Julie Hay

There is magic happening at the Rainbow headquarters at Rotunda. Ordinary, everyday things which are usually discarded are being transformed into tools for learning and playing. Lindiwe is carefully flattening bread bags, Linda is making plans for a workshop and dreaming up fundraising ideas, Joseph is updating the crèche registers before driving staff to a…

Pod Gardens

Permaculture systems evolve naturally by responding to the surrounding environment. While there are basic principles, every system is different. “You can’t jump right into permaculture – it is actually generations of observation and development.”  Bruce Haynes is particularly fascinated by urban gardens and their ability to enhance food and economic freedom. Over the last five…

Shuttleworth Weaving

The Shuttleworths are founder members of the Midlands Meander and have earned a reputation for exceptional quality hand woven carpets, never wavering from their intention to create original craft from the best materials available.

Wild Pear

Dombeya rotundifolia in full bloom is sight not to be missed during August and September on the hillsides of Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve in Howick. This small tree with dark brown, craggy bark and a rounded crown is literally covered in white blossom, which is particularly striking as the tree is usually leafless at this…

Karkloof Farmers’ Market

“Do you remember peeping nervously around the door to see if any cars where coming?” recalls Kim with a grin. Her partner in their passion project Karkloof Farmers’ Market, Andrea, giggles, “Yes – then hundreds of people came and our coffee station was chaos because we didn’t have any sort of system!”   It is astonishing…

Bridget Ringdahl

Not every environmental activist walks their talk, but Bridget does. Bridget Ringdahl recently won Gold in the Water Conservation Category of the Enviropedia Eco-Logic Awards for her exceptional work with the WESSA Water Explorer Programme, dressed in a striking outfit created from a discarded pilates ball, foraged plastic and old CDs. This recognition is well…

Lara Kirsten

Playing in the Desert Last month, Lara Kirsten wrapped her precious piano in blankets, tied it up with sturdy rope, loaded it in the back of a bakkie and headed into the desert.  “I couldn’t resist,” she says “the theme for Afrikaburn this year was PLAY. I am a pianist, I love to play, I…

African Almond

Prunus africana Common names: Red Stickwood, African Almond, Afrikaans: rooistinkhout; Zulu: Inyazangoma-elimnyama, umdumezulu; Xhosa: uMkakase Just when most exotic trees around us have lost all their leaves, the Prunus Africana sprouts a whole lot of shiny, new ones.  They are particularly spectacular as the rising sun catches their under sides and turns the tree in to…

Mr Ahmed

During the 1950’s Mr Ahmed Suleman and his family lived on the corner of Gush and Main Roads in Howick, where they ran a General Store. Nowadays, he trades in the park (Market Square) opposite,  three times a week.   “I am almost back where I started!” he says with a smile. The Group Areas Act…

Antonia Mkhabela

Educators passionate about environmental issues are not that common in our schools. This is a pity, because a healthy environment is essential for a healthy community, and if nothing else, our teachers are building citizens capable of contributing to future society. “Understanding basic ecology and how the earth works is most important and helps learners…

Cape Parrots

Every year, for the past 20 years, volunteers spend chilly early mornings and evenings watching out for Cape Parrots. In 2017 the Cape Parrot Big Birding Day takes place on the afternoon of the 6th and morning of the 7th May. Flocks of Cape Parrots (Poicephalus robustus) are a regular sighting in the Midlands as…

Sacred Stones

The Midlands is full of surprises, secrets lurk in unexpected places and hidden treasures are uncovered by those with a keen eye for the unusual. The Standing Stones of Karkloof are a perfect example. Karkloof residents have begun mapping areas of important natural and cultural heritage. One of these is the intriguing Standing Stones site,…