Words: Grace Stead Images: Supplied
How does one walk away from something you envisioned and worked tremendously hard for in order to make it a reality and success?
Abalimi Bezekhaya (Farmers of the Home in isiXhosa) is a community-based organisation, which has been assisting small-scale township farmers since 1982. Many of the people with whom we engage come from the Eastern Cape and grew up farming.
But farming is very different in the Mother City. The limited space, sandy soil and harsh wind or sunshine in the summer makes it difficult to grow vegetables. Yet, these farmers show us that it can be done successfully and organically.
Ma Pat Gcilishe has a garden in Khayelitsha, which has been certified organic through the participatory guarantee system (PGS). She says that the biggest challenge is access to land and water to be able to grow her veggies, specifically in the urban area. There is also too much red tape to access government support with various restrictions and politics that divide the community.