Naturally Organic’s Skye Fehlmann on organic farming and making a difference
Organic farmer Skye Fehlmann’s farming journey started with a need to reap (and sow) foods he knew the contents and origins of, “It was frustrating to me that I couldn’t just buy food off the shelf and with a good conscience, eat it and enjoy it” he explains.
Skye started growing his own fruits and vegetables from home – what started as a home garden project, soon evolved to an organic farm feeding thousands.
Located in Philippi, Cape Town Skye’s farm is certified organic and is one of the first farms in Cape Town to obtain the European Union (EU) Organic Certification for its organic produce, called Naturally Organic.
“Organic farming is very labour intensive, because there’s not a lot of mechanisation involved; we do a lot of weeding, feeding and picking by hand — which needs a lot of people”. The staff at Skye’s Philippi-based farm come from the local community, creating jobs within the farm’s surrounding areas.
Philippi, located in the Cape Flats area, faces a range of challenges, including poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity – so having farms like Skye’s creating opportunities for the local community makes all the difference.
In South Africa, the SAOSO approved PGS organic accreditation process is an affordable way for smaller farms and businesses to get organic accreditation, as a lot of the internationally recognised organic accreditation processes can be expensive.
The PGS accreditation process is based on the following guiding principles:
The use of natural, biological, renewable, and regenerative resources in the food production process;
Ensuring organic livestock are nourished primarily through organically produced feed and forage, and are kept in living conditions that allow for natural behaviour and avoidance of stress.
Skye believes organic farming isn’t the only way to make a difference in your community and encourages subsistence farming too, adding that “ home gardening is one of the most rewarding things to do. It’s meditative and provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life”.
Naturally Organic aims to make organic food available to everybody. Their values of good farming ethics are the driving force behind their #goodproduce and we are proud to have Skye and his produce, Naturally Organic, as a part of the Market Box family of food heroes.