SOIL QUALITY DETERMINES THE QUALITY OF YOUR PLANTS; THE VOLUME OF WATER NEEDED TO PRODUCE CROPS; AND ULTIMATELY – YOUR PRODUCTION COSTS. -


Through years of over-usage, soil becomes depleted of nutrients and can eventually be devoid of the fertile qualities needed to cultivate healthy plants. Overusing herbicides also results in poor soil condition and negative soil humus content. Adding quality, nutrient-rich organic matter back to the soil is the most important critical action needed to reactivate plant growth....

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CREATING SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTS THROUGH ORGANIC COMPOST -


Reliance Compost recently earned a gold Eco-Logic Award in the Recycling and Waste Management category, which recognises a policy, programme, or project that has demonstrably contributed to a greater public understanding and participation in waste reduction, re-use, and recycling. We chat to Reliance Compost founder and director, Eddie Redelinghuys about organic compost, growing green minds and ensuring a healthy world for future generations.......

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RELIANCE COMPOST EARNS GOLD AT ECO-LOGIC AWARDS -

Reliance Compost won a gold Eco-Logic Award in the Recycling and Waste Management category, which recognises a policy, programme, or project that has demonstrably contributed to a greater public understanding and participation in waste reduction, re-use, and recycling......

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TEA TUESDAYS AT TEA IN THE PARK, GREEN POINT PARK -

Tea Tuesdays At Tea In The Park, Green Point Park. Whether it's an overcast wintery day or a boiling hot 30 degrees outside, there's always time to delight in a calming cup of tea. Tea in the Park cafe, the latest addition to the evergreen Green Point Park in Cape Town serves complimentary tea every Tuesday with any meal or cake ordered (the carrot cake is an absolute must!).....

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GO-AHEAD FOR RELIANCE COMPOST WASTE TO ENERGY PROJECT -

Reliance, the leading organic compost provider in the Western Cape, receives green light for R250 million Waste to Energy project at Corona Farm in the Paarl region. All appeals against the project have been dismissed by authorities, giving the final go-ahead to the first of its kind project.....

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ECO FILM FESTIVAL TO HELP FIX OUR WORLD -

The 4th Annual South African Eco Film Festival aims to explore how changes are affecting the planet, and how personal change can affect that world for the better.

The festival returns to Cape Town with the theme "Change is here"

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TEA TUESDAYS AT TEA IN THE PARK -

Tea Tuesdays - receive a complimentary tea of your choice with any meal ordered at Tea in the Park by Reliance cafe located in Green Point Park. This special runs every Tuesday from 9h00 – 17h00.....

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EASY WATER SAVING TIPS YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF -

Currently South Africa is in the middle of a severe water shortage, and water restrictions have been upped to level three. What does this mean for our everyday life? Basically, South Africa's reservoir dams are so depleted that they're currently below 25% capacity which means that tariffs are being introduced to make people think twice about their water usage. Unfortunately, everyone will need to do more than just turn the tap off while brushing their teeth. But, don't stress, here are some very easy ways you can save water at home....

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GARDEN COMPETITION FOR GOODWOOD, CAPE TOWN RESIDENTS -

A well-maintained garden isn't just good to look at, but it also adds enjoyment, value and appeal to a property. The competition will also help promote indigenous plant use and water-wise gardening to conserve water. To create greater awareness of this, the Pam Golding Properties Goodwood office in Cape Town is running a Garden Competition in the suburb...

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METRO ROOFS / RELIANCE / BOTSOC SA -

This garden is a collaboration between Metro Roof, the Botanical Society of South Africa and Reliance Compost, highlighting energy harvesting methods and water-wise gardening tips. Metro Roof display how roofs, rainwater catchment, water storage, solar panelling and drip irrigation can facilitate energy saving and efficiency, recycling and using your household greywater to water your gardens...

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THE ORGANIC ROOTS OF RELIANCE COMPOST -

Organic, as a buzzword, has moved to extend beyond food trends. It's a way of life that sees people truly question and care what they put in their bodies - be it eggs, meat or vegetables. If you take a step back and look even further down the chain of food, it becomes obvious that where our food comes from links to the farms it comes from, and if you want to get technical, the very soil it grows in...

