June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, and what better way to celebrate than to shine a spotlight on the Rogz Urban Farm.
Rogz’s non-profit organisation, Rogz Academy, focuses on empowering local communities through education, youth development and nutrition for a sustainable future together. The Rogz Urban Farm is key in helping us achieve these objectives.
Why the Rogz Urban Farm was started
Rogz co-founder Paul Fuller’s passion for nature, and especially growing food, led to the transformation of the pavements outside Rogz HQ. Rows of organic seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruit trees now grow proudly where there was once overgrown foliage.
Together with Rogz co-founder Irené Raubenheimer’s passion for education, these two entrepreneurs saw a way to give back to the communities where the majority of Rogz staff live.
Nutrition is a building block for improving physical and mental health in children. The Rogz Urban Farm’s produce regularly feeds Rogz employees as well as supporting the soup kitchens in under-resourced schools in these communities.
Rogz Urban Farm features: Well-known television producer and writer, Jane Griffiths, featured the Rogz Urban Farm in her book “Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening”. It was also shared in an Afrikaans feature by local Blogger, Ilse Zietsman. These stories are helping to create an awareness that there are opportunities for any business to try and help the planet through sustainable practices like creating an urban garden, no matter where it is. You can read more about these stories in the latest Rogz Academy’s Newsletter on the Rogz website.
Growing with the seasons
Good farming practice is planting seasonally. Rogger Robyn Shulver helps to plan the year’s cycle of planting so that the correct vegetables and herbs are planted in the best possible conditions for optimum growth and yield.
Rogz HQ is in Cape Town, so Rogz farmers Davie, Eddie and John plant tomatoes, spinach, spring onion, lettuce, basil, chilli, and peppers in the Spring months (September – November) and leeks, spinach, cabbage, spring onion, pumpkin, coriander, celery, and sweet potato in the Autumn months (March – May).
Produce is harvested roughly three months after planting, with some, like spinach, being harvested all year round. Rogz also harvests apples, guavas, bananas, and peaches during the year.
Set up your urban farm: Setting up an urban farm can be fun and simple. You can read Paul’s top tips on how to get an urban farm up and running for some inspiration.
Sustainable practice in business and farming
Rogz supports sustainable practices, so only natural insect-repellents are used. Reused plastic bottles can be seen hanging in the fruit trees with a mixture of vinegar and sunlight liquid and sometimes chilli, to repel fruit flies and other pests. A portion of produce is also relinquished to bird and insect life, without whom our planet would not exist!
Safety first: Natural insect-repellents are also necessary so that no toxins are exposed to pets. This is particularly important at Rogz HQ, where various Rogz test pilots are always nearby. You will often find little Lychee, a rescue puppy belonging to Robyn, Mango, a chocolate Labrador belonging to co-founder Irené, and Reef, a black Labrador belonging to co-founder Paul, inspecting the Rogz Urban Farm.
Sharing some veggie love
Rogz pet gear recently celebrated 27 years of being in business, and a fun Rogz Recipe Book was created as part of the celebrations. Roggerz were asked to share their favourite recipes, inspired by the vegetables in the Rogz Urban Farm.
We want to share our special recipe book with you. Download the Rogz Recipe Book and share in some fruit and veggie love this Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month.