Thursday, October 6, 2011

Worth trying.......

Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot. What it will do is what some call 'turning to sugar'. In reality, honey is always honey. However, when left in a cool dark place for a long time it will "crystallize".  When this happensloosen the lid, boil some water and sit the honey container in the hot water, but turn off the heat and let it liquefy naturally. It is then as good as it ever was. Never boil honey or put it in a microwave. This will kill the enzymes in the honey. 

Cinnamon and Honey
Bet the drug companies won't like this one getting around. Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:
It is found that a mixture of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a 'Ram Ban' (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects for any kind of diseases. 
Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada, in its issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon, as researched by western scientists: 


Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply it on bread instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also, those who have already had an attack, when they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins. 

Arthritis patients may take daily (morning and night) one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain -- and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain. 


Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.. 


Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours.  As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.


Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses. 


Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from its root. 

According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas. 


Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial  and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases. 


Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals. 

A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural 'Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu. 

Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of water and boil to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old..

When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone.  Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms. 

Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root. 

Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections. 

Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet. 


Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month . 

Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week. 

People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day. 


Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!

You might want to share this information with a friend, kinfolks and loved ones. Everyone needs healthy help information ~ what they do with it is up to them !

Sunday, September 25, 2011

what we have been up to...

Our dam in the late afternoon
We have had such a busy last couple of weeks that to sit down to write and download pics, have seemed like too much of a task to undertake.  I would rather spend the time chatting with Rae and family, with a glass of red wine in my hands, when having a spare minute!! I kid you not, we are busy from morning till 12 o'clock every night.
The most important thing I have learnt in the last few months, after going for a check up at the doc, is that I have a enlarged heart and then after going for ex-rays and then a cardiogram,  I also have to have an aortic valve replacement operation. My aortic chamber is stretched to the max of 6.5 cm in diameter and stands the chance of bursting or rupturing, and then it will be all over, they say. It is 90% certain that I will need the op but I will still have to go for a catheter procedure to finalize the whole thing. Until that time, I will have to take it easy but those of you living on a farm know that it is easier said than done, especially with no labour to help you! I feel very positive about the op and obviously I would rather not have to go through with it but at the end of the day, the doc said that I would be surprised at how much better I would feel and that I have been obviously living with this condition  for some time and do not know what its like to feel normal, so... role on op!
This winter so far, we have had so much rain which  has been a real blessing, as since we have lived here, we have only experienced a drought which in the last two years has seen our spring dry up and our dams go dry. Lucky, we have a really good borehole that delivers 4500litres an hour and to that I have a pump fitted, that only draws 2500litres an hour so we can never overdraw on it and it has never given up on us, even if we have had to irrigate for three days in a row. Anyway, we now have full dams with the spring running constantly, creating a permanent river through our land and down into the Kouga River that feeds the Port Elizabeth metropole.
Another thing we have been really busy with, is since we have been living here, we have noticed a real need for a project to be set up to help the township animals. This we have now set up on our own, the main aim being to educate, sterilize, feed and to combate mange. In the beginning, we funded this ourselves but have since started a non-profit organization called J.A.W.S ( Joubertina Animal Welfare Services) and the local people and businesses are starting to contribute in the way of cash donations, old blankets, etc.We also are providing a shelter/kennel for all the needy dogs we come across.. This is in the form of  barrels that are being donated by the local fruit farmers in the area.We cut off the front of the barrel, lay it on it's side and pop rivet carpets into them and then kit them out with a blanket as well. Voila... a lovely, practical shelter which the dogs love!
In the beginning when we mentioned the project to people, they were really negative and said that we would never get the support from the locals. This however, has proved to be quite the opposite and the support has been really great so far, with donations being recieved from the church, local petrol station, the welfare organision, local co-op, butchery, etc, and then of course the real blessing is that a vet from Karreedow has offered us a very good rate for sterilization, which is a vital element to this whole project. Since starting this project it has also become impossible not to get involved with the families that own these dogs because how can you help the animals without attending to the needs of the people. So, as a result, we now also work in a close relationship with our local welfare officer. It is amazing the change that we have already seen in the peoples attitude towards their animals and the pride they take in a healthy animal and all the wonderful kids we have met. We now are hoping to sell our farm to purchase another one in the area that would be better suited for kennels and also for perhaps taking taking in horses that might need to be rescued, etc. We have our eyes on a local farm nearby that has been on the market for some time and should we manage to sell ours, then we will put in an offer... wish us luck!
The other highlight this month was that our "Chamomile & Rooibos" soap was chosen to appear in an article on rooibos tea in the Fair Lady. We were very proud!