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CAN A GARDEN SAVE A LIFE? STREETSCAPES SHOWS THAT IT CAN -

As busy city dwellers, the sight of people living on the street is commonplace. Sadly, most of us are quite desensitised to the plight of homelessness – we're able to step over someone sleeping under a cardboard box or keep walking past someone wrapped up under a dirty blanket on a street corner. We've become so numb to the sight of poverty that we can separate ourselves from it so totally that we barely register it. Sad but true...

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HEIRLOOM SEED SAVING AT GRAVEL GARDEN -

In 2016, with modern technology, fast paced lifestyles and our world changing more quickly than we can grasp, it's quite rare to find someone taking a stand against that ideology to return to their roots. Shannon Draper has done just that – as an experienced seed saver who specialises in heirloom seeds, she celebrates all that is old-world....

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GARDEN ROUTE TO GROW GREENER WITH RELIANCE COMPOST -

Reliance, the leading organic compost provider in the Western Cape, are thrilled to announce the opening of their new depot in George. Situated opposite Kraaibosch Nursery, the depot will supply certified organic compost and product mixes to the Garden Route's green industry, offering the highest quality and service that Reliance is well known for....

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CULTIVATING AN URBAN JUNGLE WITH DARRYL CHENG -

Darryl Cheng is the green-thumbed whizz we all wish to be. Through his blog, the House Plant Journal, Darryl inspires thousands of avid followers with his clever and easy-to-understand plant guidance. Based in Toronto, his house is the definition of an urban jungle. By day, he is a business analyst and focuses on understanding client requirements, which he says is quite similar to understanding plants....

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LIFE CHANGERS SPARKS A NEW KIND OF TURF WAR -

Gangster culture has been an open wound for South Africa for nearly as long as history can tell. A festering, open wound. The lifestyle, fueled by drugs, money, sex and violence has always been very present and is feared to be growing in popularity, with kids as young as 11 being roped into this desolate way of life....

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TEA IN THE PARK LAUNCHES AT THE GREEN POINT PARK -

The Green Point park really is the jewel in the green belt crown of Cape Town. Its lush green lawns offer a welcoming space within the city and it provides a wonderful area for residents to relax and enjoy the Mother City's natural beauty.....

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CELEBRATE GARDEN DAY ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 9 -

South Africans of all stripes are joined by their common love of gardens. That's why we're celebrating our first ever Garden Day. Patio potters, veggie farmers, dahlia aces, guerilla gardeners, mink & manure dames and green-fingered folk in general are all invited to enjoy their private heavens on Sunday 9 October 2016......

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DISCOVERING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY -

With the high occurrence of load shedding that we’ve experienced in South Africa in the past, looking at alternative energy sources should be a priority. We all need to change the way we live if we want to try and save the planet from ourselves, and the rapid depletion of natural energy resources is one of the biggest concerns.....

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THE HOW, WHAT, WHERES OF RECYCLING IN SOUTH AFRICA -

'Reduce, reuse, recycle' is probably one of the most important buzz terms to come out of the 21st century. And while the concept itself isn't necessarily a new one, the phrase really is easy to remember, seeing as its sing-song sound reminds us of what to do when shopping. And, while we should all be committing to the first two words (reduce and reuse), so as to avoid using the last (recycle), making the conscious decision to recycle is a powerful one.....

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GANGSTA GARDENING WITH RON FINLEY -

It's quite a challenge to sum Ron Finley up, he's a fitness trainer and a designer, but all with the purpose of supporting his passion – gardening. He calls what he does 'gangsta gardening' and is slowly turning South Central in Los Angeles, a relatively low-income neighbourhood, into a food garden mecca....

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BE PART OF THE CHANGE WITH ECOFFEE CUP #STOPTHEBILLION -

After our inspiring chat with Lauren Singer from trashisfortossers, we were charged up about starting our journey to minimising waste in our day-to-day lives. We were thrilled when this fabulous bamboo mug landed on our desks – almost as if the universe was saying – "here you go, a little something to get you started"....

