giy - grow it yourself

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viva la treevolucion

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2010-08-26 14:27

treevolution a la greenpop.orgtreevolution a la greenpop.orgThe revolution has a name and it is Greenpop! Greenpop is a volunteer-powered tree planting project - a "creative greening campaign with a treemendous amount going on". Their first aim is to plant 1000 trees at various under-greened areas across Cape Town during spring 2010.

They seem to be up to really good things, including some reverse-grafitti street art and eco-educational upliftment. And thanks to involvement of Misha Teasdale, documentary filmmaker, there are some cool clips to check out on YouTube (be sure to watch them all).

This Sunday (29 Aug) the first trees will be heading groundwards at the Sosebenza Centre for Peace in Masiphumelele. And in conjunction with this, Urban Harvest will be planting a veggie garden too. They're keen to have as many volunteers join them as possible so check out their website for details.

Jeremy Hewitt and other accomplished musos


grow to live review

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2010-08-26 10:47

Grow to Live: By Pat FeatherstoneGrow to Live: By Pat FeatherstoneGrow to Live: A simple guide to growing your own good, clean food is a book that every South African food gardener, whether novice or not, needs to have on their bookshelf. I've become quite a collector of gardening books and there are some really informative books out there. Some were written in the 80's and 90's, or earlier, when it was fashionable to nuke your vegetables with every herbicide, pesticide, fungicide and other -icide known. You were advised to routinely spray with the likes of Malathion, Karbaspray, Metasystox and other chemical weapons of mass destruction. And you had to know all about applying the right proportion of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) ala 2:3:2, 2:3:4, 3:2:1 or whatever. Well, following this advice would lead to a 5:4:3:2:1 explosion and the death of life in your garden.

So now you know what the book is not about, enter Grow to Live. This is a book that will make your heart soar as an organic gardener. The book distills the considerable knowledge


planting the seed for a permanent solution through permaculture

Submitted by MichaelE on Tue, 2010-06-08 10:36

learning the permaculture way with SEEDlearning the permaculture way with SEEDSeed embodies what permaculture is all about. The Seed permaculture courses teach you how to design and grow your garden in a way that mimics the diverse biological systems in nature. The garden works as a whole system, providing ecological sustainability, whilst at the same time meeting human needs. Looking at a permaculture garden you may be forgiven for thinking that this is organised chaos! Yet as in nature, there is method in madness.

Plants are planted in a manner that conserves space and allows them to benefit each other. Seeds Saturday courses teach you the principles behind permaculture and how to go about adding permaculture to your own garden. The courses take place at


gold 'n' delicious - an apple a day keeps the doctor away

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-04-29 13:27

apples - keep the doctor away this winterapples - keep the doctor away this winterThe apple. The forbidden fruit. There is extensive history and mythology surrounding the apple, and we have been eating apples for millennia, Archaeologists have evidence of people eating apples as far back as 6500 B.C. Apples originated in Central Asia and at least 55 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2005, with a value of about $10billion. The biggest producer of apples was China. South Africa has around 22,5 million Apple trees.The following areas are where they are mostly grown: Ermelo (Mpumalanga), Bethlehem( Free State), Langkloof, and many areas of the Western Cape. The Elgin Valley near Grabouw is the main producing area for apples in south Africa. 60% of South Africa’s apple crop is harvested in the Grabouw region, just one hour outside of Cape Town.


in support of micro-farmers – how you can help

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-10-13 10:43

I was really interested to read recently that over 15% of the world's food is produced by micro-farmers – organic and biodynamic backyard gardens, community gardens or small farms. That's higher than I thought. It makes me kind of proud to have one of those gardens in our backyard, even if we have to share a large percentage of it with the snails.

Most of us have heard of Abalimi Bezekhaya (Farmers of Home) co-founded by Rob Small, which has started nothing short of a micro-farming revolution in the townships of Cape Town, investing in organic micro-farming in order to end poverty – no fewer than 100 community gardens and 3 000 micro-farmers in Cape Town alone.

These same farmers supply half their produce to the well-known organic box delivery scheme, Harvest of Hope with packing sheds in


‘do nothing farming’ – fukuoka’s wise words

Submitted by Guest on Wed, 2009-08-12 09:22

Blog kindly written by Carey Finn.

