This post is for everyone that ever crossed my path.
You can step so far back from the world that surrounds you, and limit what you put inside your mind to such a degree that it becomes you. I could have become a plant perhaps, I am quite sure I have come close to such a transmutation.
This year I decided to step back into the world of cash and electronic transfers, people, cars, roads that are tarred and shops. It is a world I know very little about. A world I lived past, much the same way Ive observed people living past each other. I got a job with temporary accommodation. This year also started with a lot of pain – on most known levels, and though I have much healing left to do, I am by God’s grace gifted with some labor, cash, tea sales, accommodation, water and electricity (missing a gas stove, and being barefoot though One week into my transformation or job I feel like the past few years are falling like dominos laying out some path, to which I surrender with awe, humor and confusion. I walk the land on the properties, and play my guitar. Inside I am learning self love, being guided again by my passions for plants, gardens, teas, arts and crafts. I say fare well to a generous woman and community forming on Cedar Falls, and to the land use agreement with hope that my job will allow me the tools to succeed at naturally growing herbs in bulk, and bringing back food forests of heritage and heirloom foods in communities like these, with very high unemployment and very low self sustainability. My boss is quite an awesome extraordinary chef Click on this link to learn more about Millys on the N4 route. It has become a landmark for many tourists and locals. They have been the bulk of my financial support for approximately the past year, in purchasing and selling the teas i grew, dried, cut up and mixed. I was introduced as a gardener to staff, and I hope I am about to change the mindset of what that means. A gardeners purpose, in my opinion, is to assist the earth in healing so that the abundance that existed thousands of years ago may return. OBVIOUSLY this is like any normal job, a probation period of 3 months, nothing is permanent anyway. I find that Im confined by a job description, and within 2 weeks I am already learning the lessons of the importance of FOCUS.
When someone with low and often no income for months jumps in to do the gardens in a different way, gets creative with natural resources and starts recycling crafts, some people perceive it as a shame, some are very negative toward change and new ideas, especially ones that seem to threaten their job security and functionality in business. I can understand that perception, because the concept of alternative currency, love for the earth, connection to the earth energy and the obvious depression that comes with the transference of all these judgments based upon perceptions created by cultural barriers, is easily misinterpreted.
I am in South Africa, outside a small town called Machadodorp, which is mostly looted and has a handful of shops that stock either close to expired items or very limited resources of food, medicine and building materials. It is very difficult to be healthy here without growing your own food and learning about the natural resources that surround us for any culture. And we have quite a diversity of culture here in South Africa. I have felt a great sadness in places where the natural resources are abundant and ignored. I have also felt this sadness in this place, where using the little that exists is seen as a shame or too much of a mission. I am also sure that much of this shame mentality judged upon me, from you and from within myself, is based on my lack of friends in the area, family, clothing, furniture, transport and ability to socialize. Ive lost many of you because of lack of signal or data to communicate. It is a constant redefining of my self, and letting go of my past, a constant learning of other ways. Surely life is not only like this for me. Why are people so set in their ways? Why are we so afraid to really CONNECT?
It has never been a shame for me to throw myself so deeply into the wasted earth spaces and create amazing gardens. It has been a shame that the judgments made people cut me off, set me aside, expect miracles from the earth without showing it some love, and put me in a box. That box I jumped in and out of, too many times. It has been a shame to me that people would rather walk kilometers with headaches and other health issues, smile and take my tea and not use it as instructed, but judged me to be either a sangoma or inyanga or hippy or permaculture expert or literally just quite crazy. I find it quite funny nowadays. If you stop skitting through the text in this blog and actually read it, then I am sure you will see the journey I am loving and appreciating myself for taking.
