Launched in 2019, the Living Soils Community Learning Farm is an initiative between partners Woolworths, Spier and the Sustainability Institute.
The Living Soils Community learning farm is a regenerative farming project situated in Lynedoch, Stellenbosch, Western Cape. The farm aims to tackle issues of food security, climate change, soils and biodiversity loss, poverty and unemployment, and agriculture inclusivity in the South African context. The farm does this by providing a space to educate and empower emerging young farmers in food and farming livelihoods.
Living Soils is governed by a partnership between The Woolworths Trust, Spier Wine Farm and the Sustainability Institute. It was established in March 2019 and grows fresh vegetable produce using regenerative farming practices guided by Farming for the Future (FFF). Food produced, primarily supports local community food security, but it is also sold in order to create its own economic value for self-sustainability. The farm is further committed to advocacy and communication of learnings, to shape and experiment with new food futures in the South African context.
The project initially ran as a three-year pilot that looked to support an approach to food and nutritional security, and livelihood generations embedded in regenerative and resilient agricultural practices that if successful, could be implemented in other areas of the country.
At the end of the pilot there was a recognition and a convergence between the various partners that the project has the opportunity to increase its focus on the training aspect of the project. The partners identified the opportunity to develop a more focused learning pathway that would positively impact the skills required in the farming sector, support long-term food security whilst continuing to contribute to local community food security.
The Living Soils internship aims to provide practical opportunities to grow nutritional food through regenerative practices that are not only beneficial to the produce, but also help build resilient agroecological systems in the light of climate change, soil and biodiversity loss, and food insecurity.
The internship is two-fold:
- students can apply the learning acquired at their academic institutions and become equipped with skills, knowledge and networks that will allow them to be capable farmers,
- they can obtain their qualifications while being exposed to essential work experience in regenerative agriculture.
At Living Soils we are committed to building a learning network that consists of context specific training and skills development interventions. The learning philosophy on the farm is of co-creation, empowerment and inspiring individuals to take ownership of their future.
For more information about the internship please contact us.
- Living Soils Community Learning Farm launched
- First planting at the Living Soils Community Learning Farm
- Growing a new story about food
- Summer harvest at the Living Soils Community Learning Farm
- Healthy ecosystems for the stewards of our land
- Introducing the Living Soils junior farm managers
- Internships for life: Living Soils addressing youth unemployment and food insecurity
- From seed to reality: A three year reflection of the Living Soils Community Learning Farm
- A true community learning farm
- On community, soil and agency: cultivating sustainable food systems