Another highlight for us was having our little foster child that we looked after for 6 months last year, come stay with us for the weekend. We were so thrilled to see him and enjoyed every minute! In the pic below, he is sitting on my scrambler motorbike, showing me what a triangle looks like. Luaan is absolutely nuts about motorbikes and spent most of the weekend happily climbing on.... and off.... on.... and off! He is growing up into such a beautiful little boy, totally adored by his now permanent foster parents.

Being spring, we have tulips that spring( ha ha) out in the veldt  in a mass profusion of purples and yellows. They only open in the afternoon and are poisonous if injested by animals. Luckily, our horses seem to know that but we have a farmer nearby that wasn't so lucky with some calfs that he had brought in from a different region. Utterly beautiful though and one of our favourite times of the year.
The pic below is of Lulu's hooves. The picture was intended to be of her whole body with me taking it lying on the ground, but she's was so curious by the fact of me lying on the ground that she would keep coming up to me to investigate. So I told her that she would then have to appear on the blog "feet first" .
I had to refrain from cutting the grass which I dislike doing anyway, so that we could enjoy the spring flowers for longer. In fact, we have decided to leave the grass until they stop flowering.
It was also my youngest daughter, Rain's, 15th Birthday... she is on the left. She had a stunning birthday with her sister (on the right) and a bunch of friends down at the river and then upon returning, they all went for an outride.
Below, a gorgeous pic of the tulips with our neighbours house in the background.
We now have Pablo, our new horse as you know, so we have been going on a lot of outrides.
The other major mission we have been busy with, is collecting wattle droppers, or as is commonly known in South Africa, latte. This we will use to make our wire fencing more dog proof by placing them at fifteen centimeter intervals.This will firm up the fencing and will be narrow enough to prevent the dogs getting out. The only reason we are doing this is because when I'm in hospital for a few days, this will make Rae's life on the farm a lot easier with just one less thing to worry about. Below is our first little pile we have collected and Rae is busy stripping the bark off, then it is left to dry until we use them. By the way, we still have loads that we need to cut, bring home and peel, before we can even start and time is running out, especially since we still have a soap business to run which is incredibly busy at the moment!
In between all of this, I have also had three wild bee swarms arrive, for which I have had to quickly assemble hives. Below, is a pic of a swarm arriving and in the background is a catch box that is smaller than our hive box and is generally placed to catch the wild swarms, either in trees or anywhere in fact, or as in my case, the garage.
Below is a  picture of a full frame of honey and in it you can see that all the honey cells are covered with a layer of wax. This is called the wax cap. It is what you look for when investigating your "supers" to see if your honey is ready to be taken out. If the cells have little wax caps on them, it means that the bees are happy with the honey in there and it's good for storage which means that it is ready for us to harvest. There is more to this business of the bees capping the honey but I will maybe explain it another time.
Pablo in the field of tulips, deftly manipulating his lips around the poisons tulips to eat the grasses in between. It is actually amazing to watch up close as they do it so accurately, you would swear they had eyeballs in their lips!
This is my daughters horse Gwho-Gwho, doing the same thing.
Below our spring water running into our little dam and as you can see, it is quite a little stream. Well, that's that, it 8 o'clock on a Friday evening and time for supper and a nice glass of red wine!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Somebody elses bee story....

There have recently been postings regarding bees and their use in detecting explosives, probably the same procedures used in Angola to deal with landmines. You will most likely recall that the late Princess Diana was involved in bringing the situation in Angola to the notice of the rest of the world, she even visited the territory, and her selfless contribution in a way sparked the observations following, which I trust readers will find of interest.
During 2002 my fellow field workers were Walter and Dina who at that stage had been assisting me for more than 4 years with no bee behaviour problems of any nature. During June 2002 every colony we dealt with became restive a while after opening the hive. I had given Walter a full set of dentures and thought that maybe he was not cleaning it properly, so without telling him why he and I blew into the broodboxes via hosepipes. No significant reaction followed. Then I noticed that the bees became agitated when Dina came closer and as the weeks passed this became more pronounced, in fact Walter and I were also being attacked when Dina was in close proximity, and their aggravation only subsided with Dina being sent away. The aggro bees would follow her, concentrating on her lower regions. The problem could not be cleanliness as Dina is  particularly clean on her person, so I asked my wife to ask her a few womanly questions, particularly regarding the monthly event. Nothing of consequence emerged and the fury of the bees increased to such an extent that we could not do our scheduled work properly.
 Something was obviously amiss and Dina agreed to visit the hospital in Riversdale. I took her there and when fetching her looked at the pills prescribed, told her to throw it away, and went to see if my personal GP had a gap.
Conclusion:- Dina was operated on within a week at Tygerberg Hospital in Bellville, her plumbing, which was riddled with malignant tumours, was removed, the operation was a complete success, she returned to work after the prescribed period, the bees do not mind having her around and all her subsequent tests for cancer have been clear.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A horsey Story

Ever since playing "Cowboys and Indians" as a young boy, I have imagined living on a piece of land and owning my own horse. I would ride the valleys, cross the rivers and climb to the top of plateau's and marvel at the views, on the back of my trusty horse.
As the years went by, I went from being a "rep" of various products, poaching perlamone in the good old days (when there was so much of it, that you didn't think there was anything wrong with it), from plumbing, being a griller, waitering, doing odd bits of this and that, landscaping and garden  maintenance, having a roadside nursery, running the first door-to-door food delivery business in Plettenberg Bay, to getting married to my beautiful wife and having three precious daughters... I would tend to forget about my dream.