I know I cut people off and shamed them in much the same way, from my own judgements and perception. I remember living in my tent in the Western Cape, how the rasta community lifted me up and taught me much about plants and gardening. I remember being in Johannesburg, walking past society before traffic, creating the garden at the Pirates Sports Club. I remember stopping by the riverside, and in the parks where the vagrants sleep and becoming the friend they saluted, but never really assisted. I Remember giving away so much fresh heritage and heirloom food to them and seeing it tossed aside into the citys debris. That was a shame. I remember the holy anger in me that caused me to go out of my way, on foot, to show some people at the traffic lights what to do with the rubbish lying around them to make some money, how they threw it at me, especially with the concept of recycling crafts. I remember how many people didnt think volunteering in exchange for a share in the profit or harvest was worth the effort, and all the taboo of tea. It was also a shame that most people that came to connect with me either started their own business with herbs or gardens from our conversations, but never supported my dream of just having a normal life with a home and business that adds value to community and the earth. Yet i have a lot of love and pride for your existence too, because your work is needed and adds value to our societies and earth. Its a shame that I was on a few farms, where I was invited in as part of a community that assisted me with free land use and water, and my goal of farming something that created an income stream for the people owning and struggling on the land. It is a shame that I watched how assisting me with learning how to make a business plan, a proposal, an invoice, how to get funding for more plants and a tunnel never happened based on perceptions of white privileged in this country. It is a shame that I was forced to carry loads of responsibilities that put me in very dangerous and often debilitating situations.
It hurt so deeply that I withdrew more and more to that place where I felt completely helpless, without hope and without support on any level many times, especially when I got injured or sick. I spent nearly 20 years in mostly silence, not looking in the mirror and avoiding society as much as possible. But there is always hope. God always shows you another opportunity, no matter how alone and fucked you are. Its also a shame that expressing everything is a great loss both to me and you, because of boundaries that only separate humanity. It is this journey that caused me to have an undeniable knowing who and what I am that made me step out into this job and accept being introduced as a gardener. It is the letting go of that shame judgmentality that makes me isolate and love myself to the same degree that many living the go to work go home go on holiday mentality do. However i am blessed to have a job that allows me to be me, despite my limitations, despite the many red flags from both sides. I often tell people nowadays that it is good to do something you love, even if just for a minute, after years you will find it becomes you. I have a love for art, gardening and awesome tea and healthy food. It is also a lesson that it is not lucrative to just do what you love, then do it as a job – that thing you love ends up becoming quite a consuming hate. We need balance. We are human. We are always growing and changing, the things we do can either energize us or destroy us. We should be fueled by our passions, not consumed by them. There is a time to do things we love for ourselves, a time to do it for others and a time to do it for the lifestyle rewards that come with it.
This journey has taken me to the point of completely giving up my dreams and my self, made me so sick that the depression gripped me into a vortex of wanting and even praying for death to come. To the point of what seems like no return to any relationships that I so deeply cherished and stepped away from because of love for the earth and the people supposedly owning it. It led me to discover my pride, my prejudice, my purpose, my passions, my faith and my desires. To thrive in anger, to surrender in despair and hope that comes from so many situations where it seemed it was the end of my life. I will forever remember all the times I was left alone and strangers came and assisted me with food, clothing, transport, a roof over my head and all the stuff that kept me alive and safe from harm. It is because of you that I will always believe that God has a purpose for me on this earth, and that I will always continue to try and live from my core.
I have always been grateful, and hope that we may meet again.
Thankyou for all the likes, shares, comments, random buys, gossip and stuff that kept me alive. I hope that you learn the value of your exchanges and gifting, and that it returns to you tenfold.
LOVE AND LIGHT TO YOU ALL
Given the state of our countries unemployment rates, trading goods or services for goods or services, or an alternative currency instead of simply just cash is very lucrative for many. Trading laws vary, they varied, even before the existence of money or currency. I am deeply blessed on my journey to find people who have traded the use of much land, both in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. In Mpumalanga I have written a previous post on some of what goes on, on this farm. Read it here for more information.
