How the urban vegetable garden began
Rogz Director and co-founder Paul is often seen offering advice and sharing wisdom with the Rogz farmers. It was his passion for urban farming that was instrumental in the pavements being transformed back in 2013 outside the Rogz factories in Cape Town into an urban garden to grow vegetables for Roggerz and local school soup kitchens.
Urban vegetable garden gets noticed
The Rogz Urban Farm story was featured in well-known television producer and writer, Jane Griffiths’ book “Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening” and there is an Afrikaans feature by local Blogger, Ilse Zietsman.
Paul’s 10 tips for setting up an urban vegetable garden:
1. Keep it simple and fun
Keep your first attempt simple and don’t plant too many different types of vegetables. Rather only plant what you like to eat. Have fun and get your hands dirty!
2. One person must drive
Have a key person, who is passionate about food and growing, driving the project. If you intend developing a large garden you will have to employ or assign dedicated farmers
3. Start small and prep the soil
First begin with one square metre at a time; that way it’s not too daunting. Prepare the soil properly and start with hardy, easy-to-grow vegetables like cabbage, spinach and tomatoes.
4. Buy local then in bulk
Buy a few trays of seedlings from your local nursery to get started. This is expensive, so eventually find a local commercial seedling grower and buy in bulk.
5. Seeds are more cost effective
Start with seedlings then move to sowing seeds which is more cost effective. Allow a few plants to go to seed for our bees and store for next season.
6. Water is vital
Ensure you have access to water or your vegetable will not thrive.
7. Avoid wind erosion
Keep the integrity of your current garden, farming inbetween key structures and hero plants. This way no-one is offended, the place always looks well maintained and you don’t get wind erosion.
8. Sunlight is key
Happy veggies need 5-6 hours of sunlight.
9. Company participation
Involve all your team members on different levels – farmers, chefs, market staff, compost collectors, consumers and marketers. This way the whole company participate in the spirit of the project.
10. Grow healthy, live healthy
Keep it organic and promote the benefits associated with living healthily.