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eco-fashion – what’s gracing our ramps

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-06-20 11:36

pic:pingmagpic:pingmagThere is a new generation of designers in South Africa who are taking the environment seriously. They’re using organic and recycled materials, and keeping their chemical usage and waste to a minimum.

But they’re not exactly front page news…yet. South Africa isn’t on the cutting edge of green, even though we’re becoming a lot more ‘green aware’. It’s such that Woolies can introduce their organic clothing range, using cotton that is only 5% organic, and we all swoon with pleasure (that’s 5% more than we were getting!). I must add that I succumbed to a pair of socks that are 100% organic, and there are also socks made from 100% bamboo!

The ‘No KAK’ fashion show: (don’t you just love the Afrikaans language and its ability to say what you couldn’t say in a million years in English!) designs to save our environment, made a huge impact at the last natural and organic products exhibition . Young designers will again enter environmentally friendly designs this year in support of the growth of a cleaner textile industry in SA – something to look forward to – shows like this can only encourage ethical, eco-friendly design using organic materials.

There are already prominent eco-friendly designers in the country…

greening it up - mon 18 jun 07

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-06-18 11:16

Horse drawn cart journey comes to an end. Here's a story that I find awesomely inspiring. Suz Philips took to the road on a cart drawn by 15 year old horse (called Hercule Peroit) and her 83-year-old mum driving the support car (33 year old Datsun) full of lucern to raise money for Aids orphens! They managed to cover the 842 kilometers from Cape Town to Knysna in three weeks (must have been the scenic route, not the N2!) and cope with wheels falling off, attacks by Alsatians and adverse weather. More on [IOL]. Donations can still be made to Eden College (encouraging eco entrepreneurship and sustainable community wealth) and Home from Home (building a network of homes in communities, for each one to provide a family structure for the children in its care).

UK organic sales break through the 1 billion pound mark. But farmers are struggling to keep up, which is causing the growth of the organic market to slow, says a consumer report issued by UK retail magazine The Grocer. It said that overall sales of...

greening it up – thurs 14 june 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2007-06-14 12:46

Organic market set to grow 30% annually over the next 4 years. The SA Retail Industry Forecast (2007-2011) report provides research and analysis of the retail industry. One of the key findings is that the organic food market, the fastest growing segment in the food sector after baby food, will grow by 30% per annum over the next four years (2007-2010). The report looks at several retailers, including: Pick 'n Pay Holdings Ltd, Massmart Holdings Ltd, Woolworths Holdings Ltd and Shoprite Holding Ltd. [researchandmarkets]

New energy law on the cards for the WC. If legislation goes ahead there could be a range of incentives, tariffs and tax breaks for using renewable energy across residential, commercial and industrial sectors, including residents who produce their own renewable energy to feed back into the national grid. Way to go green, Western Cape! Time to get solar powered heating for water. South Africa burns coal for over 90% of our electricity - the seventh highest per capita emitter of carbon in the world. [M&G]

SA landfill unauthorised. Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced that almost half of the landfill sites around the country are unauthorised and need to be closed, particularly as 58 of these are ‘hazardous’ (he didn’t define hazardous, but one can assume he meant dangerous to our health and the environment). He also said that 45% of South Africans have no access to domestic waste-collection. [M&G]

SA water treatment plants ‘in crisis’. About one third of SA’s 1000 water treatment plants are in crisis, according to the director-general of the department of water affairs and forestry, Jabu Sindane. What is most disturbing is that no intervention or response has been communicated to Sindane. [IOL]

10 reasons to go organic

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2007-05-31 13:43

goorganicfoods.comgoorganicfoods.com1. Rid your body of toxins – keep insecticides and pesticides out of the air, water, soil and out of our bodies. The average conventionally-grown apple has between 20 & 30 artificial poisons on its skin, even after washing (

2. Boost your immune system - organic produce has, on average, 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce, so it minimises health risks to you and your family. On average organic food has higher levels of Vit C and essential minerals as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants.

3. Enjoy the taste. Why would something natural taste better after being sprayed with various poisons? Organic fruit and vegetables are grown more slowly and have a lower water content, which means they have a fuller flavour.

4. Care for animals. Organic farming has the highest levels of animal welfare. Animals are not kept in feed lots but are allowed...

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wacky wine weekend – 1-3 june

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-05-30 09:27

Don’t miss this weekend’s fourth wacky wine weekend held in Robertson – June 1-3, which focuses on good food, great wine and time to spend with friends and family.

It promises to be a fun-filled weekend spanning the entire Robertson valley and includes 40 wineries from Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson – Bon Cap is an organic wine farm in the valley and worth a visit for their incredible line-up. Other wineries are part of the Biodiversity and wine initiative – have a look at their site. []

Things to do on the wacky wine weekend in the valley include: wine tasting, boat cruises, tractor trips, paragliding, live music, loads of children’s activities and food across the board. Find out more

Soekershof plays host to the wacky story telling competition every day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, which promises to be enlivening, to say the least. It is a wine tasting quest in the world’s largest hedge maze and the winner of the best story about the ‘Dutchman with a bicycle in maze’ wins a bottle of Bon Cap wine. []

The wine valley has a ‘taste responsibly’ campaign in place that includes a Buddy Bus system – groups can book a specific bus for a day or the entire weekend to drive your party through the valley. [buddy bus]

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good food and wine show focuses on organic

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2007-05-25 09:27

Head off down to the International Convention Centre this weekend in Cape Town for The Good Food & Wine Show that started yesterday.