I find myself on a farm, situated approximately 7kms outside Machadodorp, nestled between a trout farm and game farms with guesthouse accommodation. A co-owner of the land, Ane’, connected with me via an old friend and we emailed back and forth information about our visions for community and self-sustainability. Working with ATSOU (Awakening the Spirit of Ubuntu) Ane’ found a love and passion working with disadvantaged children and ex-combattons. She worked in many community projects and is an excellent PA to a very wealthy woman in the city. It became a trade to do a garden, a massive garden, without any money to invest or reward me with… We decided on a small piece of land for me to use to build a small home on. I do not have any money income apart from consultations and the garden in Johannesburg at the Pirates Sports club was thinned out to do a few client gardens when I lost my cottage 6 months ago. It would have ended then if it were not for a friend Peter who insisted I keep the garden and has truly stepped up to assist in the physical work of it all. It is also an important garden because it ensures there is always food in Johannesburg growing for me and those who assist, and those who I giveaway to. We therefore currently trade a ride through to Johannesburg once a week/every second week (to tend to my garden at Pirates and do consultations), my monthly costs (rent, electricity, washing, and three meals a day),and if necessary assistance with odd items for personal use when required, along with the use of the land to build my own home on…
The setup and duties on the farm include assisting in creating a youth camp consisting of 4 teepees and 2 large army tents. Once we have funds to complete a small ablution and kitchen area for volunteers it will be set up and ready for camps/woofers/visitors. Ane’s vision does not end there, she has looked at the entire region – Emakhazeni; each small town individually (WatervalBoven, Machadodorp [Dullstroom is already at tourist attraction and is therefore not included] and Belfast) and we have reached out to various departments; Municipality, Arts and Culture and the Cooperative Governance of Traditional Affairs for assistance. We wish to implement a plan and program which can be summed up as a self-employment initiative for each area. This involves setting up of green spaces (community gardens), tourist stalls, art and crafts developments with capacity building, incorporating ideas such as trash to treasure and fresh start to name a few of the projects in mind. It is a highly amiable and ambitious vision. It is also the most likely model to create community that thrives on local and naturally grown produce, medicine and cosmetics.
I’ve worked on these gardens for approximately 6 months, and planted over 100 different edible and medicinal plant varieties. Some in bags, some in the ground, some in trays, some in the food gardens, some in the wild… I am still, in no way producing anything in a monoculture method. or on a mass scale. We are still experimenting; wanting to find a main crop or two…a vision of setting up a nursery in the area. I estimate another 2 years at this rate before making some serious money, but keep an eye on my Facebook pages and this blog, many things change instantly in my world.
My trade is to use my talents, to just be, which seems surreal but is quite a task at times. It is all very exciting, very humbling, very rewarding and very much dependant on consistent effort and discipline. It is a race against time that is no longer as we know it. Climate change presents itself, especially with drought and a recent tornado in Johannesburg. Biodiversity is vital to both our own health and that of the earth itself. This planet. I am almost certain a few of us will evolve, as some plants evolve when transplanted from region to region. The question is, whether or not we are prepared to evolve?
Much about gardening has become a dance for me, like putting away ones toys after a game. Relayering, replacing, restoring, adding, shifting mulches…. The result is longevity and great skin. It is a dance highly recommended to those drawn to it, but not a calling for everyone. I came across men eating mice once, and it shocked me to core with a deep sadness at how unprepared they were, even with the knowledge of planting seed. If anything to do a garden is a major way of taking ones power back. IF not back from government or shop owners we dislike, or from bosses who don’t pay us enough to go on holiday often enough, then simply it is a matter of pride, in my opinion, as a garden is a good foundation for a home
Do come join me in Johannesburg at my garden for a monthly crop swap so we can add to the biodiversity of this country or visit us at the farm in Mpumalanga and volunteer your time and expertise.
see you in the garden
My winter has been filled with color, as I find my way still with all of these things I write and share herein. I have spent 4 months and counting drifting between Mpumalanga and Johannesburg, planting and harvesting bits and pieces. Consulting work is picking up, and paying off in more ways than one, as clients begin to show and share their harvests and joy about fresh peas and spinach, onion and tomato always there.
I still believe that food and water should be a human right, and that it is important to add value to our food security by adding to the biodiversity in our gardens and communities. At the farm outside Machadasdorp (Mpumalanga), the garden has taken shape as shown below, throughout winter.
