Farming at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

If you are visiting Cape Town anytime soon head down to the new Moyo at the V&A Waterfront. The open air “African Souk” urban farm and restaurant is designed by architect Tsai from Tsai Design Studio. Tsai’s concept was to increase sustainability and almost completely remove food miles by actually growing all of the produce required for the restaurant on site. Not only does this include aquaponic vertical green walls and trout ponds, but also electricity generating solar louvres providing shade for patrons! Read more about the project here


Growing Power

This is an amazing video showing Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, and how he is transforming urban food production in Milwaukee, USA. Will says that “If people can grow safe, healthy, affordable food, if they have access to land and clean water, this is transformative on every level in a community. I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system.”


Health and poverty confronted

This is a nice historic reference to the involvement of Naudé with the City of Johannesburg in relation to food and farming, in this case specifically dealing with issues of urban migration:

“A lecturer in development studies at the University of Johannesburg, Naudé Malan, participated in the session focusing on food security in Orange Farm. “Agriculture presents an important opportunity; there is a need to improve knowledge infrastructure for farming and we need farming that is accessible to all,” he said.

It was also important to start farming with what you had and what was available, as well as letting people experiment on the land to find where their skills lay and what grew well on the land. “There are difficulties, but I think we can overcome them,” Malan said.” For the full article click here.

Naudé and I are currently members of the Johannesburg Mayoral Committee on Food Resilience and will be part of project that will be launched by Mayor Parks Tao at the end of July 2013 as part of the city’s continued Growth and Development Strategy (GDS)  2040.


The way we think about charity is dead wrong

A must watch TED talk by activist and fundraiser Dan Pallottain in March 2013 …


Webcast: Finding a Focus for MetroAg/MetroFood: An Analysis of the Johannesburg Food System

Please join Dr. Naude Malan and myself on Monday at 14:30 (South African time) as we present a webcast exploring the Johannesburg food system and the focus of our MetroAg/Food research. You can find a printable and distributable flyer here (please ignore my position at UJ, I am in fact Senior Lecturer in the Department of Industrial Design)… If you missed the webcast you can find a recording of it here.


Global Innoversity for MetroAg/MetroFood

For a visual, textual and sound experience of my trip last week to Detroit please go to the Global Innoversity’s rebelmouse page (with thanks to Dr. Christine Geith for setting it all up and filming/interviewing us as we travelled around Detroit). The result of the meeting/workshop/brainstorm is a very dedicated group of academics from around the world all passionate about setting up local multistakeholder coalitions (education, government, communities and business) to work on accelerating innovations in food, agriculture and integrated resource systems in the world’s metropolitan regions. #innoversity #foodlab all images copyright Angus Donald Campbell



Noordgesig Farmers

On the 23 of January 2013 Dr Naudé Malan, Kyle Brand and I visited a second group of urban farmers who grow vegetables in Noordgesig, on the southern outskirts of Soweto. Their ingenious solutions to technological problems was exceptional, my favourite example was the farmers’ use of old mattress spring substructures as fencing for crop security. The ingenuity of such a choice was the ease of access to old mattresses and the fact that the spring substructure worked as a good fence preventing crop theft but without the risk of the metal being stolen for scrap. All images copyright Angus Donald Campbell.


Rainbow Nation Farmers

On the 14 of February 2013 Dr Naudé Malan, Kyle Brand and I visited a group of farmers called the Rainbow Nation Farmers in Nancefield on the southern outskirts of Soweto. This is a large farm (almost 1 hectare) on government leased land where the group have been supported by the Joburg Municipality and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture for over 11 years. We went there to meet Lerato from the Joburg Municipalities Mayoral Food Security Committee to discuss the current status of the farmers, which was far from satisfactory. As can been seen in the photographs the electric fence provided by the government to protect crops has been stolen over time by youth who sell the scrap metal for money, this has now lead to rampant crop theft in the unsecured property. In addition all the electricity isolator switches have been stolen from various power boxes, bypassing the farmers’ ingenious welded locks, by the izinyokanyoka or snakes; this term is directly translated from Zulu and is a South African term used to described the people who setup illegal electricity connections in informal settlements. The lack of power has lead to the farmers needing to manually carry water from their homes because their borehole pumps no longer operate. On top of the local theft of resources from the farmers, the government are in desperate need of land to expand a nearby cemetery and if the farmers cannot prove their farm productive, will lose their lease at the end of the year! All images copyright Angus Donald Campbell.