The Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is an educational non-profit project in Cape Town, South Africa, celebrating local food, culture and community through urban agriculture. It is part of the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust, which works through food and farming to strengthen South Africa’s urban communities and the ecosystems that sustain them.
Established in 2012, OZCF has become a well-known 0.25ha community food garden on a heritage site on the slopes of Table Mountain, and the most widely recognised project of the SAUFF Trust to date. OZCF runs a broad range of educational programmes for all ages and interests from workshops to internships, mentoring to hands-on-learning-by-doing with school groups. It is also a site for innovation, developing volunteer programmes, produce box schemes, allotment rentals, household food waste composting, raised bed design and cultivation methods, food forestry, community events and water-wise gardening practices that are shared and utilised at other suitable sites and projects. The OZCF Market was also established as part of the growth of the Oranjezicht City Farm, and since December 2017 has operated as an independent legal entity.
OZCF has over 60 000 followers on social media, has published two books, benefits from over 10 000 hours per annum in volunteer time, and is recognised as a leading voice in the urban farming movement in South Africa. The lessons learned and insights from establishing OZCF have informed the direction of the SAUFF Trust and given life to the further projects it has undertaken.
History of the site
The site for the Oranjezicht City Farm is located next to the corner of Sidmouth Avenue and Upper Orange Street, Oranjezicht, adjacent to Homestead Park. Previously a bowling green constructed in the 1950s and unused for decades, this site comprises part of the original farm, ‘Oranje Zigt’, established in 1709, and which became the largest farm in the Upper Table Valley in the 19th century. Fed by a cluster of springs that provided perennial fresh water to Khoekhoen pastoralists as well as to sailors and the Company’s Gardens from the 17th century, this farm grew vegetables and fruit that fed the growing settlement and colony and supplied passing ships with essential produce to the turn of the 20th century. Swallowed by urban expansion, the productive farmlands were converted to a housing syndicate in 1901 and the original homestead standing on the site was demolished in 1957 to construct a bowling green, which fell into disuse and neglect in recent decades