New Year = New Me: (ECO)nstructive Resolutions for 2020

New Year = New Me (ECO)nstructive Resolutions for 2020

SAY ‘NO’ TO PLASTIC

FTN is trying to rid the world of single-use plastic one straw, grocery bag, and roll of cling film at a time. We’ve run campaigns trying to educate consumers of the effects plastic waste has on the environment. Earlier this year, Capetonians met a fish named Faithful at the V&A Waterfront. The 4.5m-long by 2.5m-high installation was intended to show the public that plastic ends up in the ocean and pollutes our marine life.

We don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk too. 

Giving up plastic entirely is incredibly tough – our whole world has built around the use thereof – but times are changing, one product at a time, and this means that – so can you. Bring your awareness to the ways in which we use and interact with plastic is an incredibly mind-opening experience. Starting with some of the main (and easy to tackle culprits) like a takeaway coffee cups is and great start. And from there the use of plastic products, in general, will start to drop drastically – and logically. It’s not impossible. One of our Faithful journo’s has some practical and actionable tips on how to replace single-use products with more sustainable ones. 

REMEMBER: when you get rid of your plastic items, do so responsibly. If there’s a way to repurpose them, then do so, if not then definitely recycle.

PLANT A TREE

For some reason, we’ve stopped talking about the devastating fire that consumed California and the Amazon for weeks. And now, Australia is experiencing fires on an even larger and more catastrophic level. The belt of forest in the Amazon can be seen as the earth’s lungs and we need to consider how to deal with the aftermath because when we lose it, we will begin to feel the effects of our CO2 emissions in distressing ways.

Planting a single tree might not save the world, but if we all decide to sow a single seed, we are investing in our future.

In Mozambique there were mango trees lining the streets and, it being summer, the fruits were ripe enough that any passing pedestrian could pick to their heart’s delight. Why not cultivate a fruit of vegetable plant until it becomes a seedling, then re-pot it in municipal land that is accessible to the public. It might take a year or two to bear fruit, but when it does, homeless people will have the option of feeding themselves something nutritious. While it is developing, your little project will be doing its part to inhale carbon dioxide and exhale breathable air for humans. A bonus is that the humble honey bee has something to pollinate and there is nectar for it to feed on, who knows how many organisms your initial action will be helping.

ECO-SHAMING 

Eco-shaming is a bit of new concept but you get the idea. We have walked around for long enough politely letting people know what kind of reckless behaviour is no longer appropriate for the successful growth of the earth. It is time the politeness goes out the window. The plight of the planet is now fully known, we’ve been singing this song for long enough for ignorance to no longer be a thing. And furthermore, the plight of the planet is a shared one. It requires collective thinking and action to create the shift needed.

So you no longer need to worry about the awkward moments created or the demoralising interactions shared with retailers who refuse to accept any responsibility. 

Show people how and continue to educate with the eco-fire that is needed to set our hearts and actions alight. We don’t have the time to place and shift blame as to who is responsible for the state of our planet. We have to act. Right now. Collectively.

Educate your loved ones and you’ll be amazed at what they begin to do with the information. 

PRIORITIZE SELF-CARE

Full cups overflow. When you are at your best, you are your best for those around you. The planet needs your best efforts. Don’t wait until your burnout to get help, you’ll only end up reaching for quick-fix solutions that aren’t sustainable for yourself or the planet. 

Have you considered incorporating micro self-care practices into your day-to-day? Something like spending just one hour a day outside. And not outside as in dashing from my apartment to the deli downstairs for a cup of hot chocolate or waiting five minutes at the MyCiti stop. No, I intentionally put my phone on aeroplane mode and spend 60 uninterrupted minutes walking along the R27. It’s mostly at sunset because the view of Table Mountain across the bay is magnificent. The fresh air and Vitamin D make my lungs and skin happy. The cardio gets my muscles working; I also get a healthy dose of endorphins and dopamine. It’s all absolutely free and beats wasting electricity binging Netflix on the couch.

UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE

An ex of mine once told me that we are given things to share. He didn’t know it at the time, but he had planted a proverbial seed. Now, I make it a point to get rid of as many new things that I buy. Last month, I treated myself to a beautiful jumpsuit from poetry, and two pairs of earrings. When I got home, I placed a pair of sneakers, a sweater and a summer dress into a paper bag, dashed to the store and bought a loaf of bread, a carton of milk as well as a toothbrush and some toothpaste. The care package I put together went to a homeless person who frequents the park near my apartment building.

If we all donate, regift or repurpose things we don’t use anymore, the demand to keep producing will certainly decrease drastically. Most of the clothes in my wardrobe are hand-me-downs from my mama. My cutlery and crockery are antique items she’s collected over the years too. The only things I really spend any money on are food and cleaning items. Heck, I sold my car because the public transport system in Cape Town is so impressive. 

Get into the habit of getting rid of things that you don’t use habitually. You’ll find you’re less stressed, you save more money and help Mother Nature in the process.

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FORECAST: 2020 Sustainability Trends

May The Forest Be With You 2020 Sustainability Trends

Looking into the year 2020 – what are some of the eco actions that we need to see more of? What kind of green-washing are we going to eradicate and where do we need to see more charge being taken?

YOUTH LEADING THE CHARGE

For all the grief Millennials and Gen Zs get, they really are the ones spearheading the green revolution. They are a group of incredibly conscious consumers who have clued themselves up on reading product labels and ingredient lists. Though there are certain undesirable aspects of what is called ‘cancel culture,’ but the upside is that they are willing to tweet, gram, yelp a company into extinction if they harming the environment they are trying to protect.

And it’s effective.

Eco-irresponsibility is beginning to affect a lot of business’s bottom lines. Conglomerates like Unilever have had to take a hard look at some of their entities. They are incorporating green practises as part of their business strategy.

I haven’t even mentioned the young eco-warriors disrupting the status quo and leaving policymakers quaking in their boots. Who didn’t feel ashamed when Greta Thunberg bawled, “How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and childhood,” at the UN Climate Action Summit back in September. The 16-year-old Swede is just but one of the countless young activists calling people all to order. In 2020, we’re going to see a lot more youth rallying together to effect change for the benefit of the environment in a way we haven’t seen before.

GREEN TECHNOLOGY

The general theme for 2020 is to take things further. We are entering a new decade cycle and the catalogue of apps that help you sift through the companies that test on animals and dump toxic waste into our water sources aren’t going to cut it. We need to level up on our clean technology.

If you don’t have LED lights or low-flow faucets yet, you’re going to soon be lapped by developments in echo dots that save on buying a whole host of devices for your home and office.

HOLISTIC WELLBEING

Who would’ve thought that prioritising self-care would be environmentally friendly? Cleaning your clutter and donating all your unused or unwanted items, instead of throwing them out, is a simple exercise that Mother Nature will appreciate.

Replace retail therapy with a barefoot walk along the beach or full body massage.

You see, when we take better care of ourselves on a daily basis, we decrease the risk of feeling run down. I can always tell I’m running on empty when I order out more than usual. Cooking for myself is a form of self-care I perform daily. When I pop into a Mcdonalds or Drive Thru a KFC, I am telling my body that I can’t be bothered to intentionally sustain it with quality ingredients. Sure, eating out can be a form of self-care too. There is a huge difference between treating yourself to dinner at a restaurant that sources ethically grown ingredients, locally, and damaging your body with GMO foods that come from macro farms responsible for immense deforestation.

KEEPING IT CLOSE TO HOME

If you’re a regular FTN reader, you’ll be familiar with this concept; I am an enthusiastic advocate for shopping locally because the benefits for the environment as well as the economy are undeniable. The surge of local artisans, this year, has made this undertaking incredibly easy.

