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IMG 0301Packing items to go home.  Last week the CWBR ran the first of its planned two day introductory courses on sustainable living methods. It covered subjects which are implementable, affordable and available to all communities.

Bevan Thomas, who is the volunteer horticulture manager at the Sustainable Living Centre at Delvera, conducted the sessions on growing mushrooms, basic aquaponics, and how to construct vertical and hanging gardens.  The most appropriate planting methods were explained, together with how one can feed a family in a small area using these methods.

The importance of indigenous trees, and their role in ensuring a clean water supply was discussed, and will be gone into in detail at the next workshop. As will how to build a reed bed and banana circle to clean grey water.

Making hot houses, from old windows and shower doors and how they can be used to grow vegetables all year round, caused a stir and enthusiastic discussion.

Seed collection, potting mixes, pruning and propagating from cuttings was next. The participants planted 296 granadilla cuttings in seed trays to distribute in their communities, and hundreds of vegetable seeds were sorted and bagged for planting at homes and schools.

The correct methods of making compost, and how to generate hot water from it, was followed by a trip to Wormbosch outside Stellenbosch.  Phinias conducted an interpretive tour on all the different aspects of producing worm castings, worm tea and how to apply it correctly.  Time was spent collecting worms for two of the 6 attendees from Bonnievale. Their aim is to start a worm farm in the informal settlement in Bonnievale, at the Bonnie People Project and to transform the rubbish into an income generating operation, by turning huge amounts of organic waste in the land fill, into compost.

Making Adobe bricks from clay and how to build a clay oven, got everyone very interested in alternative, affordable and more comfortable building methods than corrugated iron. The right mix of clay, sand and straw is the secret to the strength, and lime plaster helps with the water proofing.

Everyone left fully equipped with trees, seeds, cuttings, worm castings and the passion to start a vegetable gardens and plant fruit trees.

If you would like to attend any of the future workshops, please let us know at mark@capewinelandsbiosphere.co.za, or join as a member of the CWBR.

briksLearning how to build cob houses

warmsCollecting worms

work shop Sorting and packaging seeds  

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