Urban farms, edible gardens, allotments, vertical gardens – these urban spaces work to create productive green lungs in our towns and cities. With its abundant rainfall and warm sub-tropical climate, it’s no wonder they are popping up and working for good in KZN.
During last year’s hard lockdown, a group of homeless men turned vacant municipal land behind the iconic Elangeni Hotel into a productive urban farm that now supplies Boxer Superstores with organic vegetables. Known as the Elangeni Green Zone, the men are now urban farmers committed to supplying their community with fresh vegetables and dream of one day having a smoothie bar near their space.
Four years ago, the Farm Nearby in the heart of Durban North was created by Daniel de Sousa as a side hustle. His mission was to inspire communities to rethink and change how the food system works and how we view the spaces we live in. Daniel and his team grow select, high value crops on rented or borrowed land. The initiative has grown from strength to strength, and he now supplies his community with fresh organic produce and helps others become urban farmers too.
Vacant urban spaces can also lend themselves to nurseries as proven by the Ballito UIP on the KZN north coast. Precinct manager Thierry Leclezio recently implemented a private nursery in the Ballito Business Park to grow indigenous plants that could be used to bulk up and beautify gardens in the precinct.
Thierry says: “Having the nursery nearby and readily available improves the efficiency of the UIP’s greening efforts, aids us in the overall effort of protecting and enhancing property values and keeps Ballito looking clean, green and beautiful for all to enjoy.”
(Stock image used)