But every know and then, I would see a horse or watch a "horsey" movie and that urge would get rekindled and awakened all over again and I knew it was something I just had to have. I must mention here that the three horse riding experiences that I had in the interim, never went that well but this never put me off!
So along with one of my daughters being absolutely horse mad and having a dream of living on a farm with her own horse, I now had the allie I needed to make my own dream come true! Also, as I mentioned before in a previous blog, that along with my dream of moving to a farm, I was also ensuring that my kids got to experience something other than than crowded shopping malls, movie houses, Steers for entertainment. I wanted them to experience the open space of  nature and how they could exist in it every day and not just on an outing or on holiday. Maybe one day when they become adults living in the city and life is perhaps not quite what they want, then they will at least have an alternative existance to fall back on.

Lush and myself in the middle

After looking for a farm all over the Western and Eastern Cape, we were constantly drawn back to the Langkloof  in the Eastern Cape, where we eventually found our little farm. My daughter Alex accompanied me of these "farm hunting" missions to the Langkloof and being crazy about horses the way she was, she would make me stop if we saw horses in a field and we would just stare at them over the farm fence and if they were close enough, we would go up to stroke them and tell them how beautiful they were! This particular time, however, was the first time she made me stop to take a photo of a horse standing in a field. Little did I know then, that a year later she would become my very own horse!
Beani's first morning on the farm

It was a year later that we were finally settled on our farm, now owning  three horses that belonged to my daughters, that I replied to an advert stuck on the local farmers co-op message board, of a horse for sale. After phoning the owner and getting the directions, Alex and I set off to go and test ride the horse to see if it was a suitable choice for me to learn to ride on. She was beautiful and her name was Lush but after Alex had tacked her up and was walking her down the field, she suddenly went into a trot and then a canter and suddenly Alex was airborn, she went flying through the air and landed on her knees!! My heart came to a leaping halt, but she promptly stood up and climbed right back onto Lush, trotted back down the field toward us and happily announced that she was the perfect horse for me! The owner had also told us that his daughter had given up riding Lush, as she had been bucked off and was now to scared to ride. He said that she always seem to do it when going from a trot into a canter. Anyway, taking my daughters word for it, we took ownership of Lush. When we left, we both came to the realisation that this was the same horse we had taken a photo of a year earlier.
So, Lush became the horse I learnt to ride on.... in total, she bucked me off twice and the other times I fell off her was through my own stupidity and inexperience, but at the end of the day, Lush was the horse that I climbed mountains and crossed rivers with.
How I cured her of the bucking was easy, whether this was the correct way or not, I dont know but it seemed to work. I would go riding with my daughters and instead of me putting her into a canter, I would let her follow the "lead horse" into a canter and soon she trusted  me to put her into a canter without the bucking.
Suddenly, after three very happy years together, she had an accident and I had to make the terrible decision to put her down. It was possibly the worst day, of my adult life so far and there will always be an empty space in my heart left by her, that will never be filled. Her fellow equine friends on the farm, "Gwho-Gwho", "Jack" and her daughter, "Lulu Long Legs" ( now nicknamed "Beanie"), spent the rest of the day after Lush's departure, just standing up on the hill staring down at the farmhouse and it was obvious that they knew Lush was gone. Although a beautiful sunny day, there was an oppressive silence for the rest of the day, as there was someone missing that had meant so much and will never, ever be forgotten by me or her equine family.

Mommy and foal
She did, however, leave us a beautiful gift... When we got Lush, we did not know she was pregnant but just thought she was lovely and fat but 'lo and behold, one lovely spring morning, there was Lush standing in her field with a lovely little Palamino foal. We named her "Lulu Long Legs" and somehow, as it happens with all people and pets that you love, they invariably get a nick name. Hers became "Beanie". So that day, in celebration of her birth, we decided to watch a "horsey" movie and the only one available at the video store was "Flicka" which we all thoroughly enjoyed, even though we had seen it before.
Pablo and bullet

The following day, we thought we would go and tell Lush's previous owner the wonderful news and see if we could find out who "Beanie's" father was. We then made the amazing discovery that a 35 year old stallion  had been kept in a field with Lush for a while and his name was "Flicka".
It has been almost a year since I lost Lush and I have started to feel that I am ready for another horse and that I really need one soon, so every few days, I would mention it to my family, saying that I would really like to get another horse before I turn 50, hoping they would just somehow produce one!!. A couple of evenings ago, we got a call from one of Alex's friends in Plettenberg Bay, asking us if we would like to take on a 20 year old Percheron horse that had been used for logging in the Knysna Forest. He had been rescued by animal welfare three years ago, as he had been abused.


