Fana Sithole

While smiles usually come standard when one fills up with fuel, Fana Sithole’s smile is a wide grin and the conversation is interesting too. Fana has been manning the pumps at The Everything Store for 10 years. While Fana was still at school, his parents died and he had to take on the responsibility of…

Midlands Barter Markets

The revolution has begun! In the past couple of years, barter markets have begun to flourish in the Midlands. Many of us feel overwhelmed by the speed and chaos of modern life and are searching for a slower, more considered and mindful way of living.  While we may have plenty of money, often we don’t…

A Long Table for Lunch

The mist settled on our wine glasses and made the salads sparkle at the Long Table Lunch hosted by Erica Brown of Sōlfood in Karkloof last weekend. A light drizzle was not enough to deter enthusiastic foodies from enjoying her vegetarian feast surrounded by verdant hills, with a beautiful valley view of Albert Falls Dam….

It is a Goats Life

Fran Vermaak of Swissland Cheese really gets on with her goats – ensuring they produce the delicious milk which goes into her interesting cheeses. Convinced that real care makes a real difference; her goats have names, homes and a comfortable retirement. “My goats are free to roam in the grassland, so eat a variety of…

Slow, Green, African Christmas

Seasonal celebrations south of the equator, have a distinct flavour. We embrace the sun soaked occasions – the cry of the hadeda, bright agapanthus blue and summer storms that celebrate the uniqueness of our continent. We gather friends and family around colourful tables with the smell of hot earth or freshly cut grass wafting through the…

Peas on Earth

Nothing says springtime quite like a bowl of peas. Peas are definitely the hero of the season, all the nicer because fresh ones are only around for a short while. Sitting with a pile of pea pods in one’s lap quietly shelling them and scooping the tiny green treasures into a bowl is one of…

Secret Gardens of Engonjeni

“I don’t see the point of selling food to hungry people” Percival Gwala tells me. His neighbour Christopher Mbele agrees, “We like to help those around us who are needy.” Engonjeni is a small settlement in Lion’s River – the name translates as The Secret Place.   These men are enthusiastically growing and sharing food with…

Julia Lambeth-Dawson

My Local Choice After living on an island for five years where every scrap of food was imported from miles away, Julia Lambeth-Dawson thought  she had landed in foodie paradise when she relocated to the KZN Midlands.  “I was blown away by the taste and constantly commented to my friends about their good fortune at…

Hilton Produce Exchange

It’s a big job saving the planet, but starting small, with bite size chunks, can really make a difference. This is exactly what Karen Zunckel has done by initiating the Hilton Produce Exchange. Making compost and growing vegetables comes naturally to Karen. With her family, she has created a resilient oasis in Hilton, with beans…

La Petite France

I really like Grant Warren of la Petite France. I met him a few years ago when he grew organic vegetables and kept a small dairy herd. I was fascinated when he told me that he grew 99% of what his cows ate. He is definitely one of the good guys, so I headed out…

Erica Brown

Erica has been up since dawn making saffron, turmeric and coconut ice cream. Obviously, she loves to cook. “It is such a gorgeous golden colour, and I know it will taste delicious too” she grins. While she has grown the turmeric herself, coconuts are a bit of a challenge in Howick.  Erica is no ordinary…

Nhlakanipho Nzimande

Nhlakanipho believes that true wealth comes from a strong community, meaningful work and the ability to grow and eat good food. He recalls with pride the family stories that are still told, about the time when his ancestors lived sustainably at amaKhuze, before they were forcibly removed during Apartheid resettlements.  “They were an integrated, cooperative…