The Freedom Charter: Banks, Bayer and Life

Heirloom seed broccoli

I am alert to specific speeches our president makes. The short clip I listened to today, celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Freedom Charter gives me an opportunity to raise three issues that are vital for a vibrant agricultural sector. These are, firstly, the role of the banks in providing access to people ordinarily excluded…

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Black Livelihoods Matter Too

Wetlands at Blue Crane Restaurant, Nieuw Muckleneuk

George Floyd’s murder In broad daylight Captured on video Has changed my perspective I have revisited my own racism Reconnected with the racism of my ancestors As I watched Rhodes falling In the popular British imagination Along with other British imperialists As some statues were taken down; A world aware of the evil of apartheid…

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Sustainability: Five Firewood Trees

Hardwood logs

A blustery cold front made using the lovely wood burning fireplace in my lounge desirable.The batch of hardwood I bought in 2017 has proved enough for three years. Yet given that trees for firewood are being overharvested by individuals as well as businesses, what five trees would make the firewood industry sustainable? For a little…

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Lockdown Stress Relief

Sweet wormwood: Artimisia annua

This was published before I had completed the editing. I have been assured that the glitches in the system have been ironed out. My sense is that lockdown stress relief is going to be increasingly important as the uncertainty about the future takes its toll on your emotional reserves. What I will focus on today…

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Lockdown Compliance and Generosity

Urban Farming: Winter Greens

Lockdown Level 5 compliance in South African has been successful. Even people who must be suffering tremendous privations have done their best to comply by staying indoors in cramped conditions, all too often without access to the most basic resources, including food… At this end of the socio-economic scale people are literally facing the choice…

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Post Lockdown: The SMART Economy

Wild Olive Tree

I always look forward to hearing President Cyril Ramaphosa address our nation during lockdown. Despite his exhaustion he continues to inspire confidence by his concern for our lives. Saving lives has become his priority and I imagine he must agonize about the economy. He is an ambitious man. As president he certainly wants to leave…

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Edible Seeds: Indoor Winter Greens

Fenugreek Sprouts

Preparing for winter, I planted Brussel sprouts, broccoli and kale into seed trays. As I did so I became aware that I mightn’t have containers to plant them into once they reached the four-six leaf stage. Growing vegetables to their full size is how I normally add value to my vegetable gardening efforts. Yet my…

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Self-care During Coronavirus Lockdown

Sage: Salvia officinalis

The coronavirus lockdown has made me aware of people without easy access to medical care. In these cases, self-care is especially important. Yet this type of challenge need not be a source of despair or undue anxiety. There are many products readily available that we can use to assist us meet the challenges of winter…

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UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration

Indignous plants for a wetland water garden

The UN Decade of Ecosystems Restoration starts next year, making me immensely grateful for my wetland water garden. I spent an hour in it yesterday just grounding myself. And dreaming: Is it possible to establish a seasonal wetland conservancy in the suburbs that form part of the Paterson Park seasonal wetland? Can I persuade enough people…

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International Day of Forests 2020

Spekboom in African terracotta pot

The theme for this year’s International Day of Forests is Forests and Biodiversity. Consider using the weekend of  March 21st as days for educating yourself and your loved ones about forests. And for planting trees. Spekboom and Biodiversity Spekboom is the tree of the moment. This is where the money is headed…And the enthusiasm. It is a…

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