Capacity Building: Urban Farming and Gardening


Hello dear Global Giving Friends

its almost election time here in SA and a big question is - can we feed our nation of over 40 million?

This question may surprise you, since South Africa is among the most developed countries in Africa.

Yet we have beggars on every street corner and knocking on our doors,  constantly crying out for help. We boast one of the highest unemployment rates in the world - around 30% nationally. Wherever you look there are men and women walking the streets looking for work, often with their children in tow. Or tens of thousands of men countrywide on street corners waiting all day in hope of being selected as laborors. Its an image of the Great Depression.

But if you delete the un-employed millions from your mind, you can easily convince yourself that South Africa, with its hard working middle class of nearly 9 million , along with the millions of tourists and business visitors, driving in their rivers of gleaming new cars on all the modern highways and byways,  were the only reality.

Food security is now a national and international talking point, along with unemployment and housing for the "poor majority" . 

And ABALIMI's inspirational model for a viable alternative way to feed and employ our nation is gaining ground.

In fact, our model has relevance Africa-wide, as a possible way to feed the burgeoning urban populations,  as the exodus from rural areas massively increases due to the modern commercial economy decimating old rural lifestyles.

Please read the article from Lead SA (link below) to see how the idea is catching on :)

And it is with your help and loyal support that we are able to develop and improve this inspirational model.

Thank you!

Rob Small


Dear Friends, some of you may recieve a direct mail with the title of this report- it is the Abalimi newsletter in a mass mail format, beautifully designed and aiming to inspire . So please excuse if you see it more than once- on this site but also in your inbox :)

I attach the full and final, complete version herewith and hope that you will "feel the gift" that is Abalimi .

Abalimi entirely and utterly serves our beloved Mandela's vision for a united South Africa in every way.  Especially when it comes to food security, climate change mitigation, resilience, nature conservation and job creation among those who do not have the education and privelege, or the "vooma",  to get ahead.

Bless you all for your love and generosity. These qualities are the true drivers of a human scale economy.

Mandela is dead. Long Live Mandela !!!!


Hello again dear Global Giving Friends.

Please read * ABALIMI's best newsletter ever * , attached, produced by young volunteer professionals from Germany & France,  Nantke Garrelts and Camille Van-Tornhout, who came to Abalimi via a placement agency in the EU called GLEN. 

It was designed by a wonderful young South African artist-designer (Meghan Pitt) as her gift to Abalimi and, being such a very talented artist-designer, I believe she has made this newsletter more attractive and readable than ever before.

"Jenny's Letter " (mentioned in the newsletter) plus "Roll of Honor" (list of donors and volunteers)   is not included in this copy because they are still being finalized, but I am late with my 3 monthly report,  so I feel justified in posting the newsletter to you NOW, before absolutely everything is ready. You will be able to see a full copy when I next report to you, as I will attach it then.

Please forgive me if I do not try to communicate with each of you wonderful Global Giving Friends inidividually- there is simply no time. But if you choose to send me any question, or come and visit, I will be delighted and respond quickly!

BUT please do accept, again, our warmest gratitude for your generosity and interest in our work. You can not be dissappointed, since, after reading the newsletter, you will certainly know that we are "on the money" as business people like to say it. For us this means- "the money is flowing 100% for the Good" and thus it is "on".

All the very best to you all, and of course to the very hard working and super-competent Global Giving Team, who I must say I am in awe of !  Global Giving , itself, is worthy of all the financial and voluntary support it needs and requires. In my opinion, Global Giving is THE best international platform for getting support to where it is really needed in the world.  So Viva Global Giving vivaaa!



Hello dear GlobalGiving Friends- please take a peek at the two links below for a couple of nice recent articles on our work!

All is going well- we are launching a young farmer training program this year, I will let you know more once its up and running.

Our next Abalimi Friends newsletter is under preparation, so expect to see it in my next report !

The two article links below are among many others that I am told have been written- we are getting so many visitors these days that its impossible to keep up with all that is being documented :)

Not a bad position to be in, but it does put a lot of pressure on us to service visitors, instead of our farmers. Of course our farmers come first ! That is why our farmers register has grown in the last 8 months from 3000 to nearly 4000 !

Our kind of work can only become more relevant- it is not a fashion, but a necessity, for true cultural renewal,  through re-connection to soil and therefore soul. Most of our modern soil scientists have long forgotten that soil is not just a pile of chemical reactions- it is a truly living organ of the earth, its very 'brain' which conveys the thought-life forms of nature. Hydroponics cannot do without it either, since they "mine" it for source material and they will not, ever, be able to do without real, good, soil for the source of all complex life material and "ideas" needed for growing crops hydroponically. Nor will Monsanto ever be able to do without "heritage seed" as source material for their plans of world food conquest.

Please, if you have a salary, don't grow your own vegetables- rather buy from locals who earn a living from growing healthy food. In this way your money can completely change - forthe better- the way food systems work- and these systems are the very foundation of our culture !  All the very best. Rob- micro-farmer at the foot of Africa 


Hello dear Global Giving Friends- this report somehow did not get submitted in May 13 - I had not hit the submit button and only see that now. !

See the well writen article "future on urban farming" attached ! Its still fresh and true!  Its an article written by journalist Dayle Kavonic from Cape Town Magazine with images from famous Amercian photographer Patrick West , who visited in Oct 2012, as well as images  from Abalimi.  

Cape Town Mag is a cosmopolitan on-line magazine set up to promote Cape Town and all its wonders and has a large readership.

Please remember that you, when in Cape Town, are always welcome to come visit and see for yourself what your investment is achieving. I attach also the latest invitation to the Abalimi-Harvest of Hope Tuesday tour, which has some lovely video clip links embedded in it, so you can get an extra feel of what goes down hereabouts. 

Happy Christmas one and all!

All strength and courage for 2014



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Project Leader

Rob Small

Resource Mobilisation Leader and Board Secretary
Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

Where is this project located?

Map of Capacity Building: Urban Farming and Gardening