Growing Food, Growing People

Somerset west Village Garden

A community project to grow and provide vegetables for the homeless and unemployed people of Somerset West.

Harvest DayCOVID-19 UPDATE

COVID-19 Update

Market Day is back!


We will be open for vegetable sales from Tuesday 12 May from 09:00-11:00.

We will be selling Pre-prepared vegetable boxes of what we have available on the day.

On Offer

  •  1 person box R50
  • 2 person box R100

Add on:

  • Honey R55
  • Eggs:

6X Medium R18

6X Large R25

6X XLarge R30

6X Jumbo R35

  • Pickles, Pesto and Jam R40 each
  • Bunch of Herbs R10 / bunch
  • Crunchies R40
  • Chilies R10 / bag
  • Beans R20 / 300 gm
  • Aubergines R10


Please Note

To ensure contactless payment we will be accepting SnapScan payments only.

Please bring your own boxes bag etc to transfer the veg into.

Entrance on Parking lot side of the garden.

Looking forward to welcoming our valued customers and supporters back.

About Our gardeners

during lockdown


We have been issued with a certificate to continue operating as an essential service.

Unfortunately, the Street People will not be working in the garden to earn tokens during this time. Thomas House of Hope will be providing one meal a day without payment of a token to those living on the streets until the COCT makes good on their promise to find a site to house all Street People in the Helderberg Basin.

We will continue to keep the garden going with one gardener Hennie Paulse and will provide Thomas House of Hope and The Somerset West Night Shelter with vegetables to help them with their feeding schemes.

About Our Garden

Somerset West Village Garden was established in 2015 on a derelict park.
Now this thriving, neat, working garden offers work to the unemployed and homeless in exchange for tokens which can be used for food, clothing and assistance.
The fresh, organic vegetables are sold at the weekly market and donated to the Helderberg Street People’s Centre for their feeding scheme.


Every Tuesday 9am -11am is Harvest Day!

On the Harvest Day Table this week

See our Facebook Feed for what’s available weekly

Come rain or shine

41 New Street

(corner of New & Drama Streets)

Somerset West

To receive our weekly Harvest Table WhatsApp notification please WhatsApp “add me” to

+27 (0)82-901 2636

or follow us on Facebook

Growing food – Growing people

By encouraging the homeless to get involved with the Somerset West Village Garden and other projects run by the Helderberg Street People’s Centre, they are offered a “hand up” rather than a “handout”, with access to nutrition, care and vital resources.

Our Produce

The vegetables that we grow supply the Helderberg Street People’s Centre feeding scheme and are also available to the public to purchase at our weekly harvest days.

We pride ourselves on growing organic, seasonal produce that is affordable and delicious, and the methods we use are sustainable and ecologically friendly – resulting in the added bonus that diverse fauna have returned to the park.

Tokens Earned



Meals Provided

Success Stories

Brian Botha

Brian retired from his job as the janitor and handyman at St Paul’s Catholic Church two years ago. We have managed to find Brian accommodation with the Helderberg Society for the Aged’s where he has settled down very well. He says that after five years of sleeping on the floor in a relative’s home he is so happy to have his own space with a comfortable bed and a roof over his head at night.

He says, “I work in the garden because I don’t want to sit around doing nothing. I love planting the seeds and seedlings, and find it very rewarding to see how the vegetables grow and produce if they are looked after properly.”

Hennie Paulse

Hennie found himself on the streets after he lost his job six months ago. He built our vine baskets and enjoys building the structures for growing the beans.

He says, “I have a problem with alcohol abuse and find that working in the garden helps keep me busy – and then I don’t feel tempted to drink. My advice to other street people is to come and join me in the garden, to start the path to recovery.”

Oliver Fortune

Oliver spent 18 months in the garden using the plant expertise that he learnt from his father while growing up. He is a master compost maker and helped with the daily running of the garden.

