Monday, August 22, 2011

greenfinger tips - starting a new city organic garden

gardening the lazy way

i have just started a new garden and being pushed for time am using the assistance of cardboard boxes. i leave the boxes standing on the grassy area for about 4 days. the grass yellows and it is easy to pull up the roots, especially if the soil is damp. i have not disturbed the soil at all. there is a delicate order of organisms that live in the soil. when you dig the soil over, that order is disturbed and can take a long time to restore.

seeds going into the soil

the first few mustard seeds have already germinated and i am waiting for the flax/linseed, fennel, mung beans and chillies to pop their sweet tender green leaves out of the soil. i am going to plant peas, parsley and lettuce in the next section.

fetching rocks

the garden service at the property is vicious. you have to protect your garden bed somehow. so on sunday, i went rocking in my neighbourhood. i looked for places where there were excavations going on and there they were, now nicely lined up. i hope they are adequate protection from the edge-trimming men.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the recycled doily

i went to the cafe up the road and was served coffee (which was rather repugnant)but none-the-less when i looked at the doily and read what it said i was amazed, considering some of my latest posts about the situation with the litter in this country.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

green finger tips - butter lettuce and oregano

growing butter lettuce and oregano together

butter lettuce can be difficult to grow. snails and grasshoppers love to chomp on the lettuce you are growing. combining the butter lettuce into your oregano bed is a great help. the oregano keeps the insects away. this is great companion planting for your organic garden

butter lettuce germinate easily

butter lettuce seed will germinate in a day or two after planting, especially if you expose the seed to light before planting. generally lettuce seeds can be scattered where you want them to grow or in seed trays. if planting in seed trays, transplant when the seedlings are about 4 - 8 cm tall. a good dose of liquid fertilizer is helpful when transplanting seedlings.

oregano is a great ground cover

oregano grows wild and will cover up soil that is exposed. it can be grown from root stock and cutting. oregano is a valuable culinary and medicinal plant. you can open up little sections between your established oregano and plant butter lettuce seedlings into the oregano.

this is a winning companion planting combination

butter lettuce and oregano are great companion plants in the organic garden. the oregano will keep your butter lettuce healthy.

dustbin diggers - the price of dignity

meeting belinda and sibongile

on thursday morning i met belinda and sibongile from amalinda squatter camp. they were in my road, digging through dustbins, finding bottles to recycle.

belinda and sibongile earn R15.00 per day digging in dustbins

they said that they can earn about R15.00 per day, (0.30c per bottle). they dig though the dustbins to earn a living. they are not alone. there are hundreds and thousands of people all over South Africa digging in dumps and dustbins to eke a small living by recycling waste.

the price of dignity

as the average consumer in south africa, we all throw away the rubbish. people are starting to think, talk and action recycling on a household level. each person can help the dustbin diggers by just keeping the 2 litre bottles aside, (and any other recyclables) for collection by these people. it would save their dignity, and yours, by not having people going through the litter you throw out.