Everybody was so excited and I could not believe how my silent prayers had been answered. Later that night while discussing the matter with my wife, a bit of apprehension set in, as we realized we would be taking on another animal to add to our already large menagerie of animals to feed and look after, especially since we are wanting to sell our farm and find a bigger farm. Then later that night, unbeknown to me, my wife, before getting into bed to read, said a little prayer, asking if this was in fact the right thing to do. Afterwards, she settled down to read her book, "The Horse Whisperer" by Nicholas Evans. She started reading where she last left off on pg.134 and on pg.135, the following sentence came up,

"His mother used like telling how, at two years old, they found him in the barn, curled up in the straw asleep, between the massive hooves of a Percheron stallion. It was as though the horse was guarding him." 

If you have read the book, you will know it has nothing to do with a Percheron and this is the only time it is mentioned in the book. So the decision was made and he arrived 3 days later, all nervous and shaken from his 2 hour trip in a horse box.

Pablo and me going for a ride
Pablo has been with us  for three weeks now and he is the most gentlest and sweetest horse you can imagine.

A kind eye

I really love him and he has stolen my heart in a very short space of time, I enjoy riding him but will take it easy because he is here to retire and forget about the abuse the past humans have put him through.

Riding off into the distance

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is this true

Professor Ian Plimer (a member of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He is also a joint member of the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering)could not have said it better!
 If you've read his book you will agree, this is a good summary. 
 Okay, here's the bombshell.  The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2emissions on our planet, all of you.

Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress, that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow, and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans, and all animal life.

I know, it's very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cents light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs...well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days - yes - FOUR DAYS ONLY by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon.  And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time - EVERY DAY.

I don't really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire YEARS on earth.  Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year, think about it.

Of course I shouldn't spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.

And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years.  And it happens every year.

Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus ''human-caused'' climate change scenario.

Hey, isn't it interesting how they don't mention ''Global Warming'' any more, but just ''Climate Change'' - you know why?  It's because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.

And just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme (that whopping new tax)
imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer.  It won't stop any volcanoes from erupting, that's for sure.

But hey, relax, give the world a hug and have a nice day!

PS: I wonder if Iceland is buying carbon offsets?


Sunday, May 22, 2011

African Bliss - a mens soap (a post by Rae)

Dino having some fun with the reflections while waiting for oils to cool
 For some time now, Dino has been nagging me to add a mens soap to our range as we have quite a few male customers that are enjoying using our soap and are conscious of what they put on their skin. We thought it would be a good idea to come up with a soap that has a strong, earthy colour as well as a spicy masculine smell.

oily reflection
 We experimented with coffee to give it a nice dark brown colour, eventually coming up with a shade that we felt was right. My husband, Dino was really keen to dabble in the blending of the essential oils for the new soap and came up with a blend of cinnamon and a variety of African indigenous oils, as he is a keen lover of hiking and nature and constantly brings home little bits of plant sprigs for me to smell.
Working with cinnamon is not always an easy oil to work with and can cause your soap to sieze up rather quickly, as you can see in the above photo. Here we had to quickly pour the mixture (you can see it has a lumpy, grainy texture ) in the hope of saving it, but although we still used it ourselves, visually it was not perfect and after fiddling with the ratio's of the various essential oils, we succeeded! Beeswax was another ingredient we used in this soap and personally I adore any soap containing beeswax as it seems to give an incredibly smooth fine finish and a really creamy lather and it also lasts just a little bit longer than other soaps. As a result, we have a beautiful bar of soap with a fantastic fine, rich lather that leaves a lingering, spicy fresh smell on your body that any woman would find hard to resist and judging by the feedback we've had, it seems that woman love using this soap for themselves as well!
Next, we had to choose a colour for our label that would compliment our soap range and the colour of the soap, be masculine and also remind a person of Africa. We therefore decided to use a colour found in African art and fabric, the ocean and the sky and the result is the above!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday...

My birthday was on the 19th  of March which also coincided with the full moon that was coined "the supermoon", due to the fact that it was the closest it had been to planet earth in two decades, a mere 356,575 km. This to me still seems like a hell of a long distance but nonetheless, for the boffs, it was still something to rave about and for the astrologers, doom prophets and the like, it was also something to rave about but for us, it was just another stunning full moon.