Oliver has left us to concentrate on his ethnic clothing business, Ollie’s Clothes. Look out for him at various markets in Somerset West and Cape Town this summer.

Patrick Williams

Patrick has volunteered at the garden for the past year. He has managed to find a weekly gardening job, which meant that he could move out of the Somerset West Night Shelter and into his own rented space.

He is a good worker and we are confident that he will find additional employment soon.

6 Gardeners

Six of our volunteers were offered a three-month contract in the construction industry, with the possibility of further employment.

They were required to possess a SARS number, a medical clearance certificate and an ID – time-consuming processes at the best of times, and especially difficult when one’s access to information and finances is hindered.

Thankfully, Vanessa Willis-Schoeman from the Helderberg Street People's Centre spent time with the gardeners helping to get them set up for the job.

Latest news

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The Garden is Home to

Local fauna has proved a rewarding byproduct of greening the urban space, and it has been amazing to see how this neglected piece of land has literally come to life over two years:

  • A chameleon first showed up in the tomato bed, and now pops up every so often in the beans or artichokes
  • The ubiquitous hadedas, Egyptian geese and guinea fowl have gradually been replaced by double collared sunbirds, sparrows, wagtails, prinias and spotted thick-knees (dikkops).


A compost heap that feeds the entire garden and makes a remarkable improvement to the quality of our organic vegetables – thanks to the expertise of Tossie van Tonder



Installed by Chris Bester (our very own MacGyver) – two eagle owls have been spotted in the vicinity and we’re hoping they’ll move in soon



Doubling as a shelter for our gardeners.



Again built by Chris Bester, which will hopefully attract the masses of ladybirds currently living in the artichoke bed



Three 5000L water tanks donated by the Sanctimonia Group, again installed with the help of Chris Bester.

Spinach Beds

Volunteers at Harvest Day

Harvest Day Table

Garden Flowers



Helderberg Street People Centre

Has implemented programmes whereby street people can work in exchange for tokens which they can use for meals, ID books, clothing, toiletries and showers.

Somerset West Night Shelter

The Somerset West Night Shelter serves the homeless community by providing secure overnight sleeping, evening meals and breakfast, and ablution facilities with warm showers. They also offer social work services and administrative support, and host workshops on pertinent issues

Circular Homes

Circular Homes closes the loop on kitchen and garden waste – through composting. They supply quality and affordable compostable and earth-friendly products for homes, and also receive donations of fermented kitchen waste from the public. Their vision is to convert the compost and soil into bee-friendly flower parks and community vegetable gardens.

Our Latest Seasonal Recipes

Easy Garden Soup

Easy Garden Soup

EASY GARDEN SOUP A recipe from one of our regulars 1 Onion (Sliced)1 Small Potato (Peeled and diced)2 tbsp Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)1 Chilli (if prefered) (Chopped finely)1 Colander Filled with anything from the veg patch plus greens - salad leaves (Spinach, Kale,...

Spinach Soup

Spinach Soup

SPINACH SOUP 2 Bunches Spinach (Cleaned & chopped)2 Granny Smith apples (Chopped)25 g Butter1 Small Onion (Chopped)20 g Flour275 ml Chicken Stock275 ml Milk70 ml CreamSqueeze Lemon1 Pinch Nutmeg Wash the spinach leaves thoroughlyMelt the butter in a saucepan and...

Pork and Dill Cabbage Rolls

Pork and Dill Cabbage Rolls

PORK & DILL CABBAGE ROLLS 12 Large Cabbage leaves110 g Arborio rice ((1/2 cup))2 tsp Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)1 Brown Onion (Finely Chopped)2 Cloves Garlic (Finely chopped)1/2 tsp Allspice (Ground)450 g Pork Mince1 tbsp Fresh Dill (Chopped)500 ml Chicken stock ((2...

A special thank you to our sponsors

We are enormously grateful to our sponsor and partners, without whom we would be unable to continue.

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