This was the beginning…
I am greatful for the assistance in hoe-ing out the thicket, as I sorted the debris into braches, logs, mulch, and used it to shape and layer my beds. Much is being used to grow soil or compost for planting.
Just needs SOIL -the most important plant you will ever grow. Soil is for plants what bioplus is for some of us. My method is being tested wherever I gain clients with the consultations I have begun to do. I have had success both on ivy, and on clay soil, also in drought. I believe I have combined permaculture methods of sheet mulching and hugelkultuur in some cases, however in this garden elements such as the eucalyptus and pine needles are shunned. If i were more scientifically equipped I would guess the soil ph is what is most tampered with when I work in this way, shifting layers of the earth like a dj. To me, each part of any piece of land is different, it is a thing or language we all know and become aware of the more we engage in being part of the solution to climate change. This part of the solution is biodiversity.
The shadecloth donated was not enough on my first trip, but I managed to get some more on my second trip and have sewn it all together onto the tunnel, next to this spiral garden I made. Things are already growing here too…
As you can see, things are really growing here….
I am in Johannesburg 7 – 9 days a month to generate a financial income. My garden at the Pirates Sports Club is still growing, and I have chosen to share it with some people, they deserve a dedicated blog post. We hope to sustain ourselves with food and medicine from this garden and will continue to use the garden as a place for crop swaps and workshops.
If you would like to have a garden consultation, please book one in advance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call Netanya 072 146 9017
I find myself sitting up in bed at 4.30am considering the past two months, the two years spent in the city, with my own blinkers on. This blog and the work I have done in an effort to be self sustainable has been completely fruitless financially, yet, if I were to cease to exist as I do, and get a job (as in stop trying to make money doing things I love doing, get some bills to pay etc, instead of following my heart, I know I would not afford the fruits of this world as I do now. I put myself and my talent out in every way on this blog, and some perceived me as a company (great and quite a trainsmash too for my ego- thank you); others perceived me as some kind of expert on all the fields and others show great compassion and step up to take back their power as people.
I often receive messages of gratitude and encouragement, big smiles from those who have supported me with unintentional false promises, trades and finances. Ive written about The Vintage Kitchen merging with me and selling my products, but The Vintage Kitchen is two people still picking up on creating a business, and a preference and passion for biodegradable cleaning products prevailed for them. I also wrote about Bianca and Joanna assisting me, they did, but they did not make money, neither did I. I lost my cottage cage in Linden, I was getting sick there – trying to connect with my neighbors, impress the landlords by growing food on Yakka roots hmm not an easy thing to do… Bianca and Joanna no longer assist, but follow their hearts I trust. The previous blog posts will explain completely why I, therefore, decided that working and living on a farm, outside of Johannesburg, in an effort to trade for land and assistance in creating a home and business is more lucrative for me than to continue with this trade for Pirates Sports clubs bit of land.
Yes, I still want to grow my teas, get a potting wheel and make giant teapot fountains and teapots to drink from, sell you the teas, the seeds, the plants, the workshops etc etc in an effort to muse, inspire and empower. It’s always my intent. In jhb community is too large for me maybe? I wanted support from local businesses, local residents and perhaps my perception of local being wherever I can reach without transport was what stirred this holy anger within me to stubbornly continue to create and destroy the awesome gardens I did there twice over two years. I did muse and amuse many and I did inspire many too. Empowerment comes from within though, not from numbers in an account, it is up to each of us to add value, through compassion, with or without numbers.
Intuition is part of or a form of natural medicine. In a dictionary, I have in my possession, Intuition or that which is known intuitively is defined as truth obtained by internal apprehension without the aid of perception or the reasoning powers. I like to believe that intuitively we all know that living foods straight from our backyards are more beneficial to our bodies, and that the same goes for medicine too. Medicinal tea is one of the oldest medicines known to us, and herbologists were labeled witches and burnt at the stake some time ago for a reason. I believe that in that time our perception of value or capacity changes as well, and our intuition literally went out the window as far as medicine from our backyards goes, when we stopped listening to our bodies out of fear and went to doctors instead. We also lost community in the same way we lost our connection to our intuition and nature itself.