On this special day, I was woken up by my wife with a cup of coffee and prezzies to open. Eventually, my youngest daughter, (pictured above) at the tender age of 14 and who has entered into the teenage years with the total sweet abandonment of a true teenager, woke up to give me my presents and beautiful homemade birthday card. This was followed by a lovely breakfast made by my wife, set outside under the Jacaranda tree. Enormous breakfasts like these are always reserved for special occasions and therefore always enjoyed.
Incidentally, our usual breakfast, depending on the season, is either strawberries, apricots, peaches, bananas and homemade yoghurt and honey, all from our veggie garden/orchard, or we have a "milkshake" made up of bananas, milk, honey, cinnamon and a calcium magnesium supplement. As winter sets in and it gets colder, we have a lovely warming bowl of jungle oats and cinnamon.
It seems that in small rural communities like we live in, the mention of a birthday in passing conversation, days or even months in advance, does not get forgotten and for the rest of  the day I received visitors from our surrounding farm community, bearing gifts such as homemade boerewors, droewors, homemade lemonade, cake, etc. All in all, it was a fantastic day which ended with a brilliant full "supermoon". 
It was a day that I was truly grateful to experience and I did not mind at all that I was turning another year older...

Friday, April 29, 2011

what the heck!

Please someone help me, I am so sad.....I can't see my followers , they seem to have disappeared and I can't seem to resolve the problem. Dani.... I am thinking that maybe you can solve my problem

Saturday, March 19, 2011

dodging snakes and drying herbs( all in a days work )

The day started like any other day, for this time of the year.... with me wondering around the garden looking at what needs to be picked, stacked up or watered. It was about 10am and the temp had already reached a comfortable 26 deg C with no sign of letting up. I decided to go and water our olive trees on the north facing slope behind our house. This gives me more or less a clear view onto our veggie garden below, where I could see "Molly Katz", our German Shepherd, snifflling around in the shade house. I presumed she was after a lizard but a few seconds later I heard her bark and thought that she must have a cat cornered in the long grass, so I reprimanded her and told her to go and lie down. We have nine cats that she is obsessed with and she keeps a beedy eye on them all day long and as a result, they are confined to the stoep area where they have an dresser that is their resting place during the day. Only at night when Molly is away in "lala land" inside the house, can they go and do their thing.
Anyway, it was only when she slunk away that I realised that she never barks at the cats and usually just whines excitedly, giving herself away and that earns her the reprimand from me to leave them alone. By the way, she has never hurt one!
When I called and asked her, "What is it Molly", she responded by going back to the area and engaging in  a little dance, lunging forward a couple of steps, then retreating backwards... then lunging again with the odd bark. She ran about 10m towards the veggie patch when it suddenly dawned on me that this could be a snake!!!  So jumping the fence between us, I ran and warned her to stay back  and when I got to within 5m of the veggie patch, I saw this beautiful, majestic Cape Cobra. I shouted to Rae, who was in the house, to bring me the camera and my homemade snake catcher. In the meantime, I searched frantically for something to trap the cobra with and spotting a rake, I used this. All went smoothly with the cobra safely caught and like with all other snakes that we catch, I hopped onto the back of the bakkie, snake in hand (not literally), with Rae at the wheel begging me to be carefull, as she always does! We drove about 5km away and released it. At this point, we always marvel at their beauty and feel happy that we did not have to kill it. This is about the 10th snake that we have caught and released since living here. Some of them have been dangerously close, e.g. striking at Rae as she unsuspectedly walked past, another coiled under the dust pan in the kitchen and one that reared up at our daughter who was collecting her horse tack in the garage.
The rest of the day went by peacefully, collecting herbs out the garden and tying them in bunches and hanging them in the garage for drying. Herbs like basil, taragon, sage, rosemary and thyme, all get hung up to dry for the winter months when growth is slow and fresh picking is not really bountiful anymore. Once they are dry, I blend certain ones together to make herb mixes for pastas or chicken dishes. Believe me, they are a whole lot better than any shop bought herbs, with loads more flavour.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The following I copied off  Natural News. I wouldn't mind some comments on this.

NaturalNews) If you look around what's really happening in our world today, there's an inescapable pattern that curiously emerges: Much of what's going on is simply unsustainable. It can't go on for much longer, in other words. And it must collapse due to the laws of economics or physics.
Here, I've put together a collection of twelve systems that are utterly unsustainable on our planet. Each of these twelve is scheduled for some sort of collapse or shut down in the coming years. They range from economics to medicine, population and the environment. And interestingly, the collapse of just one of these twelve would have devastating consequences across human civilization. What happens when two, three or ten of these things collapse.

1) Debt-based banking and economic systems
There's little question that our global fractional reserve banking system is headed for a catastrophic collapse. It's a system based on debt rather than sound money principles, and the laws of economics dictate that the global multiplication of money and debt is entirely unsustainable.

