A day in the Cape

It’s nice, once in a while, to feature places outside of my native KZN, and I recently found myself – sans tots – in my sister’s stomping ground in the Mother City.

Cape Town is trendy, progressive, and in many ways more overtly environmentally savvy than Durban. Could be they just have better publicists. Still, it’s always nice to see how they do things on the other side. The grass may be as green, but they might use a different brand of organic, unrefined, GMO-free fertilizer.

20160903_132623Here we are at the Oranjezicht City Farm organic produce market at the V&A Waterfront, where my trendy, eco-aware sister does her weekly veggie shop. Turmeric latte, anyone?

The Oranjezicht City Farm is a citizen-led project that turned a derelict bowling green into a thriving vegetable farm showcasing heirloom and indigenous culinary species. I love this sort of grassroots stuff (pun intended). I wrote a story on the venture for Living Space Magazine back in 2014, which I’ve included at the bottom of this post for those who are interested. Aside from the market venue move to the Waterfront, it’s still pretty up-to-date. It also includes some tips on starting your own organic veggie garden.

We lunched at a wine farm – as one does in the Cape – making our way to Signal Gun in Durbanville. I’m always one to notice environmentally friendly touches, but no one could miss the fact that the entire grounds of the sizable tasting area and outdoor restaurant were covered with dried out fruit stones instead of gravel.

“Where on earth would they find SO MANY?” pondered my sister’s fiancé.

“Koo,” mused my sister.

The fiancé, a huge fan of canned peaches, looked at once satisfied with the answer and hungry for dessert. And we hadn’t even eaten lunch yet.

The pits do the same job as pebbles but utilized what must have been a few tons of material that would otherwise have been considered rubbish. Yes, fruit pits are biodegradable, but this quantity would take quite some time, so they’re not clogging prime land while they do so. I have much respect for ingenious ideas like these. Upcycling at its best!

20160903_143737Something different: My sis’s fiancé and I enjoying wine pairings with chocolates and Turkish Delights. Lunch was pizza (cheese and wine, of course!)

In the evening we took in a show at the Fugard. With three small kids (my eldest is now seven), I’ve kind of resigned myself to the fact that this stage of my life is about playgrounds and places that serve hot chips, and the most culture I’ve experienced recently is in the organic yoghurt in my fridge, so it was a welcome change to go out on the town with people who consider it normal and don’t squeal with delight at the tickets, the foyer, programme, the usher, the stage curtains… They forced me to calm down and not embarrass myself.

I haven’t been to the theatre in years (unless you count the children’s panto’s at The Sneddon – which are very good) so Clybourne Park was a real treat. Although set in Chicago, it raises issues of history, race, class, and the trending fashion of gentrification of decaying neighbourhoods – all issues relevant to SA, and all best discussed over a very large glass of beer (craft, naturally).

20160903_224659Late supper at Lefty’s. I ordered “The Return of the Beetroot Falafel” (I hadn’t known it was Here in the first place, so I was mildly surprised by its Return). It wasn’t like any falafel I’ve ever eaten, but it was tasty in its own right.

Story on Oranjezicht City Farm, Living Space, September 2014:

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