Capacity Building: Urban Farming and Gardening

by Abalimi Bezekhaya - Planters of the Home
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.......


Hello once again dear Global Giving Friends,  one and all!

Do you know about the International year of Family Farming 2014 - IYFF ? ** See the link below** . Here in SA we are finally launching a national inititiative to promote Family Farming and Abalimi-Harvest of Hope is of course a shining jewel in the IYFF-South Africa crown.

We are very late to launch the national IYFF initiative since we are - as a national movement - generally underfunded, widely dispersed and terribly busy in our own programmes. But there are many wonderful "jewel projects"  all over SA besides Abalimi-Harvest of Hope, as well!  I will report on these later once we have a platform up and running to promote them.

Back to Abalimi-Harvest of Hope. Its all go go go- you must please understand that real development is intergenerational- we are working with the extremely marginalised majority- the 50% of our population who are under-educated and cannot ever hope to get "jobs"  in the formal market place.   These are people who our government is afraid of. For they are now getting more restive and if in the next five years the government does not fulfill its many promises as laid out in our constitution and on election platforms, we have a100% sure-fire recipe for violent revolution- a kind of South African Spring, like the Arab Spring.

But this wont happen- why? Because the peaceful Family Farming revolution is growing under the noses of the politicians and mega-business, who mostly dont take it seriously at all- except as a small side bet. *** see my article below *** This Family Farming revolution will transform our country into a peaceful, well fed nation with abundant income.  THIS IS CERTAIN.  It cannot be stopped. And it will "save the butts"  of the politicians and mega-business leaders and,of course, protect our wonderful hard working middle classes,  who are the very people who are our infinitely expandable and newly awakening ethical customer base, who are more and more demanding to be fed un-poisoned local produce that protects nature and creates jobs at the same time ! :) .

This peaceful revolution (involving producers and consumers) is actually worldwide and needs VERY LITTLE money- as we have proved and continue to prove - to get started and succeed. 

Viva Family Farming vivaaaa!



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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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