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permaculture in my backyard – we get a chicken dome

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2012-05-10 09:54

urban sprout's premises now have three chickens, in a rather spectacular chicken dome from Permaculture SA.

These three little hens (although they're not so little anymore) have been with us for roughly 11 weeks, and they've gone from scrawny little hold-in-your-hands chicks, to bustling, robust hens in that short time. We wanted layers, so we sourced buff orpingtons from our former intern, who has a large 'homestead' in Constantia...

Natural Pool Revolution!

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Fri, 2012-03-30 09:27

Yes, we can have clear, gorgeous swimming pools without it costing nature!

Natural systems can keep pool water clear!Natural systems can keep pool water clear!

Jenny Louw’s beautiful, bio-diverse swimming pool is a wonder to look at. Like a natural lake it lies transparent amongst the rushes and reeds, home to many garden creatures.

Unlike chlorine pools, natural swimming pools work with the nature around them. They require no chemicals whatsoever and a quarter of the amount of electricity needed for normal swimming pools.

one struggle conference

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2012-02-20 09:45

One Struggle – a conference on social justice, animal rights and radical environmentalism - took place in Muizenberg last Saturday (18 Feb) thanks to the South African Vegan Society.

The conference focused on the rights of animals, the environment and human beings.The conference focused on the rights of animals, the environment and human beings.

Hearing about the One Struggle conference, I was immediately excited; the South African Vegan Society represent a genuine passion for true authentic societal change, and I knew this would be reflected in any event they organised.

When we arrived in the afternoon, Jodi Allemeier was busy giving her talk on veganism and food security in Cape Town: explaining how being vegan is better not only for animals, but for people and the earth too. The young lady really sounded like she knew her stuff, and displayed all the facts to back up her statements.

‘We may be making attempts to save water in our home due to turning off taps and showering instead of bathing, but when 85% of our water waste is on our plate it is important that we re-evaluate our diet. And this is not mere theory – the U.N. have been urging people to eat local and plant-based for years,' she explained, adding: 'But it is not just our diet that must change, but the production system of our diet.’

Opening up discussion to the audience, there were

ftfa launches farmer eco-enterprise development programme

Submitted by incoming on Mon, 2011-10-31 10:56

Ratanang Permaculture projectRatanang Permaculture projectFood insecurity, food-related riots and malnourishment have been on the increase globally in the last number of years, and Africa has been particularly hard hit.

South Africa has an opportunity to create solutions that can be scaled up across the continent, as well as providing its own poor with sustainable livelihoods and dignity. But small farmers often lack the managerial and technical expertise to succeed in the highly competitive farming industry.

A new programme by Food & Trees for Africa’s (FTFAs), Farmer Eco Enterprise Development (FEED), is aiming to address the needs of emerging farmers to enable them to become players in the mainstream agricultural economy.

the intrepid bee-keeper

Submitted by sproutscout on Wed, 2011-10-05 11:36

Peter Clarke demonstrating different types of honeyPeter Clarke demonstrating different types of honey

“It’s been my experience that beekeepers grow old”, says 90 year old Peter Clarke to the crazy folk who have decided to attend his bee-keeping course. He can’t explain why it happens, all the stings , all the goodness of propolis and raw honey, but most of the beekeepers Clarke knows live well into their 90s. And thus he introduced to us one of the many things we could look forward to by the end of the class in May next year.

For now I’ll tell a story to illustrate a few safety tips. I think this should be the beginning of every beekeeping course – though my class learned these lessons the hard experiential way. This is the story of our first ever ‘suit-up’, after weeks of talking and learning about it – our first ever interaction with the bees:

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[@]

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!

awesome permaculture poster series by afristar

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2011-05-11 11:48

Afristar (along with Seed and funding partners) have produced a great series of 13 permaculture posters that every household, school or greening ngo should definitely not be without.

The posters cover key permaculture concepts or techniques, from making compost, keeping worms, recycling greywater et. al to talking stick circles! The illustration is superbly detailed, eye catching yet conveys the message simply - a picture tells a thousand words.

The posters are free to social welfare and educational organisations, otherwise they cost R 60 each incl postage. The planting calendars are available in a laminated retail version for R 80 incl postage.

Check out the entire set of posters on flickr or facebook.

Here is the list of posters available (comments by urban sprout). Contact Afristar for more details.

Companion planting
Lists the good companions (plants that have a positive effect, like increasing the yield or deterring pests) and bad

spider, spider burning bright...

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2011-02-07 12:37

This incredible pic was taken the other night in our garden, with an ordinary 'point and click' digital camera. She's one of a series of rather big, scary-looking eight-legged creatures that come out at night above our vegetable garden to spin their webs.

We're grateful for them though, as they keep the bugs at bay...

oude molen eco village out to save itself

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-02-01 10:11

The Oude Molen Eco Village in Pinelands, Cape Town is the first and ONLY eco village set on public land on earth.

From their Facebook Group: Oude Molen is an unique village in Cape Town with many historic, agricultural, social, educational and cultural features. It has the first farm house ever built in SA and demonstrates how under-utilised public assets can be used in a more holistic way, providing accommodation, education, healing and employment opportunities.

Faced with possible eviction the village wants to make sure that it remains to become a National Treasure. For this reason any interested parties (that's you) are welcome to meet:

where: in the hall at the eco village
when: tonight, 1 February, 6-8pm

For comment, visit their Facebook page
Find out more about the children food garden village

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