The Company’s Garden will soon feature a historic vegetable garden, which the City of Cape Town hopes will not only become an educational resource for local communities, but serve as a working garden which encourages entrepreneurship and promotes greening initiatives.
The Company’s Garden in the Cape Town CBD has become a gathering point for thousands of residents and visitors in the last few years, hosting a number of events. Last year, the City also rolled out a free Wi-Fi hotspot around the restaurant area.
In the latest move to further beautify the Company’s Garden, work commenced on a vegetable garden late last month, which was originally the site of a historic garden in South Africa. This vegetable garden was developed over 360 years ago and supplied produce to the ships and sailors who travelled the spice trade route from the East Indies. The garden is an official World Design Capital project.
Alderman Belinda Walker, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Special Projects, said, “The City is committed to showcasing the historical origins of the Company’s Garden as a food-producing garden. The Company’s Garden is a defining feature of Cape Town and we want to develop its potential as a cultural and historical destination, as well as a beautiful green space.”
The management of the Company’s Garden worked with the City’s Heritage Resource Management Section to develop a landscape plan to establish a Dutch-period vegetable and herb garden at the current parking area of the Company’s Garden maintenance yard.
The intention of this garden is to:
- Become an educational resource for local communities interested in food gardens and urban agriculture as a means of explaining appropriate methodology
- Create a working garden with the produce used as a means for entrepreneurial enterprise. For example, the use of herbs and scented products can be used as a raw material for value-added products like candles
- Educate school groups and others on the medicinal properties and value of herbs and vegetables
- Encourage corporates to develop roof and vertical garden projects
- Encourage tourists to invest in greening projects as a means of equalising the carbon footprint
- Provide a base of support, especially for identified community groups in the Bo-Kaap who are interested in urban agriculture. These communities have a rich cultural heritage linked to the origins of Cape Town as well as the Company’s Garden
“We are working towards developing our district parks as event destinations. As part of our efforts to build a truly inclusive city, we want to encourage the exchange of ideas and culture in these public spaces, as well as provide a space for local entrepreneurs. The Company’s Garden is leading the way and has hosted many events over the past year including the immensely successful Summer Market which welcomed over 217,000 people, as well as story-telling sessions, music performances and outdoor exercise programmes such as aerobics,” said Walker.
The Company’s Garden restaurant area is also due for a face-lift, with plans to develop a children’s adventure/fantasy play-park in a portion of the current seating area adjacent to the aviary. Tables will be placed in the formal seating area, which has a tiled chess-board for customers to use.