Nhlanhla Mpati is tending his farm in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mpati is among a group of farmers in the country who are growing herbs and other crops on rooftops in urban cities. He is part of project run by various organizations that wants to make more produce available in the inner city and provide jobs for entrepreneurs who want to farm but don’t have access to land.
Mpati sells his basil to restaurants like the city perk café where it’s used to prepare various meals and snacks.
“We are also trying to get better quality food obviously at a good price as well, I think everyone in the market is in the same boat and as a keen restaurateur you’re always trying to improve the quality of your food, improve the quality of your produce. So when we heard about Nhlanhla and the hydroponics station on the roof that Chamber of Mines kind of gave them, we kind of hooked up straight away and we went and saw them. The beauty about hydroponics as you know is that it’s organic, pesticide-free, there’s no hormones, there’s no preservatives, there’s no pesticides, nothing,” said city perk café owner, Alexi Lambropoulos.