So, on this farm, my host has opened up her home to me and also another family (we are all in limbo and without much money, some of us are not in good health), progress is slow but steady at times. I am learning a lot about people, plants and medicinal infusions to assist. E.g tick bite fever and recovering from malaria. We randomly found a volunteer from Amsterdam, who assisted for a day. The wild horses come say hello at the fence more often. We started making a tunnel using the invasive wattle removed. Chopping wood, moving logs, pots, teepees, leveling, walking, water divination and more go on – even planting seeds in this unique winter inside my tent. I am finding joy, and learning what nurturing really is. I will write a lot about us here on the farm, and I am pleased to have already got a big patch of the garden almost prepped for Spring
Leaving my pirate garden behind has been quite a struggle to me, I deeply apologize to all who feel my efforts failed their dreams about community there, and to those that used it to promote only themselves, that removing it completely fails.
I would still APPRECIATE assistance, definitely more soil and more fruit trees. Please let me know if you wish to trade or donate something toward my efforts in bringing people together to add value in this world by emailing me…. email@example.com as I am not around signal all day.
In an effort to create more biodiversity in our city, as well as community networking, I offered my garden as the first venue for the Garden Harvest Swap brainchild Zia Dee. It was an awesome inspiring and awakening experience for many, and I continue to host a crop swap every month throughout the year. Despite the winter, I hope many people do come and find out, as my clients soon will, that gardening does not end in winter – there are cabbages, carrots, beetroot, garlic shoots and much more to green your garden throughout the cold season.
I choose clients who want to learn about their food, about sustainable energy and redirecting resources in order to achieve a more sustainable way of life without added expenses, but rather saving in many ways instead.
My first client had two children, it was quite a beautiful experience.
I taught them about seed planting, seed saving, seed germination and soil health in the process.
Everyone in the household, including the gardener, got involved
This is the result after 3 months of loving it…
Another client had a small balcony, which I potted up with Bianca and the client in between a tasty vegetable stew with basmati rice. A beautiful exchange for money, a meal and some guitar lessons.
I offer a garden consultation and report, which includes documents with the information of antipest plants, companion planting charts and crop rotation that I have applied and learnt. A second visit where we all plant up a few things together is included in my fee of only R750. Crop swap events at my garden encourage community to come use their excess from their own gardens like cash.
if you are interested in getting into your garden in this way feel free to contact me for an appointment
Netanya 072 146 9017
When I read the market opportunity part in my document, and my document in general, it is beautiful, it is an awesome vision but again it is nothing without a community that sustainably utilizes it. I am grateful for the gifts of what I’ve needed, especially, for what seems to me the Grace of God while I worked through my anger and depression with God making this garden, for the teachings, for the second hand clothing, the toilet paper, the toothpaste, the shoes, the likes and shares on facebook, the room to sleep in, the heater in the winter, the farms I get to see… its the reason I do at times maintain this garden with very little reward.
- Club members over the past year and a half have been exposed to information on this garden in the club newsletter less than 5 times. This means the market opportunity has not been utilized or tapped into. Pirates is a sports club, and the sporting activities, wine tastings and gin and tonic evenings take precedence. They have been very generous in gifting me with the use of the land and borehole water. I would gladly stand at the gates and hand out pamphlets if I had the funding to make pamphlets. I am now pushing to walk and do this talk, and discussion about my vision (see the Art of Craft Mission document) with committee members and management over the next two months, and be more frequent in the newsletter, if the garden is to remain on the premises.
- Suburban upper class wine tastings or food, tea and wine pairing is something I would require professionals to come and present and train me if desired or just use the opportunity and add to the versatility of the ideas set out in my document as far as Pirates being a space known as a hub of community support and inspiration in all areas of wellness goes.