Picture this: Jonathan from your pilates class has a stall at the farmers market, where he sells his probiotic preserves and pickles. Nhlanhla, who’s daughter is part of the same after school programme as your kid, repurposes discarded fabric to make beautiful quilts to keep people warm during winter. Would it not feel better supporting small business owners, who really are the backbone of our economy, while reducing your carbon footprint at the same time?

Supporting local merchandisers creates a great sense of community which has shown to increase volunteerism. When you feel part of something bigger than yourself, you work harder to preserve it for both yourself and those around you.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PRODUCTION

If the return of load shedding in South Africa, and the subsequent excuses given is anything to go by – wet coal and sabotagers – the need for other forms of energy production is clear. As mentioned a bit earlier, in 2020 we are taking our efforts a step further.

Solar power has helped the few who have invested in panels, geysers, and other apparatus. So what developments can we look forward to next year? It seems we’ll be seeing more sustainable energy generation in public spaces and homes because it is becoming increasingly affordable. Products that facilitate micro-generation of electricity in the home will be easily purchasable and implementable.

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Everything Matters – The Truth About Sustainability

Everything Matters - The Truth About Sustainability

SEEING THE CHANGE NEEDED

There’s no planet B. Or a magical drain that leads to an invisible dimension where anything we pour down it just disappears; or a never-ending hole in the ground that just consumes anything we put into it; or a body of water that is not connected to anything around it.

The fact is that there is no getting away from ourselves, our habits, our beliefs or our lifestyle.

One could also get very deep and extend this to the revered spiritual law, first coined by Hermes Trismegistus, ‘As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul’ – which corresponds to the fact that everything is connected. We are all connected. Every reality we experience and create is all connected.

BEING THE CHANGING

And this is why, no matter what you believe, what anyone believes, we have to take responsibility for our actions and choices. Everything we do on this planet has an effect on this planet. Some of the potential environmental horrors that lie in store for us are just too much to comprehend and so we lie to ourselves, and suddenly believe in magic by way of the fact that problems will just disappear. That we can keep destroying the oceans and overfishing, but that in the future, there will still be life in the oceans. The reality is: if we do not change our ways, there will not be life left in the oceans, or in the forests. And so, we could carry on and on. But by virtue of you reading this, I am most probably preaching to the converted, so I will get to my point.

My point is that even with the incredible array of ethical products we stock, there is still so much room for improvement in the way we consume. While we are the first company in the world to sell our products according to the strict ethical guidelines that we have, such as palm oil, the very fact that we need to do this is because there is room for improvement. (Side note on the palm oil: we have a filter for palm oil because we still have a few products with palm oil in it, but are working hard at pushing back at suppliers to exclude it from their ranges).

We sell wooden products because they are better than plastic products. And even though the wooden products all come from sustainably managed projects to produce that wood, we are still cutting down trees for our consumption.

PARTNERING WITH GAME-CHANGERS

And this is why we have very carefully selected GreenPop to partner with during our festive celebrations this year. As a retailer, we feel it’s important to be involved in creating as much excitement and value for you as we can during these commercial events. We want the green choice to be the easy choice, but we want to be putting something back ‘in’, from all that we take ‘out.’

Greenpop is the much loved, award-winning registered non-profit organisation headquartered in Cape Town. They work to restore ecosystems and empower environmental stewards through reforestation, urban greening, sustainable development, and environmental art projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Greenpop was founded in 2010 and has since planted over 115,000 trees and inspired over 132,000 active citizens across South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania.

Greenpop aims to plant 500,000 trees to restore degraded forest areas, increase biodiversity, and expand ecosystem services across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025 through their programme, Forests for Life.

Forests provide vital services to both people and the planet, bolstering livelihoods, providing clean air and water, conserving biodiversity and responding to climate change. They act as a source of food, medicine, and fuel for more than one billion people. In addition to putting trees in the ground, they also reduce threats to restored areas by providing locally relevant support services including alien clearing, wood lot development, and alternative livelihoods training to ensure the sustainable management of our forests.

