Joburg’s mushrooming rooftop gardens
Joburg CBD dwellers are putting on their farming caps, 21st century-style
Around the world, food gardens are springing up on suburban sidewalks, waste spaces and inner-city rooftops, their farmers motivated by everything from basic food security and employment creation to more bourgeois concerns such as slow food, prime freshness and the drive to "eat local". Joburg is no exception: it is home to several long-running food gardening initiatives, with many more in the pipeline. Joubert Park’s GreenHouse Project, for example, has been going since 2001. It’s an unexpected oasis in the midst of Hillbrow’s raucous, decaying sprawl that serves primarily as a walk-in demo centre, according to one of the project’s "champions", Itumeleng Pooe. Visit GreenHouse during the week and a facilitator can give you a guided tour, providing information about everything from vermiculture (using worms to make compost) to companion planting and bee-keeping. The project’s vegetable garden grows in and around the skeleton of the 1937 Victorian-style greenhouse. It’s seemingly ove...