Capacity Building: Urban Farming and Gardening

by Abalimi Bezekhaya - Planters of the Home

Greetings once again dear Global Giving Friends

These are Interesting Times indeed.   On the one hand a Curse and on the other a Blessing.

Everywhere the Good is under attack by Efficiency,  at the cost of Personal Ethics.

Personal Ethics in Big Business are seemingly almost entirely Dead and Buried, and the Stone in front of the Tomb is Very Large. The survival of Humanity and Nature, far too often, come a shocking second to short term Profit.

Yet even in Big Business, which these days (more and more) drives and even controls Big Academia,  Big Science, Big Finance, Big Politics and also Big Media,  there are often warm hearted Human Beings  at work -  Good People at every level,  striving to help and serve others and the Planet. Because of these good people , many of us are priveleged to recieve generous support for our causes and social businesses.  

So, Goodness (personal, freely chosen ethical behaviour,often against serious odds) thrives on, even and especially, in the Belly of the Dragon.

It is out of this Goodness that the attached French TV episode  was filed and out of Goodness that the article in a mainstream African Business magazine was written. The French TV episode is entirely comprehensibe (watch it and see foryourself !!) even though it is in French- amazing. The African Business magazine article is written as objectively as possible by a young striving Amercian -James Wan - in an attempt to find the Good in all points of view.   And its out of Goodness that a leading international Farming Matters magazine writes about how our work spreads -farmer to farmer- way beyond our immediate target area,

I wholeheartedly and without reserve oppose the agressive commercial application of GMO's (not the science!) but I respect James's attempt to present both sides "fairly". But I ask you, how fair is it that GMO's are being thrust down the throats of whole poplulations by very powerful super-corporations,  who strenuously resist any form of labelling laws in the countries in which they operate? South Africa is one of those countries and millions of cash poor South Africans are right now forced to eat unlabelled GMO rich Maize Meal (maizemeal being their staple food) because there is now simply nothing else on the shelves.

Thats one reason why we are glad to recieve your continued help, dear Friends- our Family Micro-farming movement is spreading virally -farmer to farmer- and in the forseeable future people will again have a choice,  since they will  be growing low cost GMO free maize once again in abundance on their own micro-farms.

Our mission remians simple and clear:  the unemployed and poor deserve to choose to eat top quality un-poisoned and unmodified food in abundance just like the rich can. Why must the poor be forced to eat low quality food because its all they can afford? Or no food at all?

Thank you for your good help once again. Keep it coming if you can. And thank you for all that you do in service to others , everywhere , by choosing to invest in causes of all kinds.

Global Giving Friends- you Rock!

With sincere and best regards



Harvest of Hope Pack shed in action
Harvest of Hope Pack shed in action

Greetings from blustery Autumn Cape Town, Dear Global Giving Friends

As you all must know, besides water and soil conservation, and of course plentiful compost, seed saving is the foundation of sustainability in any farming and gardeneing system.

These days not many farmers or gardeners (compared to the past) save their seeds, but have become increasingly reliant on big seed corporations, who are doing their best to buy out or own all smaller seed companies. They try to become owners of all varieties and adaptions and thus the farmers/gardeners become more and more at the mercy of the corporations, who do all sorts of funny things which are not always good for nature or for health.

So we in ABALIMI have for many years been encouraging informal seed saving among our micro-farmers. 

The little report, in the link below, shows how we are also helped by other organisations and networks to further this aim. You will see some young faces, which is increasingly the case now that we have managed to provide a market for the surplus produced by our micro-farmers through Harvest of Hope -   This means that livelihoods can be made and even careers in micro-farming can be envisioned. And this attracts the unemployed youth as well !

Very much more has to be done to revive seed saving as a new cultural practice in our modern times and especially among the micro-farmers who we work with.

