Category Archives: grow

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


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.


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.

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 …

It’s Arbour Day – plant a tree!

Spring fever? 2010’s Tree of the Year is the Fever Tree (Acacia Xanthophloea). yellow fever tree It grows near stagnant water where malaria mosquitoes breed – hence the name.  Fever trees occur in low-lying swampy areas, margins of lakes and pans and along river banks. They attract a lot of bird species which make their nests in them, especially weavers. Fever trees grow at a phenomenal rate making it a favourite choice. Due to the invasive root system it should not be planted near buildings or paving.”

Yellow fever tree foliageYou’ll find a list of Trees of the Year both past and future (1975 to 2020)  on this page on Forestry South Africa’s website and further info on the tree itself on this page.

The Joburg website has a page with all the activities taking place over Arbour Week in Johannesburg and  more rather interesting information too. Right. Sun-hat on. Spade in hand.  Heading for the garden.

Happy Spring Day to all in the Southern Hemisphere!