sproutingforth's blog

an organic affair with chocolate

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-11-23 13:44

CocoáFair is the first organic bean-to-bar chocolate factory in Africa based on social entrepreneurship.

I do not realise on entering the factory of CocoáFair, tucked into the corner at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, that I'm about to learn more about social entrepreneurship than I am about chocolate.

For many of us just the promise of locally made, artisan, organic chocolate is enough of an invitation to have us reaching for a taste...and believe me, having sampled, it is a mouth-watering experience.

But Thor soon explains, as I query the name, that yes, CocoáFair is definitely about the fairness involved in the way the cocoa is traded, but the emphasis is also very much on the 'affair' with cocoa – not only the love of it, but the relationship of cocoa with the people who grow it, and the people who turn it into chocolate.


thumbs up for the broccoli project

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2011-09-05 13:35

Did you know that you can buy a booklet of four Broccoli vouchers from Pick n Pay? Each of these is worth R5 and you can use them instead of cash to give to those in need.

So, next time you're at a robot...

If this is old news to you, then ignore this blog, but it is news to me. And a refreshing one.

You give your voucher to someone who wants money. They can then exchange the Broccoli voucher at any Pick n Pay for basic goods (no cell phone recharge, alcohol or cigarettes).

Pick n Pay gets paid for used food vouchers


fresh earth food store - one place you gotta eat

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2011-08-04 09:25

I'm sitting at a wooden table in an alcove amidst the buzz of the café that lies to one side of the food store cum health shop that is the Fresh Earth Food Store, exclaiming over my breakfast. I can count on one hand the number of eateries* where I can hope to find something on the menu, like my choice of French Toast on wheat-free bread, with 'real' free-range eggs and real maple syrup (the Canadian kind not cheap, flavoured syrup).

This particular dish also comes with huge slices of haloumi cheese. You have no idea how good it was. Heart-warming stuff. Add to that the African-brewed organic and Fair Trade decaf coffee (Bean There Coffee) that I'm enjoying with, I have no doubt, 'real' milk (not the kind full of hormones and other stuff, because the cows are fed so badly) with a choice of rice or soy milk if you do not do dairy, or are vegan.


get journaling about your veg patch

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2011-06-20 09:44

How often have you scribbled a quick note about what's happening in your garden on the back of seed packets, calendar pages, or even nifty little cards you've designed, only to lose them as swiftly? I bet you may even have bought a graph book for your designs, with the notes scribbled eligibly over the grid?

And all of this done in great faith that your stumbling upon a gardening journal, in which you could keep these scribbles, was just around the corner; a visit to the bookshop away.

It was these very erratic methods of journaling that led Barbara and Christine of the www.thegardeningblog.co.za to design a journal that they could use. Enchanted with the result they decided to make the journal available to other gardeners in similar positions of note dithering.


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!


water is the lifeblood of the country

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2011-05-19 11:13

The unofficial water bailiff of Gamkakloof Dam in the Karoo speaks out. A beautiful film by green renaissance.

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graze - slow food in the overberg town of stanford

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-05-17 14:05

Stanford already has its requisite village market on the green, held on the last Friday evening of the month. During summer, I believe, it's a great place to be. The town is no newcomer to good, local food either and both Marianas and Madré's Kitchen are well supported by locals and Capetonians, who if the influx of 4x4s is anything to go by, make no bones about using Stanford as their regular weekend and holiday base.

It's a beautiful town, is Stanford. It's got everything you could possibly hope for in an Overberg village – gorgeous historical and restored buildings that the local heritage committee have not only individually numbered, but have also included in an Historical Stanford on foot, which you can pick up at the local tourism info (just across the road from the Stanford Trading Store).


beautiful hand-made jewellery from frangipanni

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2011-05-05 11:29

Frangipanni is a community upliftment project, formed to help rural women to provide an income for their families by working at home on beautiful items, which require fine attention and uplife the soul.

If you want to make an order for some of these and others, contact Megan Braithwaite on 033 5070053 or meganbr8@gmail.com. Visit www.frangipanni.co.za for other products.


care about the forest - here's what you can do

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-05-04 09:15

We visited Platbos recently. For those who don't know what it is, Platbos is this fairly incredible ancient, indigenous forest that was discovered kind of by accident by Francois and Melissa Krige, just off the coast of Gansbaai, in the Overberg.

We'll save the story of our visit for later, but what this blog is about, is how YOU can contribute to Platbos, for only R75, and put your money where your mouth is, by sponsoring a tree (or two).

If you look closely, you'll see that companies, like Solartech, sponsor 20 odd trees a month to lower their carbon footprint.

Each tree you sponsor contributes a square metre of forest canopy and


i can't believe i still have to protest this ****

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-04-20 09:31

One of a series of pictures you can view of Earthlife Africa's recent nuke protest outside the Japanese Consul in Pier Place, Cape Town on Monday.


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