Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Abalimi bezekhaya - urban farming

My friend Marijke and I were given a tour of some Cape Flats microfarms supported by Abalimi bezekhaya. Rob Small, an indefatigable mover and shaker at Abalimi, and its founder, drove us around. The first piece of farmland we visited in the townships was farmed by six women, all over the age of 60.

Situated under power pylons, the land and water are provided by the municipality of Cape Town. Organic growing training is provided by Abalimi.

Among the healthy crops I noticed beautiful purslane - a weed - were being tossed. I would like to see it finding its way into people's pots and food boxes. This morog (edible weed) tastes good but is perhaps considered famine food in the context of the all the other "legitimate" vegetables being farmed. If only the farmers and their customers could see how much it sells for at the Union Square Farmers' Market in New York. $5 a bunch.

Tomatoes grown too long for market, but in great shape were wheeled away for use at home.

Marijke and I chose small red onions to buy. Mine found their way into a lunchtime Savoy cabbage soup with white beans, verjus and ham.

To find out more, visit Abalimi


  1. i've been wanting to go and see abilimi for so long now, but just haven't had time. your lovely photos are definitely spurring me on to go at last!

  2. Hi Pia - I am so pleased. Rob shows people around on Tueday's, I believe...GO!


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