Erf 81 Tamboerskloof Farm

Miscellaneous in or near Tamboerskloof, City Bowl in Cape Town, South Africa.

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsErf 81 Tamboerskloof Farm

Where? Corner of Leeuwenvoet & Military Road, Tamboerskloof, City Bowl, Cape Town

Overnight? Stay in Tamboerskloof, in Western Cape

Erf 81, or Tamboerskloof Farm, lies between the gentrified suburb of Tamboerskloof and the Cape Malay suburb of the Bo-Kaap, a ramshackle collection of buildings and grounds that are home to geese, chickens, dwarf goats, the odd pig and horse, frogs, owls and mongooses.

Fondly known by locals as Tamboerskloof farm it is also a national heritage site boasting an ammunition warehouse built at the turn of the century by British soldiers.

It’s interesting to note that Tamboerskloof, as well as suburbs like Oranjezicht and Rondebosch, all originated as farms surrounding Cape Town, and that Erf 81 lay on the border of the original Tamboerskloof farm, used in similar fashion as today, for livestock grazing.

To cut a long story short, Erf 81 eventually fell into the hands of the SANDF (South African National Defence Force), administered by public works, until it was abandoned in the 1980s. A few years later Andre Laubscher, a local artist who had worked in the film industry and lived just down the road from the farm, offered his services as an unpaid caretaker of the property when he recognised the possible grazing potential for his recently acquired dwarf goats.

He moved in and paid rent to the public works whilst taking in animals, children and adults who needed fostering. Today, twenty odd years later, the property is home to a couple of artists who use the shabby 1893 building as studio space, a collection of animals and an organic vegetable farming community known as Tyisa Nabanye, who maintain a vegetable garden and indigenous nursery. They welcome volunteers.

The threat of eviction has rested over Erf 81’s residents’ heads since 2011 and is ongoing. At any moment Andre Laubscher and his foster animals and people could find themselves out on the street.

To visit the urban farm attend Erf 81’s Sunday Food Market for coffee, fresh organic vegetables, seeds and seedlings, vegan food, homemade curries etc. For details follow Erf 81 - the Farm NPO’s Facebook page (it is more current than Tyisa Nabanye’s page).

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