The organic food movement has been something of a phenomenon recently, and while some say that it’s utter rubbish and dismiss it as a fad, there are those enlightened individuals who understand its importance for personal health, as well as that of our environment.
When I was first asked to write a story about bees, I thought they said beers. Me being an avid beer drinker, naturally I jumped at the chance. After a short chuckle I was promptly corrected to bees, and more specifically urban beekeeping. Normally I would’ve been disappointed that a frosty brew had slipped through my fingers, but as luck would have it, I also happen to love honey.
Driving along a dusty road off the main stretch of Paarl lies St. Pieter’s Roche, a working farm that is responsible for the grapes harvested under the umbrella of the Reliance Compost group. It’s a hive of activity, tractors coming and going, people carting produce all over the show but a walk through the vineyards reveals an oasis away from the hustle of the farm.
There really isn’t a buzzier word than organic at the moment. Fortunately, it relates to a movement that extends further than food trends, it’s a way of life that is seeing people truly question what they put in their bodies, be it their eggs, meat or vegetables. But if you take a step back, and look even further down the chain of food, it becomes…
Barbara Mueller lives in Philadelphia, a small town along the N7 towards Malmesbury. She is the author of The Gardening Blog, where she documents the trials and tribulations she experiences as she builds a working country garden, complete with edible veggie, herb and fruit garden.
The gardens of Vergelegen Wine Estate are legendary. A staggering 3000 ha of ground extends out from the foot of the Hottentots Holland mountain range and is an ancient eco system that thrives with the biodiversity of the Cape. Magnificent Chinese camphor and oak trees dotted around the property have been there for over 300 years and their knotted trunks and massive green canopies create a secluded oasis quite unlike any other.
Abundance and generosity; two words that over its long tenure have become quite close to the heart of Boschendal wine farm. And yet, those two words have never been more fitting than they are now. Since the opening of the Werf Food Garden, Boschendal’s vegetable allotment now features nearly five acres of plant perfection.
When I first heard about foraging I was a little sceptical. Having grown up in The Big Smoke, the only foraging I had done was in the aisles of Woolworths. Or so I thought, until I met our local foraging champion and indigenous cook extraordinaire, Loubie Rusch.
Justin Bonello is a self-made man of many talents. Most of us know him as the barefoot bush cook from his long running TV series, Cooked, as well as the host of the hugely successful, Ultimate Braai Master. With all the time he spends on the road, it’s surprising that he has time to do anything else. But four years ago he decided to make a green change and it came in the form of veggie garden.
Reliance is actively involved in several projects and initiatives that help uplift communities and educate about living a greener lifestyle. Projects include participating in tree planting, the establishment of vegetable gardens in disadvantaged schools, creating shaded, beautiful playgrounds, job creation in the green sector and education around this important subject.
For many suburban and city dwellers the idea of composting might seem like something that is reserved for those who farm or have veggie gardens. But what you may not know, is that you might be inadvertently contributing to an innovative composting process, when you deliver your garden waste to one of Cape Town’s many refuse sites.