growinghome

Permaculture Perspective: Turning Problems into Solutions

Permaculture as Philosophy: How to Apply ‘Turning Problems into Solutions’ in Real Life  An excerpt by Charlotte Ashwanden from PermacultureNews.org Probably one of Bill Mollison’s most often-quoted phrases is – “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” This view is woven throughout the permaculture principles, especially in Mollison’s original design principle, “Turn Problems Into Solutions” A problem is usually defined as the opposite of a solution. How can it change so drastically? Firstly, it seems important to…

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The Valley Food Gardens Initiative

Valley Food Gardens Ons Kweek Kos Saam Beyond Food Parcels: Unlocking the Genadendal Valley’s ​Food-growing Resourcefulness The Red Cross and supporting organisations are providing food parcels to vulnerable families in the Genadendal Valley in the Overberg Region of South Africa in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown. But this is an unsustainable solution to food insecurity. Once the pandemic grips the cities, resources and attention may largely go there, and as the economy takes many years to recover and food insecurity…

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Banana Citrus Circle Pit

We are so excited and blessed to have Peter Rain Treurnicht join the Growing Home Team! I met him back in 2015 at the Hogsback Festival of Trees in the Eastern Cape and instead of coming back to Cape Town Peter ended up going to live and work on an amaaaaaazing Permaculture Farm just outside East London – for 2 years! He is now back in the city and itching to Get Growing again and we are super stoked to have him…

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Summer is Here!

So, last time we posted we had just planted our purple and magenta potatoes in washing baskets.  They are doing really well and we have topped them up with more soil and straw as they have grown. Looking forward to a great harvest! Below you can see our aubergines growing nicely. This heat has been quite something but they are doing well in the shade.  Next we have a zucchini bed… thriving!   Look at the size of this baby! Lots…

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Planting Potatoes in Washing Baskets

This winter we were extremely excited to find purple and magenta potatoes and decided we wanted to let some sprout and plant them. These are the magenta potatoes, freshly cut. The protruding bits you see emerging from the skin are the eyes beginning to sprout. You can cut the potato between the eyes then allow them to seal over and plant individually. Spot the sealed over cut on the left.  You can also plant whole sprouting potatoes. We decided to…

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Seeds that Keep on Giving: Mother City Seed Library Launches in Cape Town

Saturday, 9 September saw a diverse group of seed saving enthusiasts gathering under a beautiful old tree in Keurboom Park, Cape Town to celebrate the launch of the Mother City Seed Library and it’s monthly seed sharing meetings. Seed swapping, depositing and borrowing took place amidst slow food sharing, interesting conversations and a growing passion for saving seed and ensuring food sovereignty.   One of the Mother City Seed Library’s missions is to support Seed Library users and gardeners, from…

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New Neighbours, Wonderful Weeds & Spring Planting ~ July ’17 Round Up

This last month went by just like that! Maybe it just feels that way because, as they say, time flies when you are having fun! Last month found us enjoying our new self-composting beds, setting up our mini glass hot houses and planting a variety of seedlings that we brought up at home. This month saw us expanding the garden while helping our neighbour re-design and build her new chicken sanctuary/rescue centre. Let’s take a look at some before and…

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Self-composting beds & New life ~ June ’17 Round Up

Hello fellow Growers! We hope you have been enjoying the season as much as we have. Last month we showed you our progress with putting up our fence and gathering supplies. We also started our indigenous and medicine garden and set up our earthworm farms and started composting. Quite a lot has happened since then: from landscaping and prepping self-composting beds to starting nurseries and making liquid fertilizers – even growing some food! Our garden is situated between two long…

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Natural Ways to Lower the pH of Soil

Here are some plants that enjoy a more alkaline soil: blueberries asparagus leeks Lima beans Swiss chard artichokes spinach Mushrooms also grow well in alkaline soil, as do grape vines, oranges, cantaloupes, pecans, peach trees and some cherry varieties. Organic substances frequently used to reduce soil pH are – rotted manure rotted leaf compost shredded evergreen bark pine needles home-composted leaf and vegetable refuse coffee grounds (with the exception of asparagus) Be prepared for some trial-and-error with organic acidifiers. Test…

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Glorious Leaf Mould

Leaf Mold is the organic material left behind after leaves have undergone fungal decomposition. Leaf mold is the term used to describe the result of only decomposed leaves that haven’t had any other ingredients added. Letting leaves decompose separately from other organic matter yields a wonderfully beneficial soil conditioner that is dark brown to black, crumbly textured soil amendment with a pleasant earthy aroma. Leaves mixed in with compost take longer to decompose via aerobic bacterial action than other organic materials…

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