Freshly picked in Cape Town

Private Property South Africa
Kit Heathcock

Shop for your groceries sustainably and sociably at vibrant Oranjezicht City Farm market, now based at Granger Bay in the V&A Waterfront.

If the words “weekly shopping” fill you with dread, maybe it’s time to join the regulars at Oranjezicht City Farm market and turn the chore into a pleasure. You can fill baskets with locally grown produce, herbs and flowers, chat to farmers, butchers and bakers about their goods, and meet friends for coffee and delicious lunches on benches and straw bales overlooking the harbour, with a fresh sea breeze easing the summer heat. On Saturday mornings it’s a mecca for locals who want real food that is close to its origins. This is “slow food” shopping at its most enjoyable. Take time selecting your purchases and get the whole story behind the bacon or beetroot, cheeses, honey, artisanal bread, directly from the person who made them.

As you’d expect from a market that was started to support the eponymous urban farm in Oranjezicht, the centrepiece is a whole tent devoted to fresh produce, piled high in decorative abundance. You won’t find organic certification, too complicated and costly for small farmers to achieve, what you will find is the personal connection. Sheryl Ozinsky, the powerhouse behind the market, works with 20 small farmers, besides the market itself, who all grow sustainably and without pesticides. “We collect directly from them each week, meet them and chat. And we buy everything that they can grow, whatever is in season, so that they can focus on farming.” For her it’s a mission from the ground up to make healthy, fresh vegetables available to more city dwellers and to support and encourage small urban farmers. Suppliers include a Green Point crèche that grows vegetables to feed the children, selling the surplus to the market to finance the programme.

The market is so much more than an eco-chic foodie destination, though it certainly has become that too – it’s about being part of a community, about knowing exactly where your food comes from and investing in a future where small farmers and artisan producers have a valued place in our daily lives.

Visit Oranjezicht City Farm on the first Wednesday of each month to pick your own harvest, and feel free to visit at other times to wander through the delightful paths between beds of vegetables and edible flowers. There’s a weekly vegetable box scheme in partnership with Harvest of Hope collected from the farm.

See for yourself:

Oranjezicht City Farm market

083 628 3426

ozcf.co.za

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a trip through the Cape Town City Bowl here:

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