Neighbourhood Farms, with grant funding received from the Western Cape Premier’s office and Department of Agriculture for its Pilot Project in the South peninsula of Cape Town, South Africa, has in 12 months: Installed 3 market gardens, 3 retail outlets and 7 outdoor classrooms at schools and one hospital as part of a larger vision of creating an edible education wellbeing economy that is underpinned by a mosaic of economically viable urban farms.
At 3 key sites (Kommetjie Primary School, Laerskool Paul Greyling and the False Bay Hospital), we’ve established 6000m2 of Market Gardens on non-productive or surplus land; employed and trained 20 local unskilled or semi-skilled community members to be 1 of 4 permanent employees at every Neighbourhood Farm; created entrepreneurial opportunities and sales platforms through 3 organisation owned retail outlets for more than 20 local entrepreneurs and lastly, are especially proud to be training an army of urban farmers in Ocean View.
Beyond ongoing maintenance and operations of our existing sites, we are currently completing the installation of further outdoor classrooms at Star of the Sea Convent and Muizenberg Primary Schools and are installing a Phase Two, 6500m2 training market garden at Ocean View Secondary School in Ocean View (a disadvantaged community of more than 13000 community members).
This new installation, complete with animal husbandry (egg layers), an agri-processing kitchen, allotments and a training facility was proposed and funding granted for, after the organisation identified a need for an inclusive, educational and entrepreneurial model for disadvantaged communities. The training market garden will not only train 10 community members a year to become entrepreneurial market gardeners, but will also ensure that the poorest of the poor have free and affordable access to nutrient dense, organically grown produce.
This, in amongst other important benefits, promotes local socio-economic development; food security, edible education, healthy eating and safe food provision by making schools and hospitals social enterprise and community hubs.
In the near future, we could provide a managed roadmap for other communities to replicate our success and create their own wellbeing economies.