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eight at spier - fab food and big on the environment

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2010-02-11 13:18

Before the word gets out, I thought I’d share my addiction to the latest restaurant to open on the Spier Wine Estate in Lyndedoch Road, Stellenbosch. Eight at Spier serves good wholesome breakfasts, brunches and lunches on the grounds of the popular weekend destination.

The restaurant is child-friendly, affordable, and one of very few restaurants with a green ethos where environmental consciousness and commitment to the Earth is a high priority. Most of all, the restaurant lacks pretentiousness, and easily ranks as one of the best places to get a decent, healthy breakfast over a weekend …

nothings beats wild oats for breakfast

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-01-27 12:52

As far as food markets go, the Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield on the Garden Route probably comes up tops. Residents of Sedgefield and visitors to the town head out in their droves on a Saturday morning to the edge of town right next to the Swartvlei lake-lagoon, where the market has a permanent home under the trees.

The market's full name is the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market and it has won numerous awards during its ten year life span. Whilst I'd heard only good things about the farmers' market, I hadn't yet had the opportunity to visit it, but our road trip up to Hogsback had been conveniently carved into a number of stopovers that included Sedgefield, and the market was one of the first to make its way onto the itinerary.

top 10 news stories for 2009

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-12-29 13:46

2010 is virtually upon us, but before we allow the new year to sweep us back into the swing of things, it's a good moment to reflect on the past year and what news stories were most popular with our readers.

1. is Woolworths just another bad egg?
So there you are; surrounded by posters of poultry basking in their freedom, your conscience and shopping experience clean because you are promised that the eggs you are buying came from free-range chickens. If chickens could smile, I’m sure we would be confronted by an enormous picture of a splendid beaky grin.

2. you can recycle tetra pak!
I have to confess to sending various irate messages to Tetra Pak over the last year about their apparent lack of recycling facilities in Cape Town, or the country for that matter. The perception out there, despite their very obvious drive to recycle overseas, is that one can't recycle tetra pak, and there are a fair amount of them if you consider things like fruit juice, some olive oil, long-life milk and custard all come in these containers – they heap up over time!

where are SA's great green projects?

Submitted by David on Fri, 2009-11-27 15:04

Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula, MexicoTulum, Yucatan Peninsula, MexicoSouth African’s have a history of reacting when it’s always far too late. We look for solutions to our electricity shortage only when the lights go out. It takes 20 years to build a new large power station that would make a difference to the power grid and that’s if the government can even raise the money. Which, it’s proving it cannot do, as the international investors would rather invest and lend money to those countries with vision and integrity. ESKOM has recently announced more cancellations of new power generation projects than additions to our power grid. The reality is, they cannot raise the money. Our energy security future looks particularly dark.

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it's a map, it's green, and now it's in print

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-11-24 14:10 now has a print map. You can either get hold of it free of charge from Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centres, or you can be one of the first to download a pdf version (read further).

This morning we were one of a small party of people (most of them the steering committee) who met on a hill at Tygerberg Hills Nature Reserve to launch the print map...

farming for the future – revolutionary or smudging the push for organic?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-11-10 20:40

farming for the futureWoolworths has recently made public their pioneering of a new method of farming fresh produce. It's called 'farming for the future', and there's a lot of talk about improving the soil and plant health, preserving water, protecting biodiversity and being kinder to the environment.

The gist of the new farming for the future is that 'conventional farming methods are increasingly not sustainable' and that 'new methods improve soil and water quality and encourage biodiversity'. Woolworths mention that their 'agricultural experts' have spent three years developing the practices of this form of farming with their suppliers.

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

visit the earth fair market in tokai

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2009-10-30 13:26

For those of you in search of something new that is not only set to be equally as good as the Biscuit Mill's Neighbourgoods Market, but also emphasises the local, artisan and sustainability aspect of food, head off to the Earth Fair market in Tokai.

Earth Fair is also an indoor market. It lies in the South Palms (for those of you to whom this means nothing, it's actually in the same area as Builders Warehouse in Main Road, although behind Bathroom Bizarre). There is plenty of parking, for a start, and there are activities for kids, which for many living in Tokai is something of a godsend on a Saturday morning.

in support of micro-farmers – how you can help

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-10-13 10:43

I was really interested to read recently that over 15% of the world's food is produced by micro-farmers – organic and biodynamic backyard gardens, community gardens or small farms. That's higher than I thought. It makes me kind of proud to have one of those gardens in our backyard, even if we have to share a large percentage of it with the snails.

Most of us have heard of Abalimi Bezekhaya (Farmers of Home) co-founded by Rob Small, which has started nothing short of a micro-farming revolution in the townships of Cape Town, investing in organic micro-farming in order to end poverty – no fewer than 100 community gardens and 3 000 micro-farmers in Cape Town alone.

These same farmers supply half their produce to the well-known organic box delivery scheme, Harvest of Hope with packing sheds in

eating & shopping organic in cape town

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-10-05 20:28

This is an updated version of our 2007 green guide.

If you’re one of many in Cape Town who recognise the value of buying organic and thus supporting sustainable, environment friendly farming then this is the guide for you.

In the UK stats released in March 2009 show that despite GDP falling by 1.9%, unemployment increasing by 1.3% and retail sales dropping by 1.8%, sales of organic food has continued to increase by 1.7%. In other words, the organic market is alive and well, and resiliant. [soil association]

In Sweden, the sale of organic food reached a record high in 2008 and now accounts for 3.4% of total sales. [swedishwire]

And US sales of organic food and nonfood products grew 17.1% over 2007 sales, despite tough economic times. [environmentalleader]

There are no statistics available for SA on organic sales. Infact we don't even have a national body that regulates the industry...

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