Throughout November and December, we will be donating towards their Forests For Life project for reforestation.

Wise Up: Urban Gardening Tips from Greenpop

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Cape Town’s Best Farmers Markets 

Cape Town’s Best Farmers Markets 

We can all admit that Cape Town is the culinary capital of South Africa. The Mother City is brimming with restaurants that specialise in traditional crêpes and galettes, there are bars that only offer bone broth, and diners with an offering of over 200 milkshakes. If you have a craving for it, rest assured, there is an eatery serving it.

With so much land spanning across the Western Cape, agronomists can grow a bag of the freshest produce to supply these creative coffee shops, canteens and cafeterias. Once a week, however, they cut out the middleman – so to speak – and offer up their fair to the average Joe and Jongikhaya who want to stock their pantries with locally sourced and ethically grown food. Of all the farmer’s markets I’ve been to, these are my pick of the best in the Western Cape.

BLAAUWKLIPPEN FAMILY MARKET, STELLENBOSCH

Cape Wine Country is truly a sight to behold. Rolling hills of grapevines budding with bulbs that will soon produce some of your favourite varietals whether it be Savignon Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot or Chardonnay. Stellenbosch is where you can spend a lazy Sunday, lounging under a wild fig tree at this family-friendly market.

Olives, oils, jams and other delicious preserves are prepared weekly by farmers and artisans in the area. I’ve been known to pop past Stonehill’s stall for a few free samples, while quenching my thirst on Piroschka’s iced tea on particularly hot days.

BLUE BIRD GARAGE FOOD & GOODS MARKET, MUIZENBERG

In 2016, I tasted my very first cotton cheesecake at this unassuming market. It was a culinary AHA moment. Since then, every Friday, I hazard the unforgiving M3 traffic from Cape Town to Muizenburg to enjoy the weekly offering.

There is a great deal of already prepared food for you to purchase and enjoy round the community tables they set up on the inside an old postal plane hangar. Eco warriors will particularly enjoy the fresh bread, fruits and vegetables that you can purchase from local subsistent producers who have a surplus from their own gardens.

If the weekly traffic getting into Muizenberg doesn’t sound appealing to you, the market runs on the first Sunday of every month too.

BOSCHENDAL NIGHT MARKET, PNIEL

How does a glass of Boschendal MCC at the end of a long week sound? Pair that with a few freshly caught oysters, or a leg of free range chicken with organic coleslaw and you have yourself a wonderful Friday night.

The Werf plays home to one of Franschhoek’s popular night market. Farmers, winemakers and artisans in the area flock to this well-attended market to sell their goods to visitors. You can certainly bring your children along. They’ll be entertained at the Tree House Playground where they can enjoy bottomless popcorn while watching a film at the outdoor cinema while you shop and nosh to your heart’s delight.

EARTH FAIR MARKET, TOKAI

Who says all the fun needs to happen over the weekend, and that it’s only reserved for those who live outside the city centre? Every Thursday St George’s Market is flooded by local artisans and farmers who offer inner-city professionals a palette cleanser from the surrounding food offerings.

While the market is mostly hot foods, you can purchase traditionally cured meat, CBD & hemp products and a few non-perishables from local producers. My cookie jar is packed with only the Gourmet Pantry’s baked goods that I order monthly, you can certainly negotiate with whoever mans the stall the week you go and get a few sweet treats for yourself. 

ORANJEZICHT CITY FARM MARKET, WATERFRONT

I really shouldn’t be biased, but this is my favourite market in all of the Western Cape – mainly because the sweet section is so extensive. My mouth is watering just thinking about the nutty brownies and the chocolate-covered nougat I nibble on every time I visit the market.

