Urban Farming and Gardening Continued

by Abalimi Bezekhaya - Planters of the Home
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued
Urban Farming and Gardening Continued

Hello dear Friends

You are all feeling the world-wide whirlwind and growing storm, as we are. There are just too many problems, we know.

Of course, here in the wonderful crazy townships of Cape Town, we have all the usual suspects.. 40% unemployment and climbing, hunger, ill health, social decay, extreme weather, you name it, we got it! 

BUT there is an ever increasing "calm space" among the storms!

You can find that calm space in tens of thousands of micro-farms (home and community gardens) township- wide, where the majority subsist on less than USD 200/m or GBP 150/month. Yet so many have flourishing food gardens.  Everywhere. Feeding families, neighbourhoods and even at "outside" markets where people are prepared to pay a premium for organic produce.

Micro-farming has become endemic here - Covid only stimulated it, bringing in a running wave of new Young Farmers. Rising food price rises only fuel it!  Adversity only encourages it. And at the centre is our organisation, co-operating with all others in the field,  and supported by free donations from Friends.

Our total budget is 3mil Rand per annum. We directly support over 3000 of these micro-farmers each year, with a full package of training and follow-up, agri-inputs & resources, infrastructure building, market access and organisation building assistance. At a cost of R100/farmer per annum. Thats all it costs. USD 7 per annum. or GBP 5 per annum. We do this through "multiplication" interventions. Eg: Farmer trains farmer.

If you are in CT, come visit!! Just let me know ahead of time. Meet the farmers. See what they do. Feel the Power of social Micro-Farming!  Go away inspired like never before.

In April, as part of our rolling 40 year program, we are hosting a Farmers Festival and Agri-Expo- the first ever of its kind in SA as far as we know. See poster. Geared for micro-small township farmers. On "zero budget". But the farmers and all key supporters are making it happen! So, anything towards this from your side would be greatly welcome. Our concept budget is around R300k. And Friends and Supporters are coming in strong! If you feel you can push a bit extra our way for this, you will be a super star!

Again, if you are in CT, come visit anytime!

All the very best and THANK YOU one and all for your ongoing interest and support in whatever way you give it!! There are so many ways. Bless you one and all and, as we say here "hamba ka guthle" (go well) and "sala ka guthle" (stay well).

Rob

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Dear GlobalGiving Friends,

Young people in their millions are walking the streets in South Africa - up to 40% of people under the age of 35 are unemployed! 

It could be a catastrophe and surely a recipe for revolution. But there is real HOPE! 

Hundreds of thousands of these young people are not just sitting around waiting for a job. They are creating a new, vibrant South Africa where they are self-employed and even employ many others. 

And this is happening in our micro-farming movement among the poor! These young men in the picture are the founders of a community garden called Feed the Khaltsha, begun in 2020. They say: 

“In the future, we want to expand production, get more land, grow the local market, sell to hospitals and supermarkets, open our own soup kitchen for the poor, teach the poor to garden and contribute to overcoming crime through creating gardens that keep young people – especially young men – occupied instead of wandering the streets. We want to recruit more young farmers!“

If any of you come to visit Cape Town, please pop in and I will take you to meet them and many other new young farmers, who have been flooding into the movement since Covid began!

They are truly "the hope of our nation" and I for one am not going anywhere - South Africa is such a vibrant thrumming hive of activity,  if you look at the "ordinary" people on the ground, instead of the oddballs who are criminals, corrupt or incompetent.

So, thanks for staying with us on our journey - our "long walk to freedom", as Mr Mandela famously said it.

SA has a brilliant constitution, all the excellent rights anyone could wish for, and a hard working and ingeniuos groundswell of Young Farmers who are inspiring hundreds more, and they, others and so on.

Happy Christmas one and all- or , if you prefer- may your year end be full of joy and fun.

Very best

Rob Small

co-founder Abalimi 

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Dear GlobalGiving Friends, greetings again from Cape Town at the tip of Africa! 

