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February 04, 2014

3 Reasons the Company’s Garden is the Most Ridiculously Green Place on Earth

The Company’s Garden is green. Like really green. You couldn’t imagine the Company’s Garden any greener if it smelled like bacon. Idle in the sunshine, close your eyes in the leafy shadows, let the wind dapple over your face... this place is like paradise to environmentalists.

Image Courtesy of Prof. Richard Mortel

So when this World Design Capital project reincarnates a Dutch-period vegetable garden, providing a platform for community engagement and green investment (not to forget, veggies for the Bo-Kaap) the Company Gardens just reached the green-ridiculousness-threshold.  That’s right, The City will soon introduce a historic vegetable garden which will serve as a working garden to encourage entrepreneurship and become a sustainable educational resource for locals.

Here are three reasons our urban sanctuary puts the rest of the world to shame:

1. The Company’s Garden Veggies are 360 years old
First developed to provide nutritious snacks to scurvy-ridden sailors on the Spice Route from the East Indies, the new Company’s Garden’s vegetable garden has been making authentic Cape veg for over three and a half centuries. The Company’s Garden was the half-way point on the route from Europe to the Spice Islands, sustaining the spice trade with fresh water from Table Mountain. Jan van Riebeeck’s diary tell us master gardener Hendrik Boom sowed the first seeds on the 29th April 1652. Today, the raw herby ingredients go towards value-added products like candles and into the bellies of another community with a rich cultural heritage to the origins of Cape Town: the Bo-Kaap. But what’s the use of being super-green if you haven’t…

2. Convinced Everyone You Know To Go Green
The Company’s Gardens’ new veggie patch will not only encourage hundreds of tourists to invest in greening projects so they can off-set their carbon footprint (read: guilt), it will also educate local communities on how to grow their own urban agriculture.  Interested communities in the Bo-Kaap can develop their own gardens, creating a self-sustaining culture, perpetuating the green revolution from the grassroots. But working closely with local parties isn’t really enough to be a green giant, unless you have really…

3. Got the World’s Attention
The new vegetable orchard will be so swanky it will be featured in the World Design Capital (WDC) for Cape Town, part of an attempt to create spaces in which design enhances the social, cultural, economic and environmental quality of life.  The new vegetable garden will form a part of the first World Design Capital bid from a developing country, as it launches Cape Town’s wild beauty into the global spotlight.

Veggie gardens aren’t the only rad piece of urban design in the Mother City. Check out our list of Cape Town’s favourite WDC projects. Oh and did you know they have WIFI in the Company’s Garden now?

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