Tag Archives: composting

Celebrating Soil Day with Soil for Life 

Did you know that the 5th of December was World Soil Day? Well the team at Soil for Life did, and there was some serious celebrating!

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If you’ve never been there – you must! Soil for Life is situated on Brounger Road, off Spaanschemaat River Road, in Constantia, Cape Town.

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We recently meandered Soil for Life’s beautiful organic gardens. This working garden is an ideal environment to experience the abundance of a healthy soil. We watched a compost making demonstration, toured the gardens and bought some vegetables to plant as well as rich, living compost. Yes please. Be inspired by how this pioneering non-profit uses waste and everyday items to build a beautiful, productive garden. Really – it’s quite incredible.

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I was also thrilled to see the GROWbags available for sale – (profit, but also) proceeds of which go to Soil for Life, and help educate people on how to live sustainably when it comes to growing their own food. I love GROWbags. Read my blog post about them here.

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My littlie, keen on getting these green goodies…

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Riding the tractor. Very cool wooden sculptures…

This is Soil for Life’s mission. To teach people how to grow nutritious food at their homes, using low-cost, earth-friendly methods. They believe that everyone has the potential to grow healthy food, whether they live in a leafy suburb or an impoverished township. They run regular courses at their training centre in Constantia as well as teaching individual home food gardeners in resource-poor communities. To date Soil for Life has helped more than 1,600 people create home food gardens at their homes in Delft, Khayelitsha, Philippi and other areas on the Cape Flats.

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All the profits from Soil for Life’s Open Garden is ploughed back into their development work, to help provide the training and tools that enable families to grow their own food. Green living and sustainable food sources is how we can aleviate poverty – one small step at a time.

Soil for Life’s gardens and training center is situated just off Brounger Road, (off Spaanschemaat River Road), Constantia, Cape Town (behind the Constantia Waldorf School and Peddlars).

So, pop in, get your green-finger goodies, support a good cause and then hop over the Peddlars for a drink after. Win win.

Keep updated with their goings on, on their WebsiteTwitter, Facebook and Instagram. For further information contact 021 794 4982 or email them at info@soilforlife.co.za.

HOW IMPORTANT IS SOIL?

Six Soil Facts for World Soil Day:

• Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production.

• Soils are the foundation for vegetation which is cultivated or managed for feed, fiber, fuel and medicinal products.

• Soils support our planet’s biodiversity and they host a quarter of the total.

• Soils help to combat and adapt to climate change by playing a key role in the carbon cycle.

• Soils store and filter water, improving our resilience to floods and droughts.

• Soil is a non-renewable resource; its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future.

WIN with Green GoodsAgricare:

To CELEBRATE World Soil Day and to help you get the most out of your soil, Green Goods has one of the brand new Agricare Organic Booster Boxes (worth R175) to give away to one lucky reader. To enter follow this link.

GOOD LUCK!

WIN with Earth Probiotic & Our Greenish Life

There is an abundance of food scraps in this house. Like an overload. Every meal leaves behind veggie off-cuts, avo skin, fruit pips, egg shells and sweet potato peels.

Vancouver has a slick composting system… (blah blah blah, yes Debbie, we know Vancouver is brilliant at any-and-everything, you tell us all the time, blah blah blah), but really they do. The council DELIVERS composting bins TO YOU. Sigh. So when we returned to SA, and the common practice of being surrounded by food scraps accompanied us, we felt sick to our stomachs as we opened the bin and threw the beautiful, nutrient-rich waste away. We weren’t equipped to compost. It felt wrong. Intentional sin. A bit like buying un-free range eggs.

Fortunately, freedom returned when my toddler started at a farm-school and food scraps were requested as animal food. FAN-TASTIC. Our ‘waste’ was being lovingly carried in chubby, grubby hands, into the mouths of horses, goats, rabbits and chickens. Beautiful. Order (and soul satisfaction) was restored, but the need to compost at home was tapping me on the shoulder; I needed a long term solution.

And so I got chatting with Earth Probiotic about their food digester and bokashi bran. Bokashi what? I’m intimidated by hippie words I know nothing about. Bokashi, I thought, was one of those. But actually, it’s Japanese for “organic fermented matter”. Not so intimidating after all.

And so I gave this Bokashi Food Digester setup a go. ‘Haaaang on’, you may be asking… ‘What’s a Bokashi food digester?’ – well, that’s a good question.

‘The Bokashi Food Digester is an all natural, non toxic and 100% biodegradable solution allows all food waste to be composted. Food waste nutrients benefit soil thus improving soil health and improving plant and vegetable health.’

The idea is that you add food scraps to your food digester, alternating your scraps with a handful of bokashi bran. Bokashi is wheat-bran inoculated with a mix of probiotic bacteria, yeast and fungi. The goal? Bokashi juice. Bokashi juice is to your garden like water is to a man in the desert. Like chocolate to a child; like wine to a parent.

The Bokashi Food Digester is particularly well designed in that it comes with a sieve which is placed in the bottom of the bin so the bokashi juice can settle below it (to be tapped out) and won’t form mushed sludge with your food scraps. Our family filled a 20L food digester in just over a week (and the poor animals at school, got nothing). We layered our scraps between handfuls of bokashi and let it sit for 2 weeks. The bin lid fits tightly so there is no off-putting stench attracting flies, rodents or unwanted guests. Neat and tidy, just how I like it.

After two weeks, I tapped off my bokashi juice, and got almost 2L of the browny/orangy goodness! (Be sure not to store this next to your kombucha – they look identical). Wowzers. Bearing in mind, you need to dilute your bokashi juice heavily with water before use as it is highly acidic. 1:100 for lawns, 1:300 for gardens and pot plants, 1:500 for succulents and 1:1000 for sensitive plants. Also, your juice should be used within 24 hours after tapping for the best results.


It’s a fantastic system. It’s neat and easy to use. The empty bokashi bran tub can be used to store food scraps in your kitchen and then emptied into your large digester at the end of the day. After you’ve tapped your juice, you can add the food scraps to your worm farm, or bury it in the ground.

Keen to have your very own Earth Probiotic Bokashi Food Digester? Well luckily, Earth Probiotic, Our Greenish Life and Green Goods are giving one away! The prize is worth over R200. Yes, please.

Enter here:

Share this competition on Facebook for an extra entry.

Thanks for entering. Good Luck!

Contact Earth Priobiotic
(t) (27) 011 783 3380
(e) info@earthprobiotic.com
Physical Address: 3 Springhill Close, Moodie Hill, Morningside, Gauteng.
Web: www.earthprobiotic.co.za

Terms and Conditions

The competition runs from Wednesday 08 July – Wednesday 15 July 2015.
This competition is open to Cape Town residents only.
The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.
Winner will be announced on the Our Greenish Life website and social media channels on Wednesday 15 July.

THIS COMPETITION IS CLOSED. Congrats to Valerie Duffield Anderson who won this awesome compo.