OCFM runs until 3pm on Saturday and 2pm on Tuesday. Work your way from the produce tent, packed with organic fruits, vegetables and meats, as well as breads made with flour substitutes, banting friendly preserves and condiments etc; to the tent with everything from breakfast burritos and Belgium waffles to bagels and Ethiopian injera. 

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Farm-To-Fork 101

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You Grow Gurl; Repotting Your Succulents Like a Boss

You Grow Gurl Repotting Your Succulents Like a Boss

If you’re a prospective plant parent, you might think that starting out with a succulent is a safe bet because they require very little water, so they must be low maintenance. Nothing could be further from the truth. As someone who got her green fingers dirty with a few Mammillaria cacti that didn’t last longer than two months, I can admit that tending to succulents is just as demanding as tending an orchid. 

You’d be better off raising a hardy snake plant of geranium. 

Though, in all honesty, there is nothing more rewarding than watching your dedicated efforts in tending to succulents pay off. So let me share some tips and tricks to repotting that might help you in the near future.

PICK THE RIGHT POT

People often fail at this first hurdle. If you pick a pot that is too shallow, your succulents run the risk of becoming root bound, too deep and your roots will shoot down without giving your plant the height you desire. You’ll also want to pick a pot with drainage holes so that water doesn’t sit in the soil and begin to rot the plant. Remember: succulents do well without water for days (sometimes weeks) at a time so if they sit in damp soil for a prolonged period, they will spoil very quickly.

PICK THE RIGHT SOIL

You wouldn’t expect the veggies from your potager to thrive in sea sad, would you? By that same logic, repotting your succulents in any old soil would be just as silly. Because succulents gather moisture from the air, and not always necessarily directly, you’ll need to purchase specific succulent/cactus soil that is rich in nutrients but that dries out quick enough that your roots don’t begin to rot. If you want to make your own potting soil, use 1 part coconut husk and 1 part pumice stones for outdoor succulents, while indoor succulents should consist of  1 part crushed pine park, 1 part surface and 1 part crushed granite.

REPOTTING

Now that you have all the components to repot your succulents, you can get started. 

  1. Fill your new pot up to ¾ with potting soil
  2. Gently remove your succulent out of its current pot
  3. ‘Tickle’ roots to get rid of any residue soil. This process is also effective in stretching out the roots of your plant.
  4. Place your succulent in the pot and tuck soil around the plant so it is packed comfortably into the new pot. Soil must reach the base of the succulent without covering any of the leaves or body of the actual succulent.
  5. If the plant hasn’t been watered in some time, add a little bit of water, though it is advisable that you wait a few days (up to two weeks) before watering your plant just so it becomes accustomed to the new soil.

BONUS: PROPAGATING SUCCULENTS

If you want to grow a few succulents for friends and family from your own plants, it’s fairly easy to do. Once you get the initial process down pat, you’ll be growing vegetative offspring in no time.

  1. Cut a leaf off as close to the stem as possible. Most people get this first step wrong and rack their brains for weeks after because nothing grows from their leaf, or it ends up going brown and dying.
  2. Place leaf on top of soil making sure the ends don’t touch the soil at all. Don’t plant it into the soil because it has no roots. The leaf still needs to mature before you start treating it like a succulent.
  3. Water the soil on a regular/daily basis. Again, this is a kind of gestation period so the succulent needs all the help it can get. Don’t be too heavy-handed with the H20 because it is a succulent after all and they thrive with little to no water, If anything, you’ll he dampening the soil do the leave doesn’t completely die, but it needn’t be drowned either.
  4. In three weeks, you’ll begin to see rosettes and roots begin to form at the ends of your leaves. When that happens, make sure your roots are always covered in soil and tend to them as you would your other succulents. 

