The Philippi Horticultural Area is in the middle of the Cape Flats and has been farmed for over 130 years. It is a unique ecosystem – situated above a natural aquifer that provides water to the farmlands, which in turn protects and recharges the aquifer. The PHA is the green lungs of the city. Blessed with an unrivalled micro-climate, productive soils and abundant water, the PHA is irreplaceable.
Poly-culture farming at a fundamental level aims to mimic nature and natural cycles: nutrients, carbon and water.The learner farmers on Vegkop Poly Farm are evicted and unemployed farm-workers from the local farming community. Its objectives are to:
• to grow a fully functional self-sufficient farm model by 2023
• to grow skilled farmers out of evicted and unemployed farm-workers
• to contribute to SMART land reform in the PHA (as a model for peri-urban farmlands across South Africa)
Farm produce is sold to the local community at the farm gate. Due to the size of the land, the pace required for experiential learning and the building of the farm model, total farm income is unable to cover learner farmer stipends for now.