Words: Sheryl Ozinsky Images:Heather Moore
Farmers and consumers alike have had to adjust to new conditions and protocols, facing disruptions to nearly every aspect of daily life. As a team,
we were grateful that we were able to open the Oranjezicht City Farm Market during level 5 lockdown and have been operating safely since. We have been humbled by the opportunity to provide a crucial service in a time of need
and by the patience and flexibility of our customers whose weekly market shopping experience was turned upside down.
The Oranjezicht City Farm Market at the V&A Waterfront is a gathering and meeting place – but also an alternative grocery provider, offering a shortened supply chain between farmers and consumers, by reinstating small farms as the food source for the community. By choosing to eat what nature is offering – grown or produced locally in a transparent supply chain – consumers can support a new approach to food; a new relationship with cooking and eating that can be found in consuming responsibly. Our mission is to try and ensure that small farmers regain their economic foothold in the marketplace, and that the knowledge and choice of local food becomes the norm – not the exception.
We wish it didn’t take a pandemic for people to realise that a homogeneous, centralised food system is a weak one.
That same feeling of dread came over me late in 2019 as reports of an unknown, highly contagious virus in Wuhan, China unfolded. Even then, not for a minute did I comprehend that within months it would spread its deadly tentacles across the globe with devastating effect, and eventually find its way to South Africa. Again, the catastrophic impact it was about to have on me, my expanding business, my partners and hundreds of staff was incomprehensible.