- Organic markets and farmers come together at Pirates, but one market is a success and the rest are often confused with this one, resulting in a lot of newcomers only coming through once. The farmers stalls at markets are usually one guy selling everyone’s produce, so it is not likely to meet the farmer at a organic market, but rather at the garden swaps. Either way all NEED SUPPORT. I do not generate enough income to support myself, and usually pay for markets by grace… as in the fee is waived last minute or lessened and volunteers assist me in moving around once a week, or month at times in doing a market. I therefore have little exposure. This month I am merging with The Vintage Kitchen, and have shared and added some spice to what I produce from the garden. Elisma from The Vintage Kitchen will also assist with packaging, design and distribution. Below are some images of our small start in the kitchen today, yes a day before the Bluebird Wholefood Market where these will be for sale big love.
- Health shops, co-op shops and online shops want larney packaging I cannot afford and I have not contacted or met many of the owners. Mostly because I know that what I produce is unique and limited and they want products that are supplied in x amount on a weekly basis with x amount of profit in x amount of time … quite frankly, if I spread out my teas at pirates now it will be another 6 – 8 months to meet a demand on a huge variety of things. Packaging will cost, so will communication.
- I have registered a blogpage as an online shop and will be learning and putting my items for sale on the Art of Craft Shopping site this month April 2017. It was set up by an IT guy who has little income, for free. My domain name for this blog was gifted by an old friend from many years back.
- No one has ever contributed R500 or more, added my range of teas and infusions to their brands packaging and distribution (however my salt and tea is now added to The Vintage Kitchen collection of April 2017), and had me teach and train their growers about them, placed a link to Art of Craft on their website, sponsored an Art of Craft event, and Solid Green is the only company to have brought a group to volunteer at the Art of Craft garden.
- In consideration of the Art of Craft Mission document attached in PDF format free for you to download here – artofcraftmission – and the above mentioned, as well as losing the cottage I tried to make a home and business in over the past 4 months my bed and camping chair are for sale. My offerings of doing art, making you medicinal infusions, garden consultations and reports with trading assistance still exist. In short I do all this for the love of God, humanity and the earth quite literally. As much as I have inspired you in your art, life, business and dreams, you have inspired me to live from my core.
- My phone, banking and email records, as well as the free spaces to sleep, store things, take things along randomly and loss of a beautiful cottage are testimony to what I consider a lack of support, though a few have angrily commented that I have support. I once laughed, responding that I have more opportunists than support, which I still feel is true, which is why I mainly tried to do this garden alone – for me it was my only grounding place, when I previously had no cottage or home of my own… it is and was also my downfall, as hermits own IT businesses lol not empowerment or healing ones. I deeply apologize to society and myself daily. Some have commented that I have inspired them, others have been empowered for short periods. It is and always will be my intention to ADD VALUE whether I have money to pay for it to be added or practical DIY – like this garden.
- Lastly, I am sure I will be forgiven if I disappear out this farming scene all together, flatten and remove the plants from the garden entirely, and just make tea and do art… and grow my plants elsewhere. However, I have been changing the garden by moving things around, and planting seeds, so that it can be left alone more-so, while I ground myself and completely manifest my business here in Johannesburg. I really do want to do a few art installations at some point before my trade time ends
- Thank you for continuing to show respect for the space I grow my food and medicine in. Please give me a call if you would like to utilize any of my offerings or purchase my bed and camping chair 072 146 9017
In a previous post I wrote about some notes I had written in a notebook, about my homeless assistant working on his own volition at times, to finish my garden perimeter without being paid… how for that reason, among others, like people offering me money and entertaining my ideas in farming teas, like Solid Green Consulting and this awesome ebike on loan that I ride on, like the lady from 6 degrees East who gifted me with an apron to garden in, and these printing guys from Art in Martin that insisted on printing some labels and my disclaimer, and others bringing plants and seeds or whatever I needed along my gypsying path, I got up to continue day after day, making the garden at Pirates. I did this quite regularly over a year, and the previous 6 months on the other side of Pirates. I have done a lot of work alone in this garden, while my heart broke and while my heart awoke, because of how people responded to my reality in different ways (their own perceptions often left me awakened) leaving me in some weird way refreshed, drained or changed, at times. Creating this garden has been an incredible journey for me and I am certain that it offers, in itself, a space of love and healing for anyone that spends a bit of time in it. I see how it brings together people from various groups and lifestyles, its quite a beautiful community event once a month next to this garden… the Garden Harvest Swap. Please follow the pages and the interactive gardening @ Pirates page as well for regular inspiration.
