Great Harvests From Urban Gardens

03 February 2016

At Cullinan & Associates, we are proud of our little vegetable garden – not only does it provide fresh, organic produce for our daily vegetarian lunches, but it also provides a place of relaxation and refreshment for our hard-working staff.

From a simple idea – that we could do better to reduce consumption and make our office more sustainable – our garden has grown into a source of pride for our team in Kenilworth who have tended it beautifully.

Our small garden grows pumpkins, beans, patti pans, mielies, spinach, soup celery, basil, spring onions, mint, origanum, fennel and tomatoes. We have further plans to harvest the seeds of rocket, coriander and basil plants from last season to use in winter. By learning about, and implementing, companion planting, our staff have been able to maximise the productivity of our small space while reducing the need for pest control.

We have tried to reduce our water ‘footprint’ by planting water-wise produce - a necessity with the drought across the country.

The produce from our little urban farm goes to feed the residents of our office building through the daily communal lunches we provide. By supplying all residents with a healthy, vegetarian meal we seek to encourage wellness in our team and for our planet - as our delicious lunches have as low an environmental impact as possible. The effect is multiplied when the produce has only had to travel a matter of meters from our garden into the kitchen! All organic waste from the kitchen is used in our two thriving worm farms which then produce rich vermicast and ‘worm tea’ which is then returned to the vegetable garden boosting microbiological activity and fertilising the soil.

We also continually work to further minimise our carbon footprint - by supplying only tap water and discouraging the use of bottled water, as well as by promoting the consumption of local, organic produce through our partnership with Abalimi Bezekhaya - a local non-governmental organisation which enables people in the townships around Cape Town to make a living by growing organic produce – who deliver vegetable boxes to our offices weekly. We also measure our carbon footprint and offset it annually through Carbon Credit schemes – while constantly seeking to reduce our overall impact.

At Cullinan & Associates we are dedicated to living our values and our premises reflect our commitment to ecological sustainability. Our firm’s landlord (a company which is part-owned by C&A directors) has also established an indigenous and water-wise garden at our offices. In the coming year, we will be responsible, along with the other occupants of our building, for maintaining and developing the indigenous garden, which we hope will continue to be a habitat for birds, insects, small mammals and reptiles.

We are aware that sustainability and impact reduction is an ongoing journey – and we look forward to where it takes us next!

If you would like to find out more about buying vegetables with Abalimi Bezekhaya, click here.

You can read more about our sustainability journey, and view our Carbon Credit certificates, here

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