organic

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top green must-visit markets before christmas

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2008-10-28 13:40

pic: johannesburglive.co.zapic: johannesburglive.co.zaWe all want to avoid the manic mall mayhem. Scurrying around under strobe lighting with the rest of the pre-Christmas flurry is hardly conducive to calm, and there are so many wonderful markets at which you can pick up home-made fare for your Christmas meal; goodies, crafts and gifts that are local and handmade, in an unhurried atmosphere. We've made it even easier, by selecting those at which you're sure to enjoy yourselves and find hidden treasures.

Markets we love

Top 10 markets in & around Cape Town
The two stalwarts of Cape Town have to be the Neighbourgoods Market and the Porter Estate Produce Market, both of which have a strong focus on responsible and local foods, and some crafts. The Neighbourgoods Market held a Christmas market last year, which they’re sure to repeat. New to the Cape Town scene is ...


local green – footprints to close, green retail space available & organic community market

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2008-10-24 13:08

Footprints Environmental Centre is closing at the end of November! They have to leave their premises, as the property owners need their land for another use. Footprints plays an enormous role in recycling in Cape Town and friends and supporters are more than a little distraught to see it close. Some supporters are already mounting a campaign to try and find new premises for it, and we will keep you posted.

First community Market - an organic community market is set for tomorrow, 25 Oct, at the Owl Shelter, 9 Polaris Road (off Blomvlei Road) in Lansdowne. The market is part of the MENNGOS food garden programme, which has several projects in the Eastern & Western Cape. They fall under the ambit of individual food gardens for food security and surplus to sell, organic nutrition gardens to feed people affected by AIDS and HIV and high school children. All preparation of the land is conducted by the community project participants themselves and individuals who operate their own vegetable and herb gardens.

Woolworths offers fellowships to help the environment. If you are about to register for a full-time Master’s or Doctoral study at UCT, and want to do research in the areas of – pesticides, seafood sustainability, water usage, waste water, energy/climate change or biodiversity – Woolies is offering fellowships that cover tuition and subsistence, research costs or conference travel. Want to know more? Email pgfunding@uct.ac.za

Green retail space up for grabs. If you’ve a green business and you’re looking to share space with green conscious retailers, then a newly renovated mall at the top end of Long Street might be for you. They’re looking for clothing retailers, jewellery, shoes, décor etc. A minimum of 10% of your product needs to be sustainable, recycled or the like. Contact stacey@210onlong.co.za


un study: organic farming reduces poverty in africa

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-10-23 13:51

Whilst many have scoffed at organic farming as little more than a Western lifestyle fad, a major UN study, released yesterday, shows that these traditional practices can break the hunger cycle.

An analysis of 114 projects in 24 African countries found that yields had more than doubled where organic, or near-organic practices had been used. That increase in yield jumped to 128 per cent in east Africa.

The research conducted by the UN Environment Programme, suggests that organic, small-scale farming can deliver the increased yields which were thought to be the preserve of industrial farming, without the environmental and social damage which that form of agriculture brings with it.

The study found that organic practices outperformed traditional methods and chemical-intensive conventional farming. It also found...


5th natural & organic just around the corner

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-10-10 13:03

The Natural & Organic Products Exhibition really is the best opportunity to suss out all the new green products hitting our shelves. It's now in it's fifth year and this time around will feature a new Sustainable Home Solutions pavilion, featuring environmental goods and services for homeowners, architects and developers. We've been used to seeing organic and "natural" food, body care, cleaning and gardening products but this year there will be an even wider range of products. I'm sure we'll see the likes of solar water heating systems, solar photovoltaic panels, greywater systems, alternative cooking devices, energy efficient appliances, green gadgets, books, green magazines, alternative transport and more.

The first Natural & Organic Expo we attended in 2005 was a pretty

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seven deadly myths of industrial agriculture

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-09-15 11:01


We regularly trawl second-hand bookshops for bargains and recently we picked up this gem of a book: Fatal Harvest - The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture. It is quite a tome, but a very interesting and alarming read. I'm slowly making my way through it, dipping in to it now and then, but it will probably take a few months to complete. The book details the destruction of eco-systems and biodiversity by the global industrial farming complex and also presents a new vision for 21st century food systems. The contributing authors include a healthy dose of journalists, professors, legal experts, directors of NGO's and food activists, Vandana Shiva amongst them. Here are some pearls of wisdom from a section called Corporate Lies: Busting the Myths of Industrial Agriculture.