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Sources/reading material:
https://medium.com/@sucstu/succulent-studios-unboxing-repotting-40ac6ab7d352
https://www.succulentsandsunshine.com/faq-items/when-is-it-time-to-repot/
https://www.themarthablog.com/2017/02/repotting-succulents-in-my-greenhouse.html
https://leafandclay.co/blogs/blog/how-to-repot-succulents
https://www.succulentsandsunshine.com/well-draining-soil-for-succulent-container-gardens/
https://www.succulentsandsunshine.com/how-to-propagate-succulents-from-leaves-and-cuttings/ 

Spring Cleaning with KonMari: 6 Key Rules

Spring Cleaning with KonMari 6 Key Rules

The time has come to swap out chunky coats for breathable cardigans and thick blankets with plush throws – the winter chill has begun to thaw! But as we do that, we should all consider getting rid of a few things as opposed to just storing them away until next winter. Japanese organizational guru, Marie Kondo, has completely reimagined the way many look at space and possessions.

I’ve shared my personal tips and tricks to achieving a Zen life through minimalist living and feng shui, and this professional offers actionable advice that you can start on today.

If you haven’t the time or resources to read her books, I’ve offered a brief summary of her teachings. Go through the six rules of KonMari and challenge yourself to take your spring cleaning a step further this season:

6 KEY RULES:

  1. COMMIT TO TIDYING UP

This seems obvious enough right? Well, in my experience, I’ve found common sense to not be so common.

If you’re going to – in essence – spring clean your life, it might confuse your psyche to then go back to mess and disorganisation in a couple of weeks. Once you make the decision to get rid of things you no longer need, thus freeing up physical, emotional and mental space for productivity, you MUST stick to it.

Motivate yourself with mantras like, “just for today, I commit to a clutter-free life,” or, “let’s make it to the end of the month and then reassess,” do that. The KonMari method is going to look different for everyone (heck, no single room in your home might look the same), but the principles are universal. It’s important to ensure you make it work for you.

  1. CONSIDER HOW IT WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE

Begin with the end in mind – it’s a great motivator.

When you begin to see what your life will look like when it’s not a mess and stress-free, getting rid of things and reorganising might be much easier to do.

  1. DISCARD UNWANTED ITEMS BEFORE TIDYING UP

This is incredibly important.

We all know that there are a few things in our wardrobe, bathroom cabinet, TV unit (the list goes on) that can be thrown away. We all tend to amass a great deal of junk; either that or a few things have since become useless. What might help you is not thinking of ‘throwing’ things away but giving them to a person or organisation that will have better use for it.

Monthly, I go through my home and put a bunch of things in a box with a few loaves of homemade bread, a carton of long-life milk and drop it off at corners I know homeless people frequent. You might feel better donating things to your local hospice or orphanage.

Once you’ve scaled down a little, organising won’t take so much time.

  1. GO BY CATEGORY NOT BY LOCATION

If, like me, you have an inclination to hording, the entire undertaking might be overwhelming. While I am two years in recovery, I still notice myself holding onto trinkets and souvenirs from travels out of sentimentality. If you start there you will only depress yourself. Marie Kondo suggests you start with clothes as they rarely have any significance unless it is an item like a wedding dress or a treasured hand-me-down. Then move onto books and papers, letting go of books that no longer inspire you and papers that can easily be digitised can be thrown into the recycle bins.
Once you’re comfortably getting rid of things, you can move onto your sentimental items.

  1. SORT IN ORDER

If you go by location instead of order, you’ll very quickly become fatigued mainly because you’re repeating the same process from one room to the next. The KonMari method suggests you go step by step throughout the house so once you’ve done a comprehensive job; you don’t have to do it again.

  1. ONLY KEEP ONLY THAT WHAT SPARKS JOY

Keep only what sparks joy! Again, what this philosophy is doing is challenging you to rethink what you fill your space with. Don’t focus on what you are losing but rather the clarity of thought, sense of ease and pure joy that you will gain from the entire process.

If, at the end of your spring cleaning, you feel dejected or even tired, you might not have done it right. KonMari-ing your life is supposed to energise and excite you (or just simply relax you). Remember, be patient and tender with yourself.

