Using Small-Scale Farming to Build Community

Urban agriculture – the cultivation of crops and animals in an urban environment – is known to increase access to healthy food. It is particularly important for poorer people in cities where food is mainly accessed through cash purchases. Healthy fresh fruit and vegetables are more expensive per kilogram than many processed foods.

The Green Camp Gallery project in Umbilo, Glenwood is an organic and sustainable lifestyle hub that focuses on urban farming and rebuilding the community through gardening. As drought and worsening food security have hit large swathes of maize harvests in Southern Africa, a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the state of food insecurity in the world, indicates that more than 814 million people in developing countries are undernourished. Of these people, 204 million live in countries of sub-SaharanAfrica, including South Africa.

Founder of Green Camp Gallery project, Xolani Hlongwa explains: “The green camp gallery project was created out of the leftover material from a derelict house. It’s all about restoring community, recycling ideas, heartaches and challenges and making them useful to life. We use gardening as an integration tool, we are all equal in the soil. The project connects people from all races, crime in the area has been reduced which proves that gardening has social benefits and also raises environmental awareness.”

Hanna Öunap