bokashi composting buckets for residents and restaurants so that we help to reduce the amount of waste to landfill. All donations will be acknowledged on the OZCF website and in the Annual Report and major donations will be recognised on site.
Other ways to Contribute
Sponsor a farm worker: It takes R150 a day to pay Straatwerk for one farm assistant, giving dignity to unemployed men and women by providing steady paying work and an apprenticeship programme to become organic farmers. R900 would pay a worker for a six-day week and R3 600 for a month. OZCF is also happy if you choose to pay your own gardener to help, in return for on-site training. Plaques in honour of family or friends: Commemorate or memorialise your loved ones, your business, or your muse by contributing to OZCF. Limited opportunities are available for the following: • R10 000 – The pergola or pond • R5 000 – Benches • R2 000 – On trees OZCF Membership: We’re developing a membership programme in return for a basket of benefits such as receiving a box of seasonal produce each week, invites to courses, talks and educational activities, and discounts on gardening items. More on this at a later stage.
In recent years, under the stewardship of the Oranjezicht-Higgovale Neighbourhood Watch (OH Watch), a small group of residents has worked to get a viable and sustainable OZCF project defined, build community support, attract initial funding, and clear the various regulatory and legal hurdles. A small steering committee is now moving the project forward, and soon a Non-Profit Company (NPC) will be established, led by a board of directors. OZCF has its own bank account and strong financial controls, and major contributors are welcome to request a review of organisational finances. All farming is under the guidance of an experienced organic farmer. Much of the manual labour is provided through an agreement with the NGO Straatwerk, providing meaningful work and on-site training to unemployed people in the City Bowl.
A garden not only preserves open space and offers a respite from the quick tempo of urban life, but also holds the potential to reach past the vegetable plots and flower borders to the larger community. It can be a gathering place to bring people together, strengthening relationships. Ultimately, the garden is a catalyst for change, improving the overall quality of life and even reducing crime.
Key partnerships have been formed with a number of departments in the City of Cape Town, including Environmental and Heritage Management and City Parks. OZCF enjoys the support of a number of other partner organisations, including Soil for Life, Abalimi Bezekhaya, the Oranjezicht Heritage Society, Cape Town Heritage Trust, City Bowl Ratepayers & Residents Association (CIBRA) and OH Watch.
Please Support the Oranjezicht City Farm
Funds can be paid into the OZCF account.
OZCF finances will be presented at an annual AGM.
Account Oranjezicht City Farm
Bank First National Bank
Branch number 201511
Branch name Gardens
Account number 62 390 59 3393
Account type Current
Ref Surname, OZCF Donation
Please email confirmation of your contribution to:
Join/observe/check in on the Facebook conversations: facebook.com/OZCFarm
Photographers Mervyn Bennun, Leigh Page, Sue Kramer & Sheryl Ozinsky.
For further information please contact:
Mobile 083 628 3426
Mobile 083 508 1066
Mobile 082 807 0332
An undertaking like the creation of the Oranjezicht City Farm takes a lot of effort, and it’s only possible when many people get involved in ways big and small. Only through the support and sweat of volunteers, community members and kindred spirits has this been possible and we are grateful from the bottoms of our dirty boots to the tips of our green thumbs.