Happy cleaning!

SOME ADDITIONAL INTERESTING READS:

The minimalist life:

https://miadanielle.com/what-is-minimalism/
https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-the-minimalist-lifestyle-benefits-your-finances-but-is-it-right-for-you/amp
https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/7-ways-minimalist-living-can-help-you-save-money/amp

Spring Cleaning with KonMari:

https://www.fundingcloudnine.com/marie-kondo-save-money/
https://www.8days.sg/seeanddo/thingstodo/10-spring-cleaning-lessons-we-learnt-from-marie-kondo-s-netflix-11114474
https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/cleaning-tips/amp25736702/how-much-does-it-cost-to-have-marie-kondo-konmari-your-life/

 

Farm-To-Fork 101

farm to fork

You are what you eat. Everything from the soil your produce is planted in, the calibre of the seed being sown, to the pesticides used and harvestings process – it all feeds into the quality of the product. Because we are beginning to really understand that the state of our produce directly affects our health and wellness, more consumers are educating themselves on how their fruit, veg and meat is being reared.

Though the social movement of replacing GMO’s with nutrient-filled ingredients that were grown organically and locally isn’t a particularly new concept, it has gained a great deal of traction in the last 3 – 5 years. So let’s break it down:

WHAT DOES FARM-TO-FORK MEAN?

Farm to fork emerged out of concern that we were eating too much processed food. We needed to change our lifestyles or we would, quite literally, end up eating ourselves into early graves. Health fundis got the ball rolling by encouraging consumers to make the switch to organic produce, but it was dedicated eco-warriors that managed to get the farm to fork movement off the ground.

In essence, farm-to-fork is a direct channel between agronomist and consumer. By growing your fruits and vegetables in the same place you will use them, you meet certain ethical and environmental standards. Once you claim to do this, consumers are guaranteed that you are being green about the way you farm – from using organic/natural pesticides and insecticides to the ethical treatment of your livestock.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

If you read my piece about the benefits of buying local, you already know why farm to fork should be something we all try to pursue. The produce is fresher because it hasn’t had to travel far to get to you – which also means the carbon footprint between you and the farm to fork establishment is minimised too. Fruits and vegetables are generally organic, though the agricultural practices really are up to the farmers themselves to decide. This is why I tend to prefer farm-to-fork’ers who let the public walk through their grounds as the transparency puts my mind at ease.

Eco-benefits aside, many farm-to-fork fundis also believe that if you know where your food is coming from, it adds to the experience of eating it.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

The heavy-hitters in local food distribution have claimed to stock organic products for over a decade, but when you thoroughly investigate their criteria, you can see for yourself that they are misleading.

Challenge yourself to switch out your weekly shop at the chain grocery store and visit your local farmers market instead. While it may not be farm-to-fork in the truest sense of the word, you can have a conversation with the vendor sourcing your butternut squash, or pick the brain of the baker to see how he farms his own wheat or oats that is later ground into flour.

Restaurants have really taken to this concept, and there are a few farm-to-fork eateries all over the country that you can support. Westerncapers can patronise Babel at Babylonstoren for a 100% guilt-free and green dining experience, while those in the Gauteng area have Fermier Restaurant and Leafy Green to enjoy. Knysna can look forward to the weekly forages of Brett Garavie at VegTable, and East London-based diners can pop into Earth Forrest for food farmed through permaculture. 

RELATED ARTICLES:
https://www.stellenboschexperience.co.za/blog/entry/farm-to-fork-stellenbosch-ticks-all-the-boxes-for-foodie-travellers

https://www.eetrite.com/blog/south-africas-farm-to-table-restaurants/
https://www.eatout.co.za/article/south-africas-first-farm-table-snail-concept/ 

 

Eating Seasonally: The 101

Honey: The Bee’s Knees or a Sticky Issue?

Should We still Eat Seafood?