This system will collapse, and when it does, it will be so large that the economic devastation will be global. Governments have actually made this worse, of course, by bailing out the dishonest investment institutions that have made the situation worse. The coming financial collapse will teach humanity some hard lessons about honest money.

2) Conventional agriculture and "rape the planet" farming
The current agricultural system that feeds the planet is simply unsustainable. It is a "rape the planet" model that clear-cuts forests to grow GMO soybeans that feed factory cattle which are turned into processed meat. Even the plant crops grown through conventional agriculture depend on chemical fertilizers from sources that are running out (fossil fuels, phosphate mines, etc.).

Furthermore, the mass application of chemical pesticides, fungicides and Monsanto's Roundup chemicals is destroying the viability of soils while polluting the world's farms, rivers, streams and oceans. This system is unsustainable. When it collapses, humanity will learn (the hard way) that only sustainable agriculture can sustain human life on our planet.

3) Mass-consumption economies based on buy-it-and-trash-it behavior
When children are raised to be good little Americans (or Canadians, or Australians, etc.), they're taught to consume more stuff. In America, it was even called "patriotic" by former President George Bush. To support your local economy, you're supposed to go out and buy stuff that you don't need, then chuck it into the trash after you use it, then go out and buy more!

Virtually the entire first-world economy is based on this idea that people need to consume more stuff, then throw it away, then consume more. That's what all the corporate advertising is for, to convince people that they are inadequate unless they buy and consume more high-priced cars, designer jeans, electronic gadgets and throwaway home cleaning supplies. This system is insane. And it cannot continue indefinitely.

4) The accelerating loss of farming soils
There's a great documentary you need to see on this called Dirt. ( It explains the value of dirt (soil) and why conventional agriculture methods are destroying the dirt upon which our civilization depends. We even wrote about the movie here:

No dirt = no food. Get it? And the dirt is disappearing at an alarming rate, thanks to the unsustainable practices of conventional agriculture, with all its tilling, soil destruction, poisons and GMOs. I wonder what the people will plant their seeds in when all the cropland dirt is either dead or gone?

5) The mass poisoning of the oceans and aggressive over-fishing
Oceans ecosystems are collapsing. This isn't some future prediction, it's happening right now. Ocean acidification is destroying the coral reefs and mollusks all across the globe. At the same time, human civilization treats the oceans as giant planetary toilets into which all the toxic chemicals of modern civilization are flushed: Pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals, hormone-disrupting chemicals and a whole lot more.

Massive fish die-offs are becoming increasingly common , and fish populations are plummeting across several species. We are beginning to see the results of mankind's ongoing poisoning of the oceans.

6) Mass genetic pollution of the planet through GMOs
It will be the great, dark legacy of our modern civilization: The widespread genetic contamination of the planet through the use of GMOs.

Genetically engineered seeds are spreading their altered genetic code all across the world. The DNA of GMO crops is now detectable in soils, foods and water systems. What's the upshot of all this? It's a big unknown, of course, and that's the frightening part: No one before has ever "played God" with the planet, right out in the open, and then observed what happens after a few years (or decades). Thanks to companies like Monsanto, we are the experiment, and no one know if it might ultimately lead to something like a widespread crop failure or even the alternation of natural web-of-life interactions across multiple ecosystems.

And if genetic pollution causes problems, how do you "clean" that pollution? You can't! Genetic pollution endures. Once crops become infected with GE seeds, it's all but impossible to eliminate the DNA contamination.

7) The drugs-and-surgery conventional medical system
Big Pharma's days are numbered -- based on economics if nothing else. The monopolistic pricing, the deadly side effects and the corrupt, criminal operations of the industry make it all utterly non-sustainable.

Big Pharma and the whole chemical approach to medicine is bankrupting companies, cities, states and nations. No nation can economically survive in the long run if it keeps spending its money on Big Pharma sick care schemes. Ultimately, those nations that hope to survive will need to ditch Big Pharma and return to natural medicine and preventive nutrition.

That day is coming. Sooner that you think, probably.

8) Widespread pharmaceutical contamination of the human population and the environment
Until the day comes that Big Pharma collapses into ruin, the pharmaceutical pollution of the planet will continue. Right now, pharmaceutical factories in India (which export their pills back to the states to be sold as brand-name drugs) are dumping untold thousands of gallons of dangerous chemical drugs into the waterways there (

In the U.S. and Canada, the water near every major city is heavily contaminated with pharmaceuticals. (

The situation is so bad that Big Pharma's chemical runoff threatens the future of life on our planet! (

Fortunately, this sad chapter in human history will soon come to an end.

