In the middle of the city of Cape Town, there is this very special place. An oases of peace in a busy city, with the majestic Table Mountain as backdrop: I talk about the Oranjezicht City Farm. Last week Other Half & me were a few days in Cape Town and we decided to visit the urban farm. I wanted to go there already for a long time, but often when we are in Cape Town we are on a mission (shopping, new restaurants, appointments) so there is no time. Now we had a lazy few days away booked, the weather perfect, so we decided to go there. Today I will tell you more about the farm and our experience.
How beautiful are the views of Table Mountain if you stand inside the Oranjezicht City Farm?
About Oranjezicht City Farm
Some years ago a group of ambitious people came with the idea to create a communal vegetable garden in Cape Town. After they found a piece of land (a bowling green) they had to wait until permission, which they got in October 2012. The work started from then and they prepared the grounds (about 700 square meters) for farming. Since May 2013 the Oranjezicht Farm is open. They planted mostly vegetables and herbs, but there are a few fruit trees as well. An interesting detail: Years and years ago, in the 18th and 19th century, the Oranjezicht City Farm used to be a farm as well, for the Breda family. They lived on the farm during 7 generations, and you can see the old slave bell on the Homestead site next to the farm. All information about the history of the farm can be found on the website of OZCF.
Visit the Farm
You can wander around the farm by yourself (we did that), or you can book a guided tour. The guided tours are conducted by the OZCF volunteers and free of charge, although a donation between R40-R60 per person is appreciated. These funds don’t go to the volunteers or the organisation (it’s a non-profit), but all the money and donations are ploughed back into the farm itself.
At Oranjezicht City Farm they also organise guided tours for learning school kids. How fantastic is it for a child to get to know more about the wonder of seed, soil, water and sun? If you are a teacher, or if you have children yourself, this is a great idea for a school outing! Maybe they’ll eat their vegetables after the tour better than before? If they know that they actually don’t grow into plastic bags you buy in the shops..
We love food and we love to cook with fresh vegetables and herbs, so for us it’s always nice to see where ingredients come from. And how they grow. The location of the farm I found wonderful, in the middle of the city with views of Table Mountain. The farm itself is quite small (I expected a bigger farm), but all space is used well for soil, seeds and growing. It is a peaceful, quiet place. Perfect for a walk or to sit in the sun with a book (there are some wooden benches). The garden is beautiful, but not over-manicured. You can see that what they plant they really do use for consumption. And that it’s not only there to be photogenic and pretty.
On Saturday mornings it is possible to buy the fresh, organic vegetables and fruits from the farm, and use them in your own home kitchen. Note(!): the Oranjezicht City Farm Market is at a different location than the farm is. The reason is that there is not enough space at the farm itself, and that the farm is next to this monumental heritage place (Homestead Park). At the moment the market is held next to the Look Out Venue, at Granger Bay, close to V&A Waterfront and with The Grand on their other side. Soon I will write a separate blogpost about this great market.
Weekly Vegetable Boxes
Besides Market Day you can also decide to subscribe for a weekly vegetable box. 10 items, fresh, organic and in season, every week in a box for you and your family. Costs are R150 a week (a bargain!) and it will be enough for 3-4 people, sharing. On Wednesday it’s collecting day, and you can pick up your box in the late afternoon from the farm directly. How fantastic! If we lived in Cape Town, we would definitely subscribe. I think we need something similar in Franschhoek…
The Oranjezicht City Farm is open for visitors Monday – Friday from 08.00 until 16.00 and on Saturdays from 08.00 until 13.00.
Address: corner of Upper Orange Street and Sidmouth Avenue (next to the old Homestead Park) – for the farm (Saturday Market is at a different location)
For more information about the Oranjezicht City Farm, Market Day, Guided Tours and the Weekly Veggie boxes, visit their website.