Autumn – isikhathi sokuvuna

You will know that Autumn is on the way when you feel a delicious chill around your ankles and the leaves of exotic planes and pin oaks turn scarlet, cinnamon and purple before falling. You can almost feel time passing in the air. It is time to relax and tune into the natural cycles, slow…

Nick Dollman

Not every guy that lurks under a bridge is a troll. Some are angels – like Nick Dollman. Back in the day, Nick was inspired by the TV programme Rescue 911 to volunteer at the Sandton Fire Department. “I had no idea until I saw that show that this sort of thing was an actual…

Satyrium macrophyllum

Zulu names: unoklamu, unokleshe, uklamkleshe According to Elsa Pooley’s Wildflowers of KwaZulu Natal, the underground tuber of this orchid is edible.  Many of the Satyrium genus are used in traditional medicine – usually mixed with other plants and particularly for illnesses that are difficult to cure.  33 species occur in South Africa, some are used in…

Sandile Sikhosana

Sandile Sikhosana eats, sleeps and breaths mathematics. Actually, he dreams maths too.  “Often interesting questions for exam papers come to me in my dreams and then all I have to do in the morning is write them down,” he recounts.   Sandile is absolutely determined to improve the quality of maths teaching in South Africa and…

Essenwood Micro-Dairy

Megan Wood has wanted to milk cows and be a farmer since she was a little girl. Living in the suburbs, with her husband and young family, she simply couldn’t wait any longer and rescued a cow with a wonky leg and three teats that was certain to be culled. Katherine came to live in…

Dragon Fruit

Local legend has it that dragons sleep beneath the rolling hills of the Midlands.  As the morning mist creeps along the valleys and the early sun paints the hilltops pink, it is easy to believe in magic. Urban escapees, Mark and Fiona Hodgson, have been captivated by the area, adding to the mystery by creating…

Reko Rings

Supermarkets are marvellous as providing anonymity. The pre-cut stir fry pack bears little resemblance to an actual cabbage (let alone gives any hint of the bees that pollinated the flower), and it is very hard to imagine a lamb chop attached to a little sheep.  If customers got to meet the people who produced their…

Locavore’s Guide to Planet Midlands

Do you know who produced the ingredients in your lunch? Every meal I eat I am able to thank almost everyone personally for the contribution they made to my plate of food. Not forgetting the butterflies, rivers, bees, farm workers, sunshine and shop keepers that all played a role before the ingredients got to my…

Terrence Khawula

Cycling 15kms to school each morning along country roads in Underberg gave Terrence Khawula plenty of time to think.  His parents were farm workers and he needed to supplement their income as soon as he was able. Along with other boys on the farm, he became a caddie at the Underberg Country Club on weekends….

Bushman’s Tea

Athrixia phylicoides Common name: Bushman’s tea, Zulu names: ishayelo, iphephetha, Xhosa name: icholocholo, Sotho name: Sephomolo. This member of the Daisy family flowers for much of the year and is certainly a pleasant find in the grasslands as they turn gold in late summer. Found throughout Eastern South Africa in rocky areas, on the edges…