Myth One: Industrial Agriculture Will Feed the World
World hunger is not created by a lack of food but by poverty and landlessness, which deny people access to food. Industrial agriculture actually increases hunger by raising the cost of farming, by forcing tens of millions of farmers off the land, and by growing primarily high-profit export and luxury crops.


green your diet

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-08-21 08:38

Eating for the sake of your body and the planet doesn’t mean giving up on the foods you love. It does mean becoming more actively aware of where your food comes from, how it’s produced and how its production affects the Earth.

Fundamental to greening your diet is eating ‘real’ food. Processed and refined foods are, let’s face it, not good for you. Most of them are produced as part of the push by marketers to ‘make your life easier’ but they’re usually laden with chemicals, additives, pesticides, and barely disguised GM derivatives.

Eat organic
We’re not banging on about anything new, but it really pays to buy


community links for growing your own food

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-08-11 11:15

pic:: itzafinedaypic:: itzafinedayI spoke about growing your own food on Jozi FM (105.8 in Jhb) this morning and the Breakfast Express hosts, Yoze and Carol, were interested in what community-based organisations could be contacted should a community group need assistance in setting up a garden.

There are many community garden initiatives going on throughout South Africa, here are just a few:

National Organisations
SANBI - South African National Botanical Institute
SANBI's Outreach Greening Programme promotes sustainable use, conservation, appreciation and enjoyment of the exceptionally rich plant life of SA. The programme helps to establish indigenous water-wise school and community gardens, encourages ecological awareness and environmental responsibility, develops gardening skills to enable economic empowerment and promotes the educational value of indigenous plants and gardens. It also helps establish food gardens, green belts and urban conservation. Each National Botanical Garden runs it's own programme, here are contact details for Cape Town and Jhb.

Food and Trees for Africa. FTFA is an national NGO with extensive grassroots, corporate, media and government support. They respond to disadvantaged community requests for assistance with greening projects which include not only tree planting but urban space development, township community nurseries, educational material, competitions, workshop programmes and more. FTFA also provides a greening directory and as part of the Carbon Standard, a carbon emission calculator and offset service on their website.

SEED. Schools Environmental Education & Development (SEED) is facilitating

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slow food seed exchange

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-08-01 11:32

pic: Kitchen Gardeners Internationalpic: Kitchen Gardeners InternationalIf you've tried to track down organic seed in this country you'll know that it's quite a challenge. Most organic home gardeners have to make do with conventional garden centre seed, some of which is treated with fungicide to extend the seed's viability. There are also more and more hybridised (F1) seed varieties available which means that when these plants reproduce the seed that is produced does not have the same traits as its parents. It is not true to type. So if you save the seed from your prize-winning pumpkin expecting to repeat the feat the following year, you may be in for a surprise and find frankenfruit instead!

Also some of the varieties available are simply those kinds that are farmed commercially, so they are bred for uniformity, appearance, longer storage life or to mature at the same time to facilitate harvesting at once, whilst a home grower prefers an extended cropping season and absolutely delicious bounty. Breeding commercial vegetables or crops to be exceptionally tasty seems less of a priority.

Fortunately organic seed is appearing locally on a small scale - take a look here - and we've just heard of an exciting project that will deliver more seed power to the people.

Slow Food Cape Town, a local convivium (chapter) of the international Slow Food movement, is about "promoting food which is good, clean and fair (i.e. culturally important and qualitatively delicious, produced sustainably and promotes social justice in agricultural communities)".

Kate Shrier, whilst in pursuit of a local asparagus farm for a Slow Food outing, contacted us and let us know about the project:

"Slow Food Cape Town is currently working on a new, very


top organic box schemes

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-07-31 10:52

There’s really nothing nicer than getting a nummy weekly box filled with seasonal, fresh, locally grown organic fruit and vegetables, minus the ornate supermarket packaging, to feel good about you and the environment!

Organic box schemes are now extremely popular in the major cities of Jo’burg and Cape Town, particularly, with various options that range from online ordering and delivery to your doorstep

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4 top edible garden growers

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-07-17 10:06

With the price of food literally taking a hike (prices are on the up and food shortages are forecast) it makes both green and money sense to grow your own in your back garden – not only will your salad and vegetables be organic, but you can pick them moments before you eat them!

Suburban vegetable gardens are becoming immensely popular. It’s rewarding, healthy and you don’t need a large garden to grow your favourite fruit and vegetables; containers will do.

For many of us, however, this sounds like a great deal of effort, particularly if you’ve never grown anything before. But there are ways to have your own vegetable garden with minimum effort...


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