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LAUREN SINGER PROMOTES ZERO-WASTE AND MAKES IT COOL -

It's 7h00, your alarm goes off, you hop out of bed and into the shower. Your shower gel is about to finish, so you squeeze out the last few drops and throw the plastic bottle in the bin. Next, you're out of the shower, and after brushing your teeth, you make a note to buy more toothpaste. And deodorant. These are all products that we use daily, but where do these empty bottles, packets and tubes go once we've discarded them?...

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VILLIERA'S SUSTAINABILITY GROWS MORE THAN JUST VINES -

Villiera is a well known name in South African wine circles, but what might be lesser known, is the heart and story behind this family-run winery. In a business as big as wine, taking the greener route is not always an option. The biggest argument against going green is that it can be costly and that it doesn't make financial sense....

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BEAVER CREEK, LOCALLY GROWN AND BREWED -

There's nothing quite as intoxicating as the smell of a cup of expertly brewed coffee, it's right up there with newborn babies, freshly laundered linen and bread straight out of the oven. Most of us drink it every day, probably a couple of times a day – but do you ever give a thought to where it comes from?...

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KOBUS VAN DER MERWE: WEST COAST HUNTER- GATHERER -

Kobus van der Merwe is one of South Africa's most treasured culinary gems. He truly embodies what it means to be mindful, ethical and resourceful, footsteps that more chefs could follow. He forages ingredients from the landscape of the Paternoster coastline and uses only sustainable, green-listed seafood for his intimate bistro Oep ve Koep.....

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CECILIA FOREST TREE PLANTING -

Recently over 60 people from different organisations and walks of life came together with shared interest and common goal to plant trees for the future. It all started with one passionate member of the Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc), Paul Cartmel, who started a small idea that spiralled out exponentially....

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MAMA NANCY AND THE MOYO WE KHAYA GARDEN -

Abalimi Bezekhaya, the non-profit urban agriculture organisation, has a far and wide reach. They're responsible for 'greening' much of Khayelitsha and Philippi, as well as enabling residents to grow vegetables for themselves and their families. Any excess produce is bought for the Harvest of Hope weekly vegetable boxes. It's an incredible set-up, one that has changed the lives of many....

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JAMES MOFFETT: THE GRAINS OF THE OPERATION -

James Moffett, of Moffett Milling Company, is a man like no other, starting a movement like no other. Quiet, soft spoken, and gentle, he could be considered an unlikely revolutionary in the organic food discussion. Organic food is going through a confused renaissance at the moment, on the one side of the spectrum it is lauded and celebrated, while on the other it is brushed off as superfluous and unnecessarily expensive....

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GO-AHEAD FOR RELIANCE COMPOST WASTE TO ENERGY PROJECT -

Reliance, the leading organic compost provider in the Western Cape, and shareholder in Okran 38 (Pty) Ltd are excited to have received the green light for the R250 million Waste to Energy project at Corona Farm in the Paarl region. All appeals against the project have been dismissed by authorities, giving the final go-ahead to the first of its kind project...

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BOTANICALS IN A GLASS – HOPE ON HOPKINS GIN DISTILLERY -

Gin. It's a dividing spirit, you either love it or hate it. It's known for being wildly popular in the UK, with Winston Churchill going as a far as to say "the gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen's lives and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire." In South Africa, we're not that gin-crazy yet, but with the trend growing as quickly as it is, it shouldn't be too long before we are...

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GREENPOP UNVEILS THEIR ORGANIC NURSERY -

Someone once said "gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes", and words have never rung truer than for our friends at Greenpop, the social enterprise responsible for the reforesting of South Africa's indigenous trees. This week saw the end of months of hard work when they officially launched their organic garden in Woodstock. We stopped by to get the story behind the garden....

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BIOCAPE WINES -

Since 1898 five Redelinghuys generations have produced grapes and wine under the African sun in Paarl, one of the largest wine regions in Africa. The unique location makes all the difference, offering a diverse landscape from which to produce a range of red and white wines across their five wine ranges. Their grapes are naturally grown in organic soil, hand selected and produced in small batches to be expertly crafted with love....

