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spring CSA review

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-11-05 10:20

I've met a few organic farmers before and always enjoy finding out the fascinating stories behind where my food comes from. But for the last eight weeks I've been mostly dependent on one particular farmer for my vegetable sustenance. That farmer is Erick Zenzele and this is the story of how Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has made a difference to both of us.

The short version of the story is that I got to eat organic, fresh produce that was grown about 45 minutes drive from where I live, was good value for money and the supply chain was really short: farmer -> delivery man -> me. Good for freshness and a lower carbon footprint.

Erick benefitted by knowing that he has

fair trade coffee hour: coffee.break.fair

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-09-24 10:43

South Africa is joining a worldwide German-led initiative to drink as many mugs of fair trade coffee as possible this Friday 25 September betw 10am and 11am.

The German event, entitled "Kaffee.Pause.Fair.”, coincides with the national "Coffee Day" of the German Association of Coffee and aims to "seize" the day for the Fair Trade movement. If you look at the number of events planned around Germany you will see that it is indeed being seized! The aim is for 100 000 cups of fair trade coffee to be drunk around the world in one hour.

Here in Cape Town local fair trade organisation, Fair Trade SA, is organising an event at Quensh organic eatery in Observatory for coffee aficionados and fair trade fans to gather, network, get more info on the fair trade movement, and of course drink coffee. They have around 30 people confirmed so far, and Quensh probably doesn't have space for many more, but you could always phone ahead to check or pop in anyway and enjoy your cuppa on the pavement. (from 10 to 11, Quensh Organic Deli, 42 Lower Main Road, Observatory - 021 447 0714)

African fair trade coffee is supplied by Bean There Fair Trade Coffee who have a roastery...

kwalapa - cape town's latest organic eatery

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-09-22 09:34

The first thing that grabs you about kwaLapa at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, is their catchy byline – telling the stories of food.

Its meaning is lost on me, until I begin scanning the shelves and stumble across some of the initial 'stories' about where the store sources its foods that the team behind the store have begun placing on the walls. Then I begin to understand that kwalapa isn't just a store. It's a community of people in the business of telling and selling the stories of food.

The organic wholefoods delicatessen and store has only recently opened its doors, but you can plainly see that it's a matter of time before word of mouth and the green grapevine has the place fairly buzzing for morning coffee and lunches, particularly since Organic Living in Plumstead closed its restaurant (it remains a popular health store up at Constantia Village) and the southern suburbs have been itching for a replacement...

do it day!

Submitted by Ahmed on Wed, 2009-09-16 18:17

For the time that we’ve been here as human beings, you would think that we should have learnt something from our collective history. But we still have wars, there is still poverty and greed, we’ve still damaged this planet and things like self-interest still dominate our lives. It almost seems like human civilization is still pretty uncivilized. But I think that all of this only goes to show how a simple act of kindness can take on gigantic proportions. While this all might sound wishy-washy to some of you, we now have a chance to actualize some of our ideas of goodwill through Do it Day this Friday the 18th of September.

Do it Day is a singular day that allows us, as South Africans the chance to join a collective effort to make a difference. All you have to do is volunteer yourself to a cause and simply donate your time, energy and skills. We all complain about the issues in this country like poverty and crime and (specifically readers of this blog) climate change and the lack of environmental consciousness. Well then, this is your chance. Join in.

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banking sa's food to feed the poor

Submitted by Ahmed on Thu, 2009-07-16 13:45

In March this year, South Africa opened its first Food Bank. And while the media of the country lauded, supported and praised this great cause they... no... wait, they didn't. I mean, did you know about this? Did you read it in the newspaper, watch it on TV? Was there dancing in the streets like when it was announced that we would host the World Cup?

Now tell me if this is fair...

Currently, we have enough food on this planet to feed every single human being. Why then isn't that so? Why is it harder for some to get their hands on a slice of bread whilst it simply falls out of the sky like manna for others?

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winter CSA - changing your approach to food

Submitted by Ahmed on Tue, 2009-06-30 12:11

We live in a world of pre-packaged, microwave heat-able, tasteless, soulless, pretty much inedible food.

And we like it like that because it is easy, it requires no effort on our part, and pretty much allows us to fit into a certain category, market, or demographic – and we don't have to think for ourselves. Since the flaws, in this current economic system have become apparent– with the crises and all, the question now is, are there any means by which the static manufacturer/retailer/consumer model can be broken?

And there is.

In Cape Town we've already supported the first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project, and this winter, Slow Food Cape Town, in conjunction with the Sustainability Institute, and farmers Eric Swarts and Erick Zenzele, will run the winter CSA bag project from 30th June through 18th August.

green map set to green the city of cape town

Submitted by Ahmed on Thu, 2009-06-04 11:52

You haven’t met before?
No, seriously, you haven’t?

Well, then… meet the Cape Town Green Map.
What’s that? You have no idea what it is? Well then, it seems a proper introduction is in order. May I formally introduce to you Africa’s first, very exciting, helpful, online, interactive Green Map.

A map, I hear you say? Well, as with all maps, it does provide direction – but with a difference.

No other map has attempted to chart and detail the city of Cape Town from a green angle before. This particular one is unique in that way. The map can be used to make greener lifestyle choices, and help people to make more informed decisions on how to live sustainably. It is also different because it is on-going, evolving and is constantly being updated.

earth hour pics - before and after

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-04-02 17:39

Take a look at the before and after pics for Earth Hour 2009 and learn about some global landmarks at the same time. Pity there were no pics of SA in this collection, but it's estimated the 4.7 million light bulbs were turned off locally.

Thanks, Paula for supplying the link

laughter on the UP

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-04-02 14:47

Just came across the wonderful antics of the UPliftment Program through a random encounter on the CES. The video was taken to showcase "the inspired work of Care Clowns, Clown Doctors and Joy activists around the world".

Also check out their JOY portal, a global network of laughter activists!

Despite the best efforts of our politicians, the world could definitely do with more laughter and it seems like the UP are on the button. Definitely worth a giggle.

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earth hour: a ploy to sneak in those without visas?

Submitted by turbosprout on Sat, 2009-03-28 18:47

If the Dalai Lama doesn't make it in at 8.30 tonight perhaps we can convince Mothlanthe to make a plan.

Seriously, this is a major human rights mess on the part of the government. Cringe material. Hearing Trevor Manuel speak out on the issue on Friday made me feel more uneasy and I wasn't sure why the finance minister felt the need to step in. Perhaps to remove Thabo Masebe's foot from his mouth?.

Take a look at the Avaaz petition and add your voice.

And remember under two hours till lights off!

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