Not only is the food and wine showcase bigger and better than last year, with a range of local and international celeb chefs to introduce you to the latest global trends in good taste, but this year there is a really strong focus on organic at the Organics Pavilion, which will launch the Organic Freedom Project and play host to some of the world’s leading organic experts. There's a fabulous organic market that promises organic bites and the finest organic coffees, and a whole new range of organic products!

There’s also a new Coffee Theatre which promises to host the first ever National Barista Championship and the Savanna Light On Your Marks, Get Set, Cook! Show, hosted by Justine Drake the editor of Eat In - have you voted for the ‘best organic producer’ category in this year’s Eat In RMB Private Bank SA Produce Awards?

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a visit to wild olive farm

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-05-16 12:21

Driving all the way to Stilbaai on a windswept, rainy morning that just happened to coincide with the first day of a long weekend was probably not the best idea with an infant on board, but there you go – parents of infants don’t always make ideal decisions (I am a good mother, I am a good mother).

But the stay on Wild Olive farm was well worth the over four hour drive. The farm lies just outside the little seaside village of Stilbaai, off the N2 between Mossel Bay and Riversdale, on the banks of the Goukou River.

Owners Hazel and Alan are recent advocates of permaculture and not only cook as much as possible with their organic home grown vegetables and salads from their Farm Kitchen, which produces some of the most scrumptious food imaginable and is a wonderful haven when it’s raining, but they also supply guests and Stilbaai with produce.

The farm offers a number of accommodation options...

greening it up – thurs 03 may 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2007-05-03 20:06

Wave energy project for the west coast. Finavera Renewables, through its wave energy division, plans to build a phased 20MW wave energy power plant off the west coast of South Africa for a total investment of more than US$40 million (R283 million) over five years. The project will generate more than 30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, saving US$2 million per year in fuel and avoiding approximately 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions.[sagoodnews]

The Sun goes green. The UK tabloid, better known for its page 3 girls, homophobic views and inciting hatred, has jumped on the green bandwagon. We're not sure whether to laugh or to cry. Spreading awareness of climate change and green issues is a good thing. Suggesting you’re "saving the earth" because some of your readers will change their light bulbs is a sham.

Will honey prices rise in SA? It seems that the price of honey in this country may rise as an indirect result of the death of millions of honey bees in the USA over the past 6 months. [IOL] The exact cause of the deaths remains a mystery – scientists have disputed the cell phone link [evening sun] and claims of a fungus that could be playing a part seem pretty tentative. [latimes] We've already covered a lot of bee news. [urban sprout]

5 reasons to buy organic – if you need them. Aside from the obvious – organic foods are free of toxic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides and other additives – there are a couple of goodies here – you’re encouraging manufacturers to re-think their strategies for producing products, and you’re protecting the environment. [hippyshopper]

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a visit to tierhoek cottages

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2007-05-02 10:44

The urban sprouts have been on some extra-urban excursions lately - with all the public holidays in April we wanted to get away before the winter rains descend on the fairest Cape.

view from tierhoek houseview from tierhoek houseWe needed a place to escape to a couple of weekends ago and decided to put our growing list of organic accommodation getaways to the test. We wanted to stay on an affordable organic farm, reasonably close to Cape Town. Our options were Fisantekuil guest farm close to Wellington and Tierhoek cottages near Robertson – only Tierhoek was available for the weekend and so we set off for Robertson.

The secret to traveling with a very active 18 month-old is to set out only when there is a reasonable chance of his falling asleep and so we only got away at 11am on Saturday morning, just before sleepy time. He was asleep by the time we passed Bellville and only awoke as we neared our destination, around 160km later and less than two hours from Cape Town's southern suburbs. Perfect.

There are a few accommodation options available at Tierhoek farm. Romantic getaway for two? Then you'll want Pepper Tree or Quince cottage - both with king-size baths, queen-size beds, open fireplaces and plunge pools. If it's a family getaway you're after then it’s Lucky Bean cottage or if you like to live large then you can rent out the original Tierhoek farmhouse.

Tierhoek and Spaarkloof farm comprise 1500 hectares set in the most idyllic valley. Turning off the R60 from Worcester at the Rooiberg winery and onto the sand road you can immediately sense the pace of life slowing to a leisurely amble.

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greening it up - mon 23 apr 07

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-04-23 13:44

Will the order for Biowatch to pay Monsanto's costs be overturned in the Pretoria High Court today? Environmental groups across the country will be giving the case their attention as it will affect whether they will be able to take on big corporates in future without fear of bankrupting themselves with legal fees. Read more about Biowatch's case here.

Genetically Modified Lucerne a threat to the Organic Dairy Industry. Is it co-incidental that Monsanto, producers of Posilac (the trademark for rBST - the growth hormone fed to dairy herds to increase milk production) is now producing genetically modified (GM) lucerne (alfalfa) seed? In the US organic dairy farmers are joining the Center for Food Safety in a fight against the sale of Monsanto's GM alfalfa seed. Organic alfalfa is a staple feed for organic dairy herds and should it become contaminated by GM alfalfa this would threaten the integrity of certified organic milk. organic consumers association

Woolworths announces "Good business journey". Some good news for the SA organics industry: Woolworths is committed to increasing it's sales of organic food four-fold to over R1-billion per annum and also increase sales of it's organic-content clothing range to over R1-billion pa. These are just two items that are part of a broader 5 year plan (journey) which include acclerating transformation, driving social development, enhancing environmental focus and addressing climate change. Quite a tall order, but a bold move by Woolworths and one which, hopefully, other SA companies will emulate. woolworths holdings

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