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A HERB GARDEN IN THE SKY -

Nineteen floors up in the sky is an unlikely place to find a flourishing herb garden, but one actually does exist atop The Westin Cape Town. Granted, you're not going to find rows of composted greenery lining the hotel's roof, but what you will find is a rather unique vertical pocket garden that is blooming with all manner of herbs and edible flowers....

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WE'VE GOT MUSH LOVE FOR JUSTIN WILLIAMS -

Passion is a very funny thing. It can wake you up before sunrise and have you walking through a forest, rustling through damp leaves looking for mushrooms, before most people have even left the house. Justin Williams personifies passion, specifically about foraging for mushrooms. And while he's not trained in a 'went-to-university-and-got-a-degree-in-mycology' sort of way...

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BIOLOGIC FARMING REAPS REWARDS AT AVONDALE WINES -

Every wine estate or farm has its way of doing things – there are family secrets, generational improvements and modern discoveries that all have a part in achieving the ultimate goal – making the very best wine possible.

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THE CITY OF EDEN – TURNING EMPTY SPACES INTO EDIBLE LANDSCAPES -

Every afternoon, Anna Shevel used to take a stroll along the Seapoint Promenade. One day, she noticed a little flowerbed emerging in what was previously a derelict patch of land. Two homeless men were tending to it – clearly they had adopted this land as their own. With each passing day Anna watched as the flowerbed began to flourish into a little garden.

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OUR MEDICINAL MOUNTAIN IN THE CAPE FLORAL KINGDOM -

Over the past month, I have been on an extraordinary adventure. I have discovered how the indigenous plants that flourish on and around Table Mountain­­­­ hold an array of preventative and curative properties geared exclusively at human physiology. I have had herbs inserted into my ears and aromatherapy oils massaged into my feet...

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EXCITING THINGS AFOOT AT CORONA FARM -

Eddie Redelinghuys, the Founder of Reliance Compost is a passionate man. He believes in creating a sustainable environment where all living organisms and beings, both above and below the ground, can flourish and feed populations of the future. And taking care of our soils is the source of his passion.

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FORAGING AND FEASTING WITH THE URBAN HUNTER GATHERER -

When the Urban Hunter Gatherer invited me on a forage and feasting experience, I found myself feeling rather apprehensive. Not only because I had never heard of the sea creatures he was mentioning, but also because I had only ever been warned not to eat strange foods off trees and beaches and fields.

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THE SWEET REWARDS OF AFRICAN HONEY BEE -

Every now and then you come across a brilliant idea. The kind that makes you sit and back and think, "of course!". These ideas are often simple but the effects are complex, rewarding, and they have with the power to change lives. The African Honey Bee initiative is the perfect example of this kind of thinking. In essence, it's so simple – they set up micro beekeeping businesses in rural communities.

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CHICKENS ON THE MOVE AT BOSCHENDAL -

At first glance the chicken coops of Boschendal's newest farming venture might appear strange. They're spacious and airy, just as you'd expect from a truly free-range, pasture-raised operation. But their one very unique feature is that they're built on massive trailers. Yes these coops are mobile and the more you think about it, the more you realise how brilliant it is.

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THE GROWING GARDEN AT PEDDLARS & CO -

Chef Brad Ball is no shrinking violet in Cape Town's food world. He's a stalwart of the restaurant industry having cut his teeth in a number of the city's kitchens, before taking over at the helm of the hugely successful Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg Estate. After five tremendous years there he moved on to Peddlars & Co,...

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WATER SAVING TIPS FROM SUZELLE DIY AND HELEN ZILLE -

The ever-effervescent Suzelle is our very own local DIY maven; she has shown us how to make everything from hair accessories using coffee filters to how to dolly up our shopping trolley. She's been busy lately with some new DIY projects that have been right up our alley and we just had to share.

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ORGANIC VEGETABLES DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR -

With the organic food movement as big as it is, it seems you can buy organic produce at every turn. But where a lot of supermarkets offer organic veggies, they are often packaged in plastic and many other un-recyclable items, and can be very pricey. Here are some options across the country for fresh veggies to be delivered to you, with minimal packaging and reasonable prices.