Abalimi forges ahead despite Covid, taxi wars and riots. Nothing stops us or our micro-farmers!

A shining example is the project called "Lukhanyo", or "to bring light" . Their full name is Lukhanyo Urban Farming Network. The garden featured here is the HQ and from here Jeremy Jones (the founder) reaches out and collaborates with many other community gardens township-wide. 

Lukhanyo began in 2012, on school land, in a desolate sandy area. You can see the school building behind, in the picture. Jeremy (picture centre, crouching), a retired army colonel, is the initiator. He lives on his pension and devotes all his energy to micro-farming among the poor, to uplift others.

He is currently training young unemployed people to garden, and they have just planted their first spring crops. They come from all over Cape Town, from the poorest areas, where 40% unemployment (especially among the youth) is rife.

Jeremy has also placed about a hundred other youth at a number of other Abalimi-supported community gardens. They are all gaining skills in micro-farming and many are planting their own home gardens, while others now plan to take up farming as a livelihood.

Jeremy says: " I want to uplift the community by educating them about farming, which will result in sustainability in their communities". He plans one day to own a small farm in the rural areas, but near the city. But in the meantime he is giving his "all" to the micro-farming movement among the poor and unemployed.

Jeremy has collaborated with Abalimi for over 15 years in one way and another. He is an active participant in the Abalimi-supported farmer networks and organisations. Jeremy also sits on the Abalimi board in order to help guide our work forward.

If you want to correspond with Jeremy directly you can do so on jones.jeremy2018@gmail.com.

Jeremy and Lukhanyo are a huge inspiration to many hundreds and also a huge inspiration to Abalimi. Viva Lukhanyo and Jeremy viva!!

Thank you one and all, dear GlobalGiving Friends. Your continued interest and support is vital. We wont stop and you can be sure that thousands upon thousands are learning how to grow micro-farms. The seeds of a new organic gardening culture among the poor are sprouting and growing and producing, with your help.

Very best regards to one and all

Rob Small

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Home garden produce!
Home garden produce!

 

Dear GlobalGiving Friends, greetings and salutations from Cape Town!

I hope you are all well and safe during these Covid times.

Here is a picture of some wonderful fresh organically grown surplus produce which is grown by a family in Khayelitsha. 

Mostly home gardeners grow just for their own needs, to feed their families and households. Any small surplus that they harvest is often given away to neighbours and friends. This is wonderful in itself because such gardens create enhanced fresh food security for the families concerned, as well as build and cement community bonds between friends and neighbours.

But, where a family has some extra ground space, it can also happen that they are able to produce a regular and even abundant surplus, as shown in the pic. 

This family takes their surplus and markets it in far away Seapoint, on the Atlantic seaboard where middle income people live. Thus they make much needed cash that strengthens their household economy where most of them are too young to work or are unemployed. 

So, dear Friends, your support continues to make magic happen here among the poor and unemployed in Cape Town. A new culture of gardening among the poor is growing up, which is spreading and sprouting (literally!) far and wide. The sandy desolation of the apartheid townships is gradually being transformed into green oases of hope and health all over the place.

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest! Without you we could not continue to do this vital work.

Very best and warm regards

Rob

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Hello dear GlobalGiving Friends, here is our latest annual newsletter in the link below. Some of you may have already received it but please check it out again and I am sure you will be inspired by the progress. Gardens are not solid state things. They need love and care. So that is what we really promote.....love and care for food and for the environment. And some of our beneficiaries also make good money from their crops!

So please stay with us and keep up you wonderful support. Not a cent is wasted. 

I hope you are all safe and warm and looking forward to the new year with hope. We thank you for your support and interest. We look forward to reporting back to you again in future.

Warmest regards

Rob Small

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Organization Information

Abalimi Bezekhaya - Planters of the Home

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Rob Small
Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa
$80,529 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,055 donations
$19,471 to go
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