permaculture

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Food With A Story

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Thu, 2012-01-26 16:48.

What is the story behind our food?

Local artisans and food producersLocal artisans and food producers

Food With A Story, a new online artisanal and ethical food producer’s directory, is the brainchild of couple Deni and Carlin Archer. Believing passionately that people's food choices have a powerful effect on the world, they hope to raise awareness around food consumption through the collection of positive and ethical stories on their website.

The idea behind it is that by knowing how your food is grown - as well as understanding the impacts this may have on the environment - consumers are them empowered to make better choices.


ftfa launches farmer eco-enterprise development programme

Submitted by incoming on Mon, 2011-10-31 10:56.

Ratanang Permaculture projectRatanang Permaculture projectFood insecurity, food-related riots and malnourishment have been on the increase globally in the last number of years, and Africa has been particularly hard hit.

South Africa has an opportunity to create solutions that can be scaled up across the continent, as well as providing its own poor with sustainable livelihoods and dignity. But small farmers often lack the managerial and technical expertise to succeed in the highly competitive farming industry.

A new programme by Food & Trees for Africa’s (FTFAs), Farmer Eco Enterprise Development (FEED), is aiming to address the needs of emerging farmers to enable them to become players in the mainstream agricultural economy.

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the intrepid bee-keeper

Submitted by sproutscout on Wed, 2011-10-05 11:36.

Peter Clarke demonstrating different types of honeyPeter Clarke demonstrating different types of honey

“It’s been my experience that beekeepers grow old”, says 90 year old Peter Clarke to the crazy folk who have decided to attend his bee-keeping course. He can’t explain why it happens, all the stings , all the goodness of propolis and raw honey, but most of the beekeepers Clarke knows live well into their 90s. And thus he introduced to us one of the many things we could look forward to by the end of the class in May next year.

For now I’ll tell a story to illustrate a few safety tips. I think this should be the beginning of every beekeeping course – though my class learned these lessons the hard experiential way. This is the story of our first ever ‘suit-up’, after weeks of talking and learning about it – our first ever interaction with the bees:


city gardens - send us your pictures

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-06-07 09:49.

This set of city garden pictures, captured by artists Julie Henry and Debbie Bragg, records the rise of community gardening in post-industrial locations, as residents attempt to 'bind the community together and improve their environments'.

Send us your pictures so that we can compile similar for South African city gardens to sprouts[@]urbansprout.co.za

Or post it on our facebook page.

Images can be of community gardens, rooftop gardens, pavement gardens, your own veggie garden at home, container gardens, pond gardens, windowsill gardens! If you're into gardening (vegetable, indigenous, exotic, whatever) and live in one of SA's great cities (extended metropolitan area's too!) then share your photo!


awesome permaculture poster series by afristar

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2011-05-11 11:48.

Afristar (along with Seed and funding partners) have produced a great series of 13 permaculture posters that every household, school or greening ngo should definitely not be without.

The posters cover key permaculture concepts or techniques, from making compost, keeping worms, recycling greywater et. al to talking stick circles! The illustration is superbly detailed, eye catching yet conveys the message simply - a picture tells a thousand words.

The posters are free to social welfare and educational organisations, otherwise they cost R 60 each incl postage. The planting calendars are available in a laminated retail version for R 80 incl postage.

Check out the entire set of posters on flickr or facebook.

Here is the list of posters available (comments by urban sprout). Contact Afristar for more details.

Companion planting
Lists the good companions (plants that have a positive effect, like increasing the yield or deterring pests) and bad


spider, spider burning bright...

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2011-02-07 12:37.

This incredible pic was taken the other night in our garden, with an ordinary 'point and click' digital camera. She's one of a series of rather big, scary-looking eight-legged creatures that come out at night above our vegetable garden to spin their webs.

We're grateful for them though, as they keep the bugs at bay...

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oude molen eco village out to save itself

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-02-01 10:11.

The Oude Molen Eco Village in Pinelands, Cape Town is the first and ONLY eco village set on public land on earth.

From their Facebook Group: Oude Molen is an unique village in Cape Town with many historic, agricultural, social, educational and cultural features. It has the first farm house ever built in SA and demonstrates how under-utilised public assets can be used in a more holistic way, providing accommodation, education, healing and employment opportunities.

Faced with possible eviction the village wants to make sure that it remains to become a National Treasure. For this reason any interested parties (that's you) are welcome to meet:

where: in the hall at the eco village
when: tonight, 1 February, 6-8pm

For comment, visit their Facebook page
Find out more about the children food garden village

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volunteer and get to experience a biodynamic farm - firsthand

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2011-01-24 10:27.

Taking a gap year? And want to learn all there is to know about working on a biodynamic cheese farm?

We are a small mixed (mainly cheese-making and dairy goods) biodynamic farm in the Western Cape, South Africa. We are looking for one or two volunteers or apprentices to come and work on our farm for six months or more.

The 800ha farm is situated in a remote beautiful valley in majestic mountains. Most of the farm is indigenous bush and streams. We farm +/- 15ha. We have 45 goats in milk, 25 young female kids, 1 billy goat, 4 Jersey milk cows, a small beef heard with an Nguni bull, a sow with 7 young pigs and a new litter of 9. We also have 4 horses, 2 beehives, a 0.1ha vegetable garden, +/- 8ha gravity irrigated pastures, +/- 7ha wild grasses pasture and a dam.


elgin open gardens - a gardener's bliss

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-11-01 11:34.

the auldearn garden in the elgin valleythe auldearn garden in the elgin valleyThis last weekend was the first weekend of the annual Elgin Open Gardens. The weather was stunning - perfect for a day out in the beautiful Elgin valley, which is known for its apples and beautiful gardens. The gardens are also open next weekend, the 6th and 7th of November. You pay a small fee ranging from R5 to R20 a person, which is donated to a different charity. This year there are over twenty open gardens that you can visit. It's best that you plan on leaving early and spend the day in the valley, so that you have time to explore some of the gardens. There are some absolutely stunning gardens that are sure to inspire you.

We stopped off and had a leisurely brunch at the Houwhoek Farm Stall, which serves delicious food and has great stall, at which we bought some wonderful dried apricots for the road.


wild olive farm offers 12-day permaculture course

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-09-07 10:52.

Our friend Hazel (we blogged about her here ) lives on a farm. It isn't just any farm either, it's a beautiful organic farm offering accommodation perched on the hill overlooking the Gou Kou River in Stilbaai.

Hazel's farm is a hugely popular lunch and breakfast venue, not least because she grows most of the vegetables and salads that she uses in her meals on her farm according to the principles of permaculture.

She is, as you will soon find out, intensely enthusiastic about permaculture and it is no surprise that she is now offering a 12 day Permaculture Design Course - starting on 18 October 2010.