 

Vegan-Friendly Ayurvedic Dahl

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time:  40 minutes

Serves: 3 – 4 people 

INGREDIENTS:

TO SERVE:

 

METHOD: 

  1.  Soak the dahl for at least an hour in 2 cups water. Drain and rinse before cooking. 
  2. Cook rice in a pot or instant pot until slightly cooked but still a bit hard. 
  3. Add the dahl, veg and spices and coconut butter to the rice and cook in an Instant Pot on a high-pressure setting for 30minutes. If you don’t have an Instant Pot you can cook it on the stove with a little more water for about an hour or until soft. 
  4. Once cooked, stir through until well combined. It should be very soft, but not soupy. 
  5. Serve warm with a scattering of coriander, seeds and coconut yoghurt. 

 

Peanut Butter And Jelly Chickpea Blondies

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Servings: Approximately 10 – 15 small squares blondies

 

INGREDIENTS: 

JAM:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
    ¼ cup water (optional)
  • Squeeze lemon juice

ADDITIONAL:

 

METHOD:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 150ºC and line a square tray with a baking sheet. 
  2. Rinse, de-stem and roughly chop the strawberries. Add to a pot along with the chia seeds and a few tablespoons of water. Bring to boil and leave to simmer until strawberries are mushy and start to thicken. 
  3. In a blender, combine the chickpeas, banana, peanut butter and date syrup. Blend until very smooth. Then add salt, baking powder and coconut flour. Pour ¾ of the batter into the tray. Then top with the strawberry jam and spread evenly. Drop the remaining ¼ of the batter and spread/swirl through the top jammy layer. 
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and then cover with foil to steam until cool. Enjoy warm as a breakfast treat or as an on-the-go snack. You can freeze the squares for up to 3 months. 

 

 

Why You Need Our New & Exclusive Faithful to Nature Product Range

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Recently, we decided to take eco-matters into our hands. You know better than anyone that we have been flying the eco-flag with all our might; advocating those who are doing their bit for the planet, and encouraging everyone, every single living soul, to adapt their consumption decisions to take the Earth into account too.

We believe in a system that works holistically; where, in whatever you are taking from the Earth, you need to do your utmost to give back as much as possible. With our very Faithful to Nature range, this is exactly what we are attempting to do; the products have been sourced as responsibly as possible and our packaging as environmentally-aware as possible. Reduce, reuse, recycle. We have made it our promise to you, our Faithful followers, to strictly, meticulously and with unwavering care, ensure that every single product on the site reaches our eco standard – and trust us when we say – this is an incredible standard to reach.

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A pooled knowledge of expertise brings you a range of products that are not only sourced from the most sustainable locations around the world, but also wrapped in packaging that is 100% marine biodegradable and compostable:

Our waste-free packaging contains eco-friendly bags made with plant cellulose. This packaging is certified by Vincotte to be 100% home compostable and is also marine degradable. All cardboard is manufactured from recovered fibre, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Labels are 100% recycled, printed with plant-based inks and attached with eco-friendly adhesive.

Keep your eye on this space – as time goes by we plan on adding more products across all our categories; pantry essentials, beauty and body, a certified organic range, waste-free lifestyle additions and so much more, to fill your life and home with only the best in green living.

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DECOMPOSING YOUR FAITHFUL TO NATURE PACKAGING:

STEP ONE: Remove your plant cellulose film from the cardboard outer packaging.

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STEP TWO: You can recycle your cardboard outer packaging like you would any other cardboard product (only vegetable inks have you been used).

STEP THREE: Take your plant cellulose film and place it into any compost heap, bokashi bin or home-composting unit.

STEP FOUR: Wait. In ideal composting conditions (right heat, temp etc) the matter will decompose in +- 2 weeks, but in your normal home-compost will take approximately a month.

STEP FIVE: Your packaging will have decomposed along with the rest of the organic matter.

   

 

Want to find out more? Well, what are you waiting for? Click here to find out more about our Faithful to Nature products.