9) Runaway human population growth
Here's the one nobody wants to talk about. But make no mistake: The human population growth we see right now is entirely unsustainable. The available of cheap food and fossil fuels over the last century has contributed to an unprecedented population explosion that is now nearing its end. There are only so many acres of farmland, after all, and only so many acre-feet of water to irrigate it.

Don't misinterpret this, however, of thinking that I support some sort of population reduction measures a la Bill Gates and his quote about reducing the world population by 10 - 15 percent through the use of vaccines and health care (

Unlike some of the truly evil world leaders, I don't believe in killing off human beings just to reduce global population. Rather, it makes more sense to teach sustainable living practices along with good parenting and well-considered parenthood. Strangely, most of the new children brought into the world today are not the result of stable, well-prepared parents choosing to have children, but rather the unintended consequences of casual copulation.

10) Fossil water consumption for agriculture
We just published a story on this issue, talking about how the Ogallala Aquifer is running dry, threatening the agricultural output of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and even parts of Colorado and Texas (

This is a global issue, affecting India, China, North America, South America and nearly every nation that produces any significant agricultural yields. Fresh water is running out all across the world, and while additional water supplies can always be created through desalination, for example, that's a very expensive way to replenish the water, and it's almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels (see below). Even if you could build enough desalination plants to irrigate the world's croplands, the resulting food prices would still result in mass starvation by those who couldn't afford the food which might cost ten times the current price..

11) Fossil fuel consumption
I realize this is a highly contentious issue, with some people claiming that there's an "unlimited supply of oil" in our planet because it's replenishing itself all the time. This idea simply doesn't square with what we know: The Earth is a finite object, occupying finite space. Inside it can only be a finite amount of fossil fuels. The recharge rate of fossil fuels is on the scale of millions of years, meaning we can't simply wait around for more fuel to reappear if we use up the current reserves.

There is convincing evidence right now that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, has been lying about its output capacity for at least the last decade. It can't reach its production targets, and there is reasoned speculation that its own best-producing oil wells are approaching their end. Even if oil remains available for a few more decades, it still becomes increasingly expensive oil, meaning that everything else down the supply chain becomes more expensive, too: Food, fuel, consumer goods, etc.

The era of cheap fossil fuels is coming to an end. Although fossil fuels will no doubt be around for several decades more, the cheap stuff is long gone, it seems. The citizens of Earth will soon need to find an alternate way to power their cities, cars and businesses in the 21st century.

Oh, and by the way, solar probably isn't the answer, as solar panels depend on rare earth metals that are entirely dependent on Chinese mining operations ( Wind energy also hasn't panned out as it should have. And the governments of the world continue to suppress free energy technologies such as Cold Fusion, which has now been proven to work by even the U.S. Navy..

12) The widespread destruction of animal habitat
Here's one that drives some people nuts. What? We can't keep clear-cutting the rainforests to plant genetically engineered soybeans?

Not if you want the planet to survive, actually. There's a delicate web of life on our planet upon which human life ultimately depends. The more animal habitat we destroy, the more it ultimately comes back to haunt us.

Now, I'm not in favor of the insane green police and the UN's freedom-stealing efforts to pigeon-hole human beings into centrally-controlled behavior boxes. The key here is finding ways for people to live in balance with nature while still maintaining their freedoms.

And that depends on education. We need to continue to teach people how to make sound decisions about where they buy their wood furniture (to avoid the slashing of old-growth forests). We need to teach people who eat meat to buy truly free-range, grass-fed meat rather than factory-farmed meats that depend on soybean mega-farms. And of course, we also need to make people aware of the benefits of getting more plant-based foods into their diets where possible, because when properly prepared, plant foods provide a lot of nutrients with a smaller ecological footprint than most meats.

I'm not against those who eat meat, by the way. I just think that people need to consider where their food comes from no matter what they're eating, and then take steps to reduce the ecological footprint of the food they're choosing to consume. The best answer to this is to buy local food. In fact, I would argue that eating some beef steaks from a local farmer is more ecologically sound than juicing up organic fruits and vegetables grown and imported from Chile (unless you live in Chile, of course).

That's an arguable point, of course, and opinions differ sharply on this, but I believe that we really need to focus on eating local foods just as much as we do on what we're eating. Personally, I don't eat cows, but even for the plants I consume, I'm working hard right now on growing more of my own so that I'm acting with integrity -- "walking the talk" so to speak -- to be aligned with what I'm advocating for others.

While we're at it, one of the best ways to reduce the destruction of animal habitat is to grow your own food by turning your yard into a garden. Reduce your demand for store-bought food and you unquestionably reduce your ecological footprint on the planet.

So those are 12 of the biggest things that are entirely unsustainable on our planet right now. Human life depends on most of them. It makes you wonder: How will humans survive when these systems and resources upon which we depend have run out or collapsed?

