Category Archives: food

Hemp, hemp, the wonderful plant, the uses and the South African status thereof

-hemp-plant

image via wikipedia commons

We are rather fond of this plant. The non-psychoactive Cannabis species.  Sustainable.  Food, clothing, ropes, building – the list is long. Some history and uses of industrial hemp here, and more about the nutritional value of the seeds here – vegans take note.

The South African legal situation and business model regarding growing hemp appears to be in need of clarification. See here, here (.pdf) and here is more rather useful information.

hemp-leaves

image via wikipedia commons

Fortunately the plant has a champion in Tony Budden (Nominative determinism anyone?) of Hemporium SA. The site has an on-line shop and plenty of excellent information.  Inhabitat interviewed him, and here is more. We also enjoyed  this site. Find plenty of video goodness here about  building with hemp.

Building a sun-tracking solar cooker

sun tracking solar cookerNot for the faint-of-heart DIY-er, but perfectly possible for those of us blessed with more experience – TreeHugger has a look at the who and the how of doing this.

To quote: “[Instructable user Keith] created an insulated box (including two panels for mirrors, and removable back doors), mounted it to allow it to tilt and rotate (plopping it on a big Lazy Susan dealt with the rotation part), added a motor so it could move itself, and of course devised a simple but great solar panel system so that the unit could detect and track the sun.”

The page has a fine video of the cooker too, and more detail and instructions can be found on the Instructables site.

Big City Buzz – urban bee-keeping in Paris

bees in parisSomething that I had not yet contemplated  (via Treehugger and the BBC ).

Paris has been a pesticide-free zone for 10 years.  There are over 400 bee hives in the city.

It seems that these urban bees are very happy indeed. They have a far lower death-rate (3 – 5%) than their country cousins (30 – 40%).  Their honey yield is almost double.  Biodiversity also has a role to play – urban honey made in Paris contained more than 250 different pollens. Honey from the French countryside can contain as few as 15 or 20 pollens.  Sweet stuff …

Vertical self-watering rain harvesting garden for small spaces

Vertical garden self wateringDo you want a herb garden on a small patio or balcony that will water itself?  This would work – a  living green vertical wall.

I found it at Treehugger. It can harvest rainwater from a gutter down-pipe and the built-in tank can be topped up during dry spells.

Michael Tampilic  won a prize with his Vert Rain Terrace at the Rocket 2008 industrial design show.

Treehugger has an article on it here. We intend to experiment with ways and means to design and construct these delightful green walls.

Littering allowed with these drinking glasses – or you can eat them

Edible jelly glassDesigned by The Way We See The World, Jelloware  glasses are edible, flavoured and naturally biodegradable.

From if it’s hip, it’s here – “The cups are made entirely out of agar agar Jelly glass disposal(a gelatinous substance made from red algae) and cast in different flavors, such as lemon-basil, ginger-mint, or rosemary-beet, each specifically designed to compliment a corresponding drink.” Seaweed is a great fertilizer.  However, ginger-mint jello would be a rather tasty snack.

Either way, less to carry home after a picnic in the park once someone starts selling them …