Nestled away in the centre of a small town, Vredenburg, you’ll find a little gem called Forest Friends Urban Farm.
We’re a small family that is passionate about the environment and healthy food.
We would like to help you grow nutrient dense food in the comfort of your own home or garden space. To assist you in becoming more self-reliant and self-sufficient, living closer to nature.
We aim to create a space where you can find the knowledge to get you started on the path to becoming part of the new sustainable breed of farmers.
Demand is getting more and resources are getting less. That is why it is now more important than ever to start thinking of what we put in our body and where it is coming from.
For years, Nadine and I toyed with the idea of producing our own nutritious food and living off the grid. This, however, was not possible on our marginal land near Hopefield, Western Cape. Finally, in early 2016, we sold the property in Hopefield and bought a house on a 1ha property in the small town of Vredenburg, closer to the coast because the ocean is our second passion. Here we decided to break new ground with an urban aquaponic farming venture.
We always wanted to do tunnels, but Hopefield was just too hot and isolated from society, so we decided to try urban farming because it’s close to schools, hospitals and people. Humans are social beings and need interaction. Starting the urban farm will give us the opportunity to teach our fellow humans to live healthier, more sustainable and closer to nature.
Nadine and I have been researching and planning aquaponic systems since 2014. While searching for new filtration systems for a water feature that I made for Nadine, I stumbled upon the aquaponic concept (it blew my mind completely), which is a system in which aquaculture and hydroponic farming methods are combined.
We built our first aquaponic system using reusable industrial bulk containers (IBC) that measured 3m x 4m. We grew a forest in there: thyme, tomatoes, artichokes, strawberries, dill, fennel, oregano, sweet peas, peppers, turnips, okra, beans, lettuce and many more.
After this initial venture, we fell in love with aquaponics and felt confident enough to expand the system with a professionally built tunnel system. With this in mind to be an example and teach others the ways of aquaponics and urban farming.