Ashleigh Machete known famously as “Joburg Ash” is a business owner and the famous plant doctor in town. He is the owner of JFF Rooftop Farm and JFF Plant Shop, one locates in Braamfontein Juta Street and the other in 44 Stanley. If there’s anyone that knows plants like the back of their hand, it’s definitely Joburg Ash.
I got to ask the jovial business owner and plant enthusiast five questions for this week’s Five @ Five.
1. I’ll start off by saying, you are probably the only cool farmer we have in the region. How and when did you become a “plant doctor?”
I’ve always had an absolute fascination with plants; their care, maintenance and uses; also being a third generation farmer played a role in making it easy for me to understand agriculture and horticulture, from the different ways and techniques of propagation, pest and disease management and plant pathology
2. When one hears the word “farmer” the first thing that comes in mind is likely not urban farming and small scale commercial horticulture. What mindset or stereotypes do you want to change about farming?
There are many antiquated ideas about farming being limited to a large scale rural setting which can be a limiting mindset when applied to an urban setting, I hope to introduce smaller scale, urban horticulture and agriculture solutions which are commercially viable and appeal to the younger generation, especially with the current uptick in houseplant enthusiasts as well as renewed interest in growing food at home
3. Having a rooftop farm in the middle of a bustling city is quite unusual in a good sense, how did that idea come about?
It started as a project we had developed and managed for a social housing company with over 44 buildings stretching from Hillbrow, Newtown,Troyeville and Fordsburg to enhance social cohesion, food security and creating 3rd spaces for their tenant community since 2012 at the start of the project. We have to date installed rooftop farms, Alleyway farms, ground level farms and indoors farms all over the innercity of Johannesburg.
4. Tell us more about Jozi Food Farmer?
Jozi Food Farmer is an edible and ornamental landscaping business with a focus on urban development.
We offer plant installation services and plant care services to businesses and home owners.
5. Last question, Rooftop Farm or Plant Shop? and why?
Both, because they both offer a unique experience.
Visit the stores on Monday – Saturday between 7:00am & 4:00pm and on Sunday between 8:00am & 3:00pm.