growinghome

Rabbits on the Homestead: The Cutest Poopers Around!

We have added some rabbits to our homestead.  Rabbit poop is the only manure you can safely use straight on your garden without having to age or compost it.  Here we are mulching our beds with bunny poop mixed with used straw from their enclosure. Our rabbits eat a diet consisting of 80% oat hay, 10% good quality rabbit pellets and 10% fresh greens.  I have been picking them nasturtium leaves, basil, oreganum, yarrow leaves, bok choy, raspberry leaves, fennel…

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Composting Toilet System at Home: Let’s Talk Poop.

Yes, I have an indoor composting toilet system at home. No, it does not smell offensive 🙂 Yes, the idea does “gross” some people out. That’s ok! It’s not for everyone, I get that. During the recent Western Cape drought crisis, many people starting using composting toilets to save water. Even in the suburbs! While this is not sustainable for everyone, there are definitely places where properly managed composting toilet systems can be a great asset. Instead of flushing away…

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Happy Ducks on the Homestead

Let me introduce you to my new ducks: Abigail, Jasmine and Jemima Apart from being undeniably gorgeous, ducks are a great addition to the homestead garden for a number of reasons, apart from their yummy eggs! Ducks are great for pest control – they eat all manner of bugs and love snails! Bonus! Especially since I have been looking for effective and safe ways to reduce my overwhelming snail population in my veggie garden. My runner ducks, Jasmine and Jemima, have…

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getting rid of snails in your garden

Snails, Be Gone!

Having a few snails in your garden isn’t necessarily a bad thing as they could help attract a variety of interesting wildlife like birds and frogs. An infestation, however, is a whole different story and should be dealt with as soon as possible. It can be very disheartening to lose a crop to snails. Let’s start by taking a look at WHY snails are attracted to the garden in the first place… Wet Soil Snails absolutely love wet soil because provides a…

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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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