We have also launched the introduction of Bio-Dynamic agriculture preparations into the movement (see attached report) through a first intervention. This has had to wait 33 years until we had first created a movement among black farmers who understood the difference between Chemical and Organic and that Organic is better by far.  Now Bio Dynamics, the most advanced agricultural technology on the planet, can be introduced, and can be accepted as a next step and not some sort of juju.

Thank you for continuing to support our movement.

Remember, we are not a begin-end project.  We are a movement for organic micro-farming among the poor and un-employed who comprise nearly 50% of our population in SA and indeed worldwide.

Despite all that lovely reported GDP growth, it really only (largely) benefits the already priveleged, while the gap between the "poor" and the "rich" just grows and grows.

So it's wonderful when you reach out, like you continue to do, to support our work here in SA, to continue to build the bridge "between the worlds" .

All the very best,

Rob Small



Greetings once again dear Global Giving Friends!

This is just an quick check in to make sure you dont think I / we have dissappeared.

Also to thank you One and All for remaining interested and supportive and for your amazing donations ,given so freely and with such trust, from your hard earned cash. 

Progress in brief (see Journey of a Beetroot newsletter link for detail):  the Abalimi Movement is now over 5000 strong and growing by 1000per annum. Our Harvest of Hope CSA is now selling an average of 450 veg boxes to members every week while creating reliable monthly cash incomes for around 200 family micro-farmers

This kind of Gifting is the actual driver of the real human economy. Everything that is truly original, creative, culturally new, starts - * without exception *  - with a Gift.  This fact has largely been forgotten by our mainstream economists, but thank Goodness there are those who still have a feeling for this fact. Or else ,truly, our world culture would have no hope and no future.

Please remember:  I will never initiate contact with You directly unless you first contact me. I do not wish to chase you or in any way pursue you. But I am very pleased when you do contact me with questions or comments, and I will respond.

If you have not done so, please read the Story of a Beetroot in our latest newsletter.  Its still very much current. Link provided again below for your ease of access.

I will post more articles and news when it becomes available. Watch this space:)

All the very best to you all, for 2015 and beyond.

Rob Small  (Ndoda Mcinci- Small Man: this is my isiXhosa nickname. Yet I am 6ft 2in tall :) 


Hello dear GlobalGiving Friends- please see the story in the link attached. The Story of a Beetroot :)

How many of you know exactly where your food comes from- how it is grown, how nature is treated, how labour is treated, who grows it and what they think about their work? 

Labels have replaced knowledge and delinked us from nature and food. And each other.

Many people find it no problem to sit in a comfy chair and eat their burgers grown from factory farms where animals suffer  and watch while other people in the world fight, starve or die.

You are clearly not thosekind of people.

Thank you for trying to make a differenceby helping us.

As a result we can and domake a difference.

May your Christmas be joyful and your 2015 be peaceful


Greetings dear GlobalGiving Friends

Todd A. Somodevilla & Marysia Makowska ,USA moviemakers, came to CapeTown and made an award winning movie about our work!  Their website is

See the movie via the link below! 

As you may already know, we are not a "begin-end" project.

We are an intergenerational programme, a permanent golden thread weaving among unemployed people in their thousands, who  can thereby find their way to become food secure at home and to create cash secure micro-farming enterprises that last.

This is enabled to happen because people like you help us to make it happen.

There would be no hunger in the world if more people created family micro-farms.  There would be no need for unemployment if those with money chose to buy their food from family micro-farmers.  Family micro-farming is cost effective and sustainable. 100m2 can feed a family of four or five year round with all the fresh veg they need.  500m2 can generate an income of up to ZAR 3000.00 (about USD270) per month with relative ease and feed a family of four or five. ZAR 3000 does not sound like a lot to those of us who are used to middle classlives. But its significant for the 50% of the world's population who are excluded from the first world economy.

Thank you,as ever,  one and all for your ongoing interest and amazing support.......



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Organization Information

Abalimi Bezekhaya - Planters of the Home

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Rob Small
Resource Mobilisation Leader and Board Secretary
Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

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