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URBAN AGRICULTURE AT ABALIMI BEZEKHAYA -

It all started in 1982, during the terror of the apartheid regime, when Peter Tempelton of the Catholic Welfare Bureau, Rob Small, Christina Kaba and Dave Golding and others, began to think of practical ways to help the affected black and coloured members of South Africa survive. The idea was to make use of the empty spaces in the townships and turn them into something invaluable – fresh food.

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THE EDIBLE GARDEN AT DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE

The road that winds through Delaire Graff Estate is breathtaking; it is flanked on all sides by vibrant, meticulously trimmed indigenous flora and is shaded naturally by a canopy of trees. It is clear at first glimpse that the natural surroundings are a huge part of what make this Estate a special place, along with its wines, luxury accommodation, incredible views over the Banhoek Valley and award-winning culinary offering.

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ROOFTOP BEEKEEPING WITH GARDENER'S GLORY

Gardener's Glory, the urban beekeeping initiative is furthering their reach in the inner-city of Cape Town. We previously met up with Richard and Marjolijn – the people behind Gardener's Glory to learn about their hives in Constantia and the surrounding suburbs. In the centre of the city of Cape Town is Tulbagh Square and in this square is a hotel called The Hollow on The Square.

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GROWBAG GIVES BILLBOARDS A RECYCLED LEASE ON LIFE -

Billboards are a daily occurrence in the life of a city-dweller, something that you see but never really ponder, unless it's a really good advertising campaign. Once they are removed, there's probably even less thought about what happens to them, for the average person that is.

 

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THE FLOURISHING VEGETABLE GARDEN AT THE TABLE AT DE MEYE -

The story of Jess and Luke Shepherd and how they came to own and run The Table at De Meye Wine Farm is something of a fairytale, they first met through Jess's twin sister in Stellenbosch when Luke was studying at the university, and set up shop in Stellenbosch, running the former Nook eatery. After a while, they needed a change of pace, and so packed up and moved to Greyton where they stayed for a few months.

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SEASONAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CHART FOR SOUTH AFRICA -

It's something we're told all the time, to eat with the seasons. But why exactly should we eat seasonally? Well there are numerous reasons, firstly, abundance, in season produce costs much less as it's more readily available and didn't have to be flown from halfway across the world. Secondly, it tastes better, because it's been ripened (hopefully) naturally by the weather conditions it's most suited to and hasn't been refrigerated for extended periods of time.

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LITTLE SAINT SERVES UP GOOD KARMA ON BREE STREET -

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.

 

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URBAN BEEKEEPING WITH GARDENER'S GLORY -

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.

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TEA UNDER THE TREES -

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.

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DISCOVERING THE ORGANIC ROOTS OF RELIANCE COMPOST -

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...

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DIY MAKE A KOKEDAMA

The Kokedama or 'moss ball' has its roots in Japan; they're a cheerful addition to any eco-stylish home or office space and are so easy to make with our step-by-step guide below. They make excellent, enviro-friendly gifts, so buy enough of everything to make a few and gift them to your green buddies.

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A WATERWISE GARDEN – CREATING A GREY WATER SYSTEM -

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.

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MICHAEL COOKE AT CAMPHORS AT VERGELEGEN -

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.

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THE BLOOMING BOSCHENDAL WERF FOOD GARDEN -

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.

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AN URBAN FORAGING ADVENTURE WITH LOUBIE RUSCH -

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.

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JUSTIN BONELLO ON EARNING HIS GREEN FINGERS -

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.

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THE CULTURE OF RELIANCE COMPOST -

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.

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2015 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SOILS -

Our soils are in danger because of expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use and management practices, pollution, overgrazing and climate change. The current rate of soil degradation threatens the capacity to meet the needs of future generations. The promotion of sustainable soil and land management is central to ensuring a productive food system, improved rural livelihoods and a healthy environment.

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HOW GARDEN WASTE IS COMPOSTED BY RELIANCE -

 

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.

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