These days, organic farming is more popular than ever. With organic box schemes, growing organic sections in supermarkets, and an increasing awareness on the part of consumers, it looks like organic is here to stay, and will only grow further. Certainly, organic farming, especially when it incorporates principles of permaculture and biodynamism, is a massive improvement on modern agriculture with its poisons and exploitations.

But it should not be seen as the plateau – as Masanobu Fukuoka, a wise farmer from Japan said, we have many more steps to take to return to the source; in other words, we have a way to go before we are truly growing our food in harmony with nature...


rawlicious - our top 5 recipes

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-08-06 10:08

Radically radish, the 2-tone sunrise smoothie, wild mushroom soup, brazil nut milk, Thai coleslaw and lemon tart with a twist (it's raw!) are what you can expect from Peter and Beryn Daniel's raw food recipe book entitled Rawlicious.

We fell on this book when it arrived. It really re-inspired us to eat more raw foods (we've always juiced and had smoothies and salads, but other dishes in Rawlicious are pretty enticing), particularly when I realised how easy some of the foods are to prepare.

It's brimming over with easy, delicious food that is healthy for you and goes a long way to...


community supported agriculture (CSA) project in cape town

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-01-29 10:44

Some really exciting news for Capetonians: Slow Food CT , the Sustainability Institute and the Ethical Co-op have partnered to close the gap between the farmer and the shopper by forming a partnership between you (the consumer) and the farmer – a community supported agriculture project (CSA). It's a way of actively supporting local community agriculture, as well as ensuring your weekly fix of vegetables!

It’s a simple concept: you (the consumer) pay upfront, which allows the farmer to set up his/her farm. The first CSA farmer will be Eric Swarts whose farm is based at Spier Estate. He intends farming lettuces, carrots, beetroot, cucumber, beans, sweetcorn – all organically.

Those who sponsor the project upfront, will receive a box of mixed


greening it up – gyo, renewable energy creates jobs, carbon tax won’t reduce emissions, and coca-cola's hybrid trucks

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-01-19 10:15

pic: independent.co.ukpic: independent.co.ukGrow your own. As we feel the pinch as shoppers, more of us are turning our manicured lawns into vegetable patches. If the burning trend in the UK is anything to go by, mirrored by a parallel escalation in Cape Town, suburbia will soon become a source of food as vegetable beds, sapling fruit trees and compost heaps become the norm. [independent]

Renewable energy the potential to create thousands of jobs. In the face of Eskom’s moot to increase electricity tariffs by up to R9/kwh for high energy consumers (a huge leap from 25c/kwh), the DA has called for an urgent overhaul of the energy sector: a new Ministry of Energy and Climate Change, unbundling Eskom’s monopoly over production and generation of electricity, and meeting our 15% target for renewable energy introduction, addressing the skills shortage in SA. [moneyweb] [citizen]

Introducing a carbon tax not best way to cut carbon emissions in SA, says Deloitte. Research recently carried out by the firm into potential emission reduction methods indicated that the best way to reduce emissions in the country was by way of a cap-and-trade system. A carbon tax does nothing to incentivise much-needed behavioural changes. Nor would it


out with the old, in with the new

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-01-08 21:00

eco fireworks?eco fireworks?After an extended and much needed break the sprouts are now back at the sprout-cave. Well kinda. We're still doing a bit of belated spring cleaning, rearranging, gearing up and and generally getting ready to go forth and conquer in 2009. Hope you had a good break too and that you're all revved up for a great year!

2008 is history and it disappeared in a blink. These are the 10 most popular reads on urban sprout last year, just in case you missed them.

SA's electric car, Joule - Official pics. Our own electric car is unveiled at the Paris Motor show. This was in my opinion one of the coolest things to happen last year. Let's all hold thumbs Optimal Energy gets the investment required to start mass production. I'd love to have one of these baby's parked in my garage circa 2011.

Darling wind farm powers up. Seems like eons ago we first blogged about the Darling Wind Farm, but it only took around two years to get them up and running. Eskom could (and should) learn a thing or two about wind-powered energy from these guys.


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