Before we are a market, a veg box distribution centre, or even a farm, Oranjezicht City Farm is an educational non-profit. Our programmes with local school children are one of the most important aspects of our mission to educate. We try to impart values such as healthy eating, respect for nature, and love of fresh food that will serve young students well for the rest of their lives. Currently, school outings to the farm are the biggest component of our education program. Since 2013 we have hosted over 3 000 learners from a diverse range of area schools.
School outings to the Oranjezicht City Farm
Nature as Teacher
The experience of seeing seed, soil, water and sun come together to transform into a tiny plant is a lesson in itself, and one not soon forgotten. Learning to appreciate the wonder and power of nature is the core of an environmental education at the Oranjezicht City Farm. A vegetable garden gives your school all the benefits mentioned above, with the added reward of valuable nutrition lessons on the importance and joys of eating fresh foods
School outings are conducted on Mondays from 09h30 – 11h30. Tours for school staff can also be arranged. Learners of all ages from grade R to grade 11 are welcomed.
Choose from a list of topics and we will tailor the content to the needs of the age group. Programmes include a practical, hands on experience and a guided tour of the farm. Specific areas of the syllabus can be covered.
The cost is R40 per learner. This fee can be reduced on application.
Choose one of the available topics for your visit. All topics can be adapted to a particular age group. Below find a list of our topics with a brief description of each:
- Agriculture – from ancient Egypt to modern mechanised farming. Have things changed for the better? We will look at how farming has changed over time and the effect this has had on the environment. We will walk around the farm and see how organic farming principles work with nature rather than against it.
- Bugs and things in the garden – a look at common garden creatures like snails, beetles, ladybirds and frogs. We will discuss what they are (reptiles, insects etc.) and why they are either garden pests or beneficial in the garden. We will walk around the garden identifying the creatures we find on the plants.
- Compost for kids – a look at what compost is, how it is beneficial to plants, the creatures that live in the compost heap and how to make your own compost. We will see how compost is made on the Farm, see what creatures we find in a pile of compost and take a look at how earthworm compost is made.
- Earthworms – what is a worm, interesting facts about earthworms, why earthworms are so important in nature, how earthworms make compost. We will handle earthworms and look at them with a magnifying glass, see how they turn decomposing material into compost and learn how we can make earthworm tea.
- Eat your greens – a look at healthy eating and the importance of eating fruit and vegetables with a chance to walk around the vegetable garden and identify a variety of organically grown vegetables and to taste something which is in season.
- Farm walk – this is included in every tour and includes identifying, smelling, touching and tasting vegetables, herbs and indigenous plants, learning about plants which deter pests, learning how to work with nature instead of against it (organic principles) and seeing how plants are grown from seeds or seedlings.
- Food security – what does food security mean and what are the consequences of being food insecure? We will look at growing one’s own food as a way to improve food security.
- From soil to table – where does our food come from? We will follow the steps from when a seed is planted for food to when it arrives on our table ready to eat. We will look at some of the vegetable plants in the garden and trace their journey to our plates. Optional variation: the different ways fruits and vegetables can be processed before we eat them. We will take a vegetable like the bean and trace its journey from farm to canning to the table.
- Fruit and vegetables – what’s the difference? We will examine and taste several examples of fruits and vegetables and discuss which part or parts of the plant we eat. Then we will walk through the garden trying to identify plants in this way.
- Herbs – what is a herb? The uses of herbs- culinary, medicinal, pest deterrent. We will walk around the garden identifying, smelling and tasting herbs.
- History and heritage – OZCF is situated on the site of the original Oranjezicht Farm and adjoins Homestead Park, a heritage site. Learn about the history of the farm, built in the early days of Dutch rule, as well as that of early Cape Town. See the reminders of this past- the old farm barn which has been renovated, the pillars where the slave bell used to hang etc.
- Life cycles – look at the life cycles of various garden creatures like ladybirds and butterflies and then walk around the garden seeing which of these creatures we can observe in their various life stages. Optional variation: look at the life cycles of different plants and see examples of these in the garden.
- Seeds – a seed is a baby plant waiting to grow. Look at a collection of seeds of all shapes and sizes, discuss what they need to make them grow and how they are dispersed. Then plant your own seed to take home.
- Soil – types of soil, the importance of having the right soil for a particular plant, improving soil health e.g. through composting. We will look at different soil samples and then walk around the Farm looking at the compost area, earthworm farm and the soil in which our vegetables grow.
- The structure of plants and what they need to grow – Look at examples of plants and their different parts. Discuss the function of roots, stems, leaves and flowers. Look at what plants need to grow. Walk around the farm and see how fruits and vegetables grow and how we try and provide the ideal conditions for growth.
- Unhealthy eating – the dangers of sugar. We will look at the effect of too much sugar in our diets. We will do a practical demonstration showing how much sugar there is in common fizzy drinks and fruit juices. We will look at an alternative – making your own flavoured water using fruit and herbs which we will pick from the garden.
- Water – water is essential to plants, humans and animals and we can’t afford to waste it. We will do a practical exercise to show how little drinking water there really is in the world and we will also take a look at the Field of Springs, another heritage site adjacent to the farm. Here we can see the old Dutch Stadtsfontein, or ‘city fountain’ which was a source of the water supply in Cape Town’s early days.
- What plants need to grow – air, water, sunlight and soil. After a discussion we will look at how we try and provide the ideal environment for our vegetables to grow at the farm. Each child will also take home a seed or seedling which they have planted.
To book an outing contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to get involved?
Like the rest of the farm, our education programme is highly reliant on volunteers. Especially now, as we are expanding the program, we are in serious need of skilled and reliable volunteers who want to contribute to the education of the next generation of Capetonians. We would be happy to have anyone who is enthusiastic to help, but are especially looking for volunteers with the following qualifications:
- Formal training in education
- Skilled in curriculum development
- Experience working with primary schoolchildren
- Special knowledge of nutrition, organic farming, or any of the topics listed above under