When I came to Johannesburg I was recovering from a traumatic experience. I was supposed to be taking medication for very bad depression, which unfortunately made me feel like bugs were crawling under my skin, all over my body for a few hours, I couldn’t sleep for days and felt like pulling off my own skin, it was an itchy irritation I will never forget… I decided not to take more of it and spoke to God alot – inner voice, intuition, whatever you call it – through my panic attacks instead. This was the beginning of my journey with natural medicine, intuition being the first, the second being celery
One might laugh at the thought of intuition being part of or a form of natural medicine. In a dictionary, I have in my possession, Intuition or that which is known intuitively is defined as truth obtained by internal apprehension without the aid of perception or the reasoning powers. I like to believe that intuitively we all know that living foods straight from our backyards are more beneficial to our bodies, and that the same goes for medicine too. Medicinal tea is one of the oldest medicines known to us, and herbologists were labeled witches and burnt at the stake some time ago for a reason. I believe that in that time our perception of value or capacity changes as well, and our intuition literally went out the window as far as medicine from our backyards goes, when we stopped listening to our bodies out of fear and went to doctors instead.
I used teas to deal with my anxiety and depression, with my memory brain functions, with my immune system, with my muscular system, with my sleep patterns too… I encourage people to buy seeds, to make cuttings, to plant their own medicinal teas, AND I have a range of my own from the Art of Craft garden at Pirates Sports Club in Greenside. My range is limited, because I am not farming, as in farming the way most think of farming. The garden is about 100 square meters, if that much already. I kept expanding it and now I am just maintaining it, I have had two of the most persistent volunteers I’ve ever met assist me in the garden with experimenting with making kale treats, transplanting and moving things like some bottles etc, Joanna and Bianca (Bianca is the tall one) are seen in the picture below in the garden. Please feel free to say hello and give them a personal welcome to the garden if you see them. Bianca has made fantastic basil pesto, and something with rocket I think, and Joanna likes to make clay and semi precious stone jewellery and wind-chimes, and has just disappeared with some fresh kale today….
We are aiming at generating an income from it by selling artwork and garden treats like the basil pesto, potted plants from thinning out areas in the garden, the following is a list, an ever-growing list of what is growing in the garden (please contact me directly for an updated version or a list of available tea remedies). Things are for sale this Sunday at the Pirates Sports Club at the Vegetarian market, it’s a new market so bring ten or so friends I will be in the garden, should anyone want some plants and not find their way my number is 072 146 9017.
Thank you for growing with us, and helping us keep growing in advance
I have experimented with growing my own calabashes over the past three years and find it quite a helpful plant in the garden and at home, once harvested. However, the yield of the plant and the way ones body reacts to so called ”NEW FOODS”, made me consider picking up a few and decorating them. I actually painted my first one, which I found in a carpenter slash pastors workshop space in Strand, under bits of antique wood off-cuts, covered in spider web residue and dust. He said I can recycle it, so I painted an awesome black and white floral design on it, and sold it for R600. The seeds from some of these calabashes were saved and planted by me in the past 3 years in a few places in Johannesburg and even as far as Mpumalanga lol. How this seed travels, and can be dormant and stored for hundreds of years is also quite fascinating.
