giy - grow it yourself

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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

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.

broccoli: the second coming

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-01-14 15:30

take two: get a second cut of broccolitake two: get a second cut of broccoliWith birds falling from the sky, more birds falling from the sky, mudslides in Brazil, sharks cruising flooded Queensland streets and scientists rebooting the zodiac, the year indeed seems off to an apocalyptic start. Hopefully we'll all be around for a bit longer to enjoy 2011... and broccoli.

A few days ago we enjoyed the largest, tastiest homegrown head of broccoli ever. Just picked, and lightly steamed, it leaves shop-bought broccoli standing... sadly it still looks like broccoli, so is, as always, a tough sell to

a bountiful garden

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-01-11 10:16

our tomato crop has been incredible this year...

green your christmas - part 2

Submitted by sprout group hug on Fri, 2010-12-17 15:59

Green your gifts
Not done your Christmas shopping yet? Or want to direct some merry gift-givers to your wishlist of green Christmas goodies. In part 2 of our Green your Christmas guide we take a look at some green gift ideas for greenies with a special interest.

DIY / GIY Enthusiast
Know that someone special who likes a project? Your Green-it-yourself enthusiast will leap at the opportunity to lower their eco-footprint themselves.
Geyser blankets and pipe insulation, CFL's, LED downlighters, low-flow showerheads & tap aerators would fill the stocking of the greenie comfortable with a shifting spanner. See the eco building and homes section of our directory for more details.

Low cost option? Gift a used tyre with instructions to turn it into a mini garden pond.
High end? Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panel and batteries. Or a home-sized wind turbine.

Eco Fashionista
Hemp is still eco-chic and a more sustainable natural fibre than cotton as it requires no pesticides, herbicides and little fertiliser. Organic cotton is becoming

uses for old tyres

Submitted by MichaelE on Tue, 2010-11-23 11:42

a sandpit made from an old tractor tyrea sandpit made from an old tractor tyreEvery year millions of car tyres wear out. When one considers the number of cars on our roads and you times that number by four – just think of the number of tyres that we are chucking out every year! Yes some are retreaded, and their lives extended, and some are recycled and turned into other products. Many however end up as rubbish - they exist in our landfills, where they take an extremely long time to degrade and slowly leach toxic chemicals that pollute the environment.

lend your green fingers and establish a growzone in philippi

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-11-12 10:40

heart growzoneheart growzoneHeart social investments for life is calling for volunteers to create a GrowZone – a cluster of 10 Food tents (a revolutionary shade net greenhouse that increases the efficiency of vegetable growth) with Mama Rosie, a true community leader in Philippi.

They say that many hands make light work, so this is a chance for lots of people to join in the fun. Grab a group of friends and family members and come and lend a hand – the more the merrier.

The day will be filled with activities such as preparing the land, constructing and erecting the tents and planting the vegetables. After a hard days labour in the sun it will be rewarding to know that the vegetables will be harvested and used in Mama Rosie's feeding scheme in Philippi, and that some off the produce will be donated to local orphanages. The rest will be sold to the community.

the big green smoothie – secret to a perfect recipe

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2010-09-23 09:40

There's something about spring in the air that has brought about an upsurge in vegetable juicing and green smoothie making in our household.

Last night, for instance, we juiced a really delicious 'red' concoction – beetroot, cucumber, apple and pineapple – that our four-year old, red moustache in evidence, voted as 'even better' than the carrot juice we have finally got him to quaff.

My other half has expounded the health benefits of green juice for an age now. But no matter how many times I hear about how alkalising, high in anti-oxidants, rich in fibre, calcium and iron it is, there is something about the taste that is, well, I'm just not that mad about green juice.

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.

sproingg! spring into action and start planting

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2010-09-02 11:30

pic:: greenpoppic:: greenpopWell today is more of a spring day than yesterday was. I was not feeling a spring vibe at all yesterday. More like the middle of winter, today however is a totally different story. It's feeling fresh out there, but not icy. It's sunshine rather than a blanket of black cloud.

So now that it's official what are your green plans for springtime? Spring is the beginning of a new growth cycle, a time for getting your fingers in the soil again...

For me this time of year is mainly about getting the veggie garden all fired up once more. Its been ticking over during winter as, with no frost, we can still grow a lot of the staples, albeit

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