That is a question we'd all better be asking ourselves right now. Because the age of cheap fuel, cheap money, cheap water and cheap food is fast ending. The future of life on our planet will require something far more evolved than the infantile, selfish and self-destructive mindset that humanity has so far demonstrated.

Debt-based money systems don't cut it. Burning up all the fossil fuels is only a fool's abundance. Medicating the humans and animals with toxic, synthetic pharmaceuticals is a form of medical insanity. These things will all come to an end.

The question is: Who will survive the end of these things and be around to help shape the next society which must operate with far greater humility and wisdom?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This year I have had the most success with growing tomatoes. This I attribute to the copious amounts of water I give them, comfrey compost tea and spraying them every 5 days with a 10% milk/water solution. When it comes to watering tomatoes, it"s no use watering them willy nilly everyday, or every other day with a little bit of water! Make a good basin around the plant, or if its a bed with 3 to 6 plants in it, then turn that into a large dam  and put a hose in there on a slow trickle and let it water for half an hour. The kind of trickle I mean, is one that would fill a bucket in say, 5 min.
If you have the means to grow your tomatoes under shade cloth, then do it and tie a string around the base of the plant to the top of the shade house and train your plant up this. I use a 40% shade cloth, as this lets through enough light and provides enough warmth for them to florish. I read somewhere that tomatoes don't need as much the direct sunlight, as they need warmth, to produce and from my above experiment (see above pics), this seems to be true. For hardiness, I planted Roma tomatoes, as they also seem to be the best for canning, jams etc.
Above, you see my buckets of comfrey liquid compost. To make this, you take the comfrey leaves and pack them in the bottom of a bucket up to a third of the way up, place a brick on top of the leaves to weigh them down, then fill it up with water to the top. This you leave for two weeks. It is said that you should dilute this mixture by 10% with water before use, but I diluted it by a 5%  and used it once a week. It has the most organic smell you have ever smelt!!! In fact, when a person first approaches the area after the 2 week brewing time is over, it's hard not to believe that someone has not taken a dump (to put it mildly!!) in the area, because boy... it smells potent but luckily it soon disappears after application. So put lids on the buckets to contain the odour and don't let your hands get wet by the mixture!
                                                     the lovely Roma tomatoes
Cut them in half and lay them on a bed of salt (coarse salt ) and put them in the sun for about four days. Just remember to bring them in at night and put them back out in the morning.
The above picture is after two days, two trays like this made two jars and less... if you are tempted to sample as the days proceed. We found various ways of storing them on the internet, with lots of different opinions as to which would last longer. In the end we settled for:
1. Packing them into a jar with some basil, filling it up with olive oil and store in a cool dark place.
2. Putting them into a zip lock bag and closing, leaving a little opening to suck as much air out as possible  thereby creating a vacuum effect, closing it and popping it into the freezer.
The end product.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Spectacular End To A Hot Day

Star and Picasso
Today was one of the hottest and most humid days of the year, so far and I hate humidity! On days like this very little gets done around the "plaas". We do the bare essentials, such as watering the veggie garden, providing water for the horses and making soap, of course. The rest of the time is spent on the internet, reading in front of a fan and waiting for the temperature to drop to a manageable degree, so that we can venture out again. On days like this, one feels like a vampire, the moment you open the door and put your face out into the sun, you feel like cringing as it hits you! Anyway, the day never really got any cooler, until finally at about 5 pm, we got some cloud cover and I decided to take the dogs for their daily walk followed by a game of sticks.

 No matter how hot, or how cold and wet, they're always keen and for this reason I could never let them down. Come rain, hail, thunder and lightening, or some other kind of weather catastrophy, its as if their entire day  is spent lying around and biding their time, waiting for their walk. These pictures are of them at the end of todays walk.
Star, the only girl out of a litter of 7 puppies
So, I walked dogs and then put the horses into their field. Star never lets me out of her sight and is always sure to be there when I look around. If by chance I have not noticed her then she will let me know of her presence by giving me a gentle nudge with her nose.
The horses

Lulu long legs

Colonel ( alias: Gwho- Gwho )

The start of the show was with the clouds drawing in from the west.
Then we had some really majestic light illuminating the best parts of the clouds.
Star was also there, in fact the whole dog and human family to watch this display.
As you can see by the number of photos that I took, I was hoping to capture some of the beauty, I was obviously enjoying this and was in complete awe!

This is a close-up pic of a section of the clouds, just too beautiful.
Once the show was over, we sat on our stoep with a gas stove and fried some egg plant steaks, dipped in batter, with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, accompanied by a salad and a lekker glass of red wine. Incidently, our entire meal was from the garden, including the lemon. Later, after supper, we experienced a short thunderstorm, just enough to cool the earth down for a good nights sleep.
The next day was another STINKER........