Some time ago we had the privelege to meet renowned writer and photographer Anton Crone at a small travelblogger meet and greet. Little did we know that just a few weeks after our encounter he was going to take us on an unforgettable journey into the townships that lie on the outskirts of Cape Town.
We had never been to any of the townships but always have been curious of what lies within the bustle of shacks and shops visible from a distance when passing by on the N2. Being a matter of his heart it was Antons’ great desire to show us the positive sides of township life and that there is a great deal of creativity, passion and pride involved in the many ongoing projects that are often unheard of in the city.
Our first stop was at a small community garden in Philippi supported by an initiative called Abalimi Bezekhaya (Farmers of Hope). Abalimi assists the farmers by educating and providing them with seeds and equipment at an affordable rate, enabling them to self-sufficiently grow and take care of their own food source. We learned that there are over 100 of these community gardens dispersed around the townships, with over 3000 registered farmers cultivating this land and their home farms. We were very positivly surprised by the quality and diversity of the produce culitivated and couldn’t possibly believe that what we saw actually grew from the sandy soil.
Over the years the project has grown and so has the amount of fresh produce, that not only feeds the farmers’ families and neighbourhoods but also leaves enough food to be sold outside the townships. With only few distribution possibilities outside the townships there is hardly a way for the farmers to sell their excess produce, which is why Abalimis „Harvest of Hope“ was brought to life. This marketing devision helps sell the excess produce on behalf of the farmers in form of weekly vegetable box deliveries to several pick-up points around Cape Town. All you need to do is sign up and pay for the weekly delivery – what you’ll get is either a small (72 Rand – feeds 1-2 peopls) or medium (105 Rand – feeds 3-4 people) box filled with all kinds of different freshly picked seasonal and organically grown vegetables. All proceeds go back directly to the farmers and the project.
We signed up straight after we got back from our little journey and have been enjoying deliveries for the past 3 weeks since. With out a doubt there is no way to get any fresher produce in town than this and we couldn’t be any happier to have been introduced to such a wonderful initiative.