In order to appreciate this form of artwork more, it is good to have an understanding of this plant too. This particular calabash is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. The fresh fruit has a light-green smooth skin and a white flesh. Rounder varieties are called calabash gourds. They grow in a variety of shapes: they can be huge and rounded, small and bottle shaped, or slim and serpentine, more than a meter long. Because bottle gourds are also called “calabashes”, they are sometimes confused with the hard, hollow fruits of the unrelated calabash tree, its latin name is Crescentia cujette, whose fruits are also used to make utensils, containers, and musical instruments.
Here are some pictures of gourds that I painted and still have for sale from 2013 and 2014. I have a few on 4TH Avenue in Linden outside the wool and fabric shop, and these are in my cottage in Linden. They make excellent incense holders and interesting deco, something that will definitely get your guests talking about art I hope My number is 072 146 9017 and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that if I do not respond promptly I am in my garden at the Pirates Sports Club literally
For some reason people still keep contacting me about Bamboo Leaf tea, which I sold at markets about 2 years ago, and I have put them in contact with the supplier up until today. I responded asking what they would take it for, and the answer was Hair growth. I ended that with, well I will go investigate in the garden in the morning and make a suggestion or two, and if she likes it I will harvest it fresh. That is so much better than dried stuff without dates on them. I think it’s better the garden function as a factory, and storeroom than separating them into a system that tries to control nature itself too.
In my research I found that Rosemary, Peppermint, Stinging Nettle, Aloe, Gingko Biloba, Ginseng, Saw Palmetto, Horsetail, Burdock and Lavender oils can be mixed with olive oil and massaged into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. There are in fact, a lot more than that to list.
I also researched whether drinking tea make from these herbs or various combinations of them will be as effective as massaging herbal oil into ones hair. Aloe Vera can be added to shampoo. Stinging Nettle and Aloe Vera are quite reputable as solutions. The good news about making Teas from these herbs is also that the tea can be used as a conditioner and it can be enjoyed with some tasty snacks.
Here is how to do it:
- Heat a cup of water in a pan and add tea leaves or herbs in this case to it
- Boil for 5 minutes
- Strain the liquid and let it cool down.
- Mix this liquid with some mint water
- Use this to rinse your hair or enjoy it as an iced tisane
If you would like me to get into the garden and pick you a few cups of tea give me a call 072 146 9017 or order via email email@example.com
After 7 years of running to stand still, and making my way back into society and toward my own blood family, I have finally rented a beautiful little cottage in Linden. Over the past year and a half I have been in and out of Jhb, walking from Linden to Greenside to do my garden and found that in 4th Avenue I get greeted the most, in fact, by virtually everyone walking past me – even when they look pissed off. It has made me smile, it has restored alot of faith in humanity that I lost along the way.
I got kilograms of coffee grains, which were used on the farm and at Pirates from Gravity, really nice owners who truly do want to make a difference by example of growing some things on their steps and generously saving the waste for me to utilize. This is their facebook page GRAVITY BIG LOVE AND THANK YOU
There is what I consider to be a homely, relaxed and awesome new place called the Choo-Choo Junction on 4th Avenue that is very worthy of a visit. They serve food that gives one a rather worldly experience, definitely not anything you will find anywhere else and to top it off, the music is always good and the service excellent. This restaurant is growing alot of the food they use in the cooking, making it even more nutritious for all who are served. I have gifted them with a few plants and seeds, and they have kindly given me some space to grow one or two tea plants. This is their facebook page CHOO-CHOO JUNCTION BIG LOVE AND THANK YOU
Patrick is a wirework artist who has been setting up various struggling artists work, along with his work, outside the wool shop in 4th Avenue. I am one of those artists. We would like to network a bit more, in order to assist more people who really are going the extra mile to create beautiful things that are cost effective. Please contact me or go take a walk in 4th avenue any day to show some support 072 146 9017 My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you in advance. Here we are below, with some images of what can be purchased on 4th Avenue’s sidewalk thankyou Patrick for all your effort in assisting struggling artists all over Johannesburg.
In the mean time I have got to get back into my garden throughout December, and package teas to sell in two days time. It has all been a wonderful journey throughout my year and I look forward to meeting more of the residents in 4th Avenue in general.
Merry Christmas Linden <3