Abalimi runs several training courses that use participatory methodologies and have a very practical ‘hands on’ approach.

As most trainees cannot afford to pay the full cost, bursaries are provided according to need. Following the course, trainees receive a certificate, which increasingly pave the way to job opportunities, for example as caretakers at schools.

Some of the courses we offer include:

  • Basic Training  in Organic Urban Food Gardening: This three-day basic course includes all theoretical and practical aspects from soil preparation and fertility, seedling production, planting, maintenance, pest management and composting.  These are subsidized for unemployed people from the communities and full cost for sponsored or outside trainees. It consists of theory and practical and includes a starter pack to for their home gardens.  This is the first step for all gardeners from home to production. Participants all receive certificates of participation.
  • Agriplanner:  This four-day course focusses on the basics of food production and maintenance, as well as record keeping and selling produce in the agricultural sector.
  • Starting community market gardens: This is a practical course over one or two days about site assessment, design, layout out, setting up and starting to create initial plots for community market gardens including wind breaks, production and access.
  • Focussed farmer workshops. Up to twenty, one-day workshops are held per annum where different aspects of market gardening is workshopped .
  • Young  Farmers Training Centre: The YFTC  offers a three month apprenticeship for youth in organic market gardening.   It is an in depth program with classes one day per week and the rest is practical work in a production garden, including both open plots and tunnels.  It provides an entry level program preparing the trainees to start there own production gardens, community garden projects, join existing projects and the possibility for further studying in agriculture, as well as employment opportunities.

Contact us for more information about our training courses.

Follow up support and assessments:

Home gardeners who receive training will receive up to three follow up visits to advise and support. Community market gardens take longer and are visited as often as our capacity allows. This includes advice, practical support, availability and monitoring quality of produce for Harvest of Hope.

Abalimi has developed a sustainability index questionnaire and up to fifteen projects are evaluated annually as to their development towards sustainability based on the Farmer Development Chain.

Community market gardens:

Presently Abalimi contracts 40 plus community gardens to supply Harvest of Hope. These gardens are situated mostly on school grounds but also on City of Cape Town land and few other institutions.

They range in size from 1000m2 up to 1 Hectare (10000m2) The membership per garden ranges from two members  up to twelve members.  Infrastructure includes fencing a container and a borehole and irrigation systems. Indigenous plant windbreaks are found in most of the gardens. The layout consists of permanent beds of 1.2m wide and an average length of 10m. Mixed vegetable crops are produced, including herbs and some perennial edible plants such as Cape goose berry and Rhubarb.

Training Resources:

HOW TO START A GARDEN WITH ONLY A FEW CENTS is a distillation of years of experience in the field.  It gives practical tips for household and community gardens.  The book is also an adult literacy textbook and you can now learn English, Xhosa and Afrikaans by digging your own backyard garden!

It was published by JUTA, but you can buy your copy (R30 plus postage) direct from Abalimi garden centre’s or  us send an e-mail with your request.

Mayford Seed Company, Old Mutual and the Botanical Society of South Africa made it possible to keep costs down and supplied Abalimi with 1 000 copies for use in the field. By buying this book you will also be supporting our work in the Cape Flats townships.

GREENING SOLUTIONS – a guidebook for schools and gardens – Cape Flats edition.

This work manual has been produced by Abalimi, with the support of Old Mutual, The Green Trust/WWF and The Botanical Society of South Africa. It is filled with practical ideas drawn from years of experience on grounds planning, water-wise indigenous landscaping, lawn establishment, fertilisation, plant varieties, recycling, supplier contacts and more. It is not yet available to the general public, but is